Archive » Arts and Entertainment

Theatre Orangeville presents Doris and Ivy in the Home

February 15, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

A highlight of Theatre Orangeville’s season is the annual Norm Foster play. This time, we are being treated to his tale about Doris and Ivy in the Home – and – wait a moment, here’s Arthur too, determined to bring romance into the mix. Running now until Feb. 25, we are confronted with the whims and wiles of aging in this humorous play, and how it may or may not slow us down.

For the brief, Ivy Hoffbauer, formerly a world champion skier, has been residing in Paradise Village in Canmore, Alberta for some months. In bounces retired prison guard, Doris Mooney, on her first day in the home, looking for fun and ready to stir it up. She and Ivy start to get to know each other and discover they are very different people. Loud and brash, bringing her years as a prison guard with her, Doris is a real contrast to the reserved and elegant Ivy. Yet, Ivy has a famous and historical disaster in her background. Pretty quickly, Doris realizes she remembers it and the fun begins.

Arthur Beech, another resident of Paradise Village enters and soon opens the question, what is love? For Arthur wants to be in love and imagines himself almost there in his feelings for Ivy. Doris is all for it and ready to do her part, propelling Ivy into a late-in-life love affair.

The welcome to the two actors treading the Theatre Orangeville boards for the first time was extended by the Opening Night audience. Terri Cherniack as Ivy and Daniel Karpenchuk as Arthur were glowing with how generous that audience was in their appreciation of the play during the performance but also the resounding standing ovation at the end. They were all smiles at the Opening Night afterparty. 

They deserved both, for they kept us laughing with Mr. Foster’s clever dialogue and they made us pause for thought as his story pulled us this way and that. Just how much influence can love have on a person’s body and soul?

These playwright, actors, their director and the play have a history for they premiered the show in Morrisburg in 2022. Two years later, they are performing it here, still as a package that truly delivers the laughs and the poignancy for which Mr. Foster and his (now more than 80) plays are rightly so popular.

When we asked Norm Foster, who attended the evening, for a comment about the show, he said, “I think this is the perfect cast for this play. The connection they have with each other is just right. They were wonderful this evening.”

Indeed, Ivy is a skier from Austria and when we interviewed Ms. Cherniack during the preview of the play, we neglected to ask her if she would use an Austrian accent in the role but she does. She makes an excellent job of it too, enough to hear clearly and consistently.

We can count on Debbie Collins for the laughs, fresh as she is from the theatre’s Panto, as the Evil Stepmother (crazy funny). Doris is set on the other two having a good time and don’t be shy. Their version, though, is not how she pictured it.

Sincere and sincerely funny is Daniel Karpenchuk’s Arthur, playing his balancing act of a longing heart and a tidy wit. There is a touching monologue for him, standing solo on the porch, pouring his heart out to us. A powerful moment.

Kudos to Beckie Morris for her terrific set, the outdoor porch on which all the action takes place. Stone walls and simply framed doors and windows, like a house anyone might want to own, somehow, maybe Morris magic, create a background at once simple in design yet interesting enough to support the story so well. Admirable yet not a distraction. Candice Jeromkin is a scenic painter. Great. 

Jeff Johnston Collins designed the lighting, punctuation and glue that keep a performance flowing while Alex Amini, as costume designer kept Ivy in beautiful dresses.

The first of Theatre Orangeville’s 2024 playlist, be sure to see this charming play. Norm Foster’s reliability to make us really laugh and really care is in full vigour with this production. On now until Feb. 25.

For more details and to purchase tickets go to Or call the lovely people at the Box Office at 519-342-3423. You can visit the Box Office at the Orangeville Opera House at 87 Broadway too.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.