Kitty and Daniel Daly of Riverhead, St Mary’s Bay, had 12 children, six of whom were very tall and six of whom had skeletal dysplasia which today is also referred to as persons of short stature.

The Daly Family Collective – their granddaughter (and great-niece), singer-songwriter Diana Daly, dancer-storyteller Louise Moyes, and director-dramaturg Anne Troake have been asked to tell their stories.

In a journey of friendship and song, Diana and Louise bring the Daly family’s memories to life through powerful images, tales, songs, dance, laughter, and a bit of Carlton Showband! If A Place Could Be Made is a story about family, strong personalities, great faith, inclusion, expansion and making the best out of what we have been given.

Diana Daly has a close connection to this story, “Real people’s lives portrayed onstage, especially ones who were so dear to my family and me, demand that we work diligently to represent them as whole characters. Stories, like families, are made out of all sorts of mixtures. What cannot be said in words, can be danced, carved, sung, printed, played.

“I sincerely hope that the audience experiences the love and integrity that flowed from the Dalys and I consider it a gift to have time, support and dedication from my colleagues, my family and our various arts councils and funders to make this show.”

If A Place Could Be Made was created and developed by the Daly Family Collective over several years, starting in 2012; the idea for the project was born when Louise worked with Diana’s mother Kay Haynes (St. John’s Women).

The production had a technical residency with RCA Theatre Company in July 2015, a sold-out 4 show work-in-progress run in February 2016, a residency with the Arts and Culture Centres in February 2017, a Winter School Tour (funded through ArtsNL) with a 45-minute adaptation of the show, and now it finally comes to The LSPU Hall in June, as a fully realized production on the Main Stage.

Next, it will play at The National Arts Centre in Ottawa as part of their CanadaScene Festival in July.

“It has been incredible to have been given the time and financial support to create this show over a long period of time,” says Collective member and producer Louise Moyes. “That is what all artists need, in order to really be able to go between immersing in and standing back from their work.”

“While If A Place Could Be Made is an account of the joys and struggles of a remarkable family, it is also a tale of the distinct character of Newfoundland and Labrador; the story of a group of people who embodied the resilience, inventiveness, and good humour in the face of challenge and limitation that constitutes our unique place in the world.” Says Director/Dramaturg and Collective Member, Anne Troake.

For their recent school tour, the Collective enlisted the help of Kim White, Former ED of Coalition of Persons with DisabilitiesNL, to help develop a study guide and workshops for students.

“I love this show because it allows us to get to know Mike, Joe, Ann, Rose, Mary and Cack. The brilliant combination of songs, stories, and dances allow us see their unique personalities, their likes and dislikes, their dreams and their hopes. We see beautiful humans in their beautiful humanness – not individuals with disabilities. I believe this is the way anyone with any type of difference would hope to be seen.”

RCAT and The Daly Family Collective are pleased to announce that ASL Interpretation will be provided on the June 9th performance, as well as a Relaxed Performance on June 14th for audience members on the autism spectrum or those who would prefer a sensory friendly environment. A Visual Guide can be provided.Please email to request one.

If A Place Could Be Made runs from June 8th-18th at the LSPU Hall at 8pm. For tickets, call the Hall at 753-4531 or book online at Limited $5 EyeGo tickets are available for high school students.

Article by Danielle Hamel