Lily, continually present on stage upstage left in a very small set, is an Alzheimer’s patient living in a nursing home. During a series of flashbacks spanning 60 years, the audience gets to know Lily through a character named Memory and share her life journey. Using metaphor, music and light it is a play carefully crafted to explore the theme of losses in ways that are humourous, painful and profound.
The idea for the play came to the playwright one day when her mother said to her ‘I must be a terrible person because no one comes to visit me’,” Ms.O’Toole explains. “And it just struck down to my very bones because we came to visit her everyday. She was a wonderful, caring, giving woman. But she didn’t remember this about herself. I wanted to create a play that would celebrate this side of her, while sharing glimpses of the world in which she last lived.” The play was workshopped by fellow thespians, and then sponsored by the Saint John Alzheimer Society as a fundraiser.
Lily’s Song was performed at the Imperial Theatre in Saint John in 2005 and 2008. It was performed again due to the tremendous heartfelt response it received from its first run, ultimately raising over $16,000 for the Alzheimer Society.