Cathy Brouse met her partner Michael Clark during rehearsals for Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street at the Mariposa Arts Theatre in Orillia.
He had been cast as the murderous title character. She played Mrs. Lovett, the barber’s fellow tenant and sinister partner in crime.
“We became friends and a couple of years later, we started to see each other and we decided to make a life together,” Brouse said in an interview Tuesday.
The couple, who both perform in the latest Owen Sound Little Theatre production “The Importance of Being Earnest,” decided to make that life in Owen Sound. They moved to the city in August.
“We studied quite a few areas in Ontario to see where we’d like to retire and we did a little trip to Walter’s Falls a few summers ago and then we drove into Owen Sound and just kind of fell in love with the place,” said Brouse, who worked as a professional actor in England in the 1980s.
“The fact that it had a really wonderful community theatre was certainly a bonus for us because we both enjoy getting involved in theatre and being in plays, both acting and doing behind-the-scenes type things.”
The couple’s first involvement with OSLT was for the production of Anything Goes in November. Clark appeared on stage, while Brouse helped with lighting. The pair both had roles in The Donnelly’s in April.
Audiences can now see Brouse and Clark perform in Oscar Wilde’s famous comedic play, which opened June 6. Performances are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday at The Roxy Theatre in downtown Owen Sound.
The Importance of Being Earnest, which was first performed in 1895, is all about love.
It tells the story of two young men of leisure who pretend to have double lives. Jack, played by Sean Morris, and Algy, performed by Chance Miller, are not above the use of deceit in their pursuit of pleasure and their desire to secure true love, says an OSLT news release.
The play also stars Meghan Wiley as Jack’s love interest Gwendolen and Morgan Acton as Algy’s flame Cecily.
Brouse plays Gwendolen’s opinionated mother Lady Bracknell. Clark has the role of a butler and also helped with set construction.
“I love the play myself,” said Brouse, who once directed it while working as a drama teacher at a Barrie high school.
“It’s very witty and clever and silly. There’s so many different words you could use to describe it.”
Tickets for The Importance of Being Earnest are $23 for adults, $21 for seniors, $15 for OSLT members and $11 for students.
They can be purchased at The Roxy box office, at the door or online at www.roxytheatre.ca.