Mostly Local Cast at Watermark this Summer

Five out of the seven actors hired by Watermark for this summer’s productions of Steel Magnolias and Gaslight are from PEI. Gracie Finley, Marlene Handrahan, Benton Hartley, Kristena McCormack, and Marlane O’Brien are all local PEI actors. Sharleen Kalayil (Halifax) and Risha Nanda (Toronto) complete the casting for the summer.

“Every year we try to cast as many local actors as possible and this year worked out really well”, says Artistic Director Robert Tsonos. “There’s so much talent right here on the Island. I’m always thrilled when we can give local actors work.” Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling will run from June 27th to August 26th and will be directed by Samantha Wilson. A group of Louisiana women bond and gossip at a local beauty shop while following the marriage and motherhood of one of the customer’s daughters. As the title implies, these ladies can be as delicate as magnolias – and as tough as steel. When tragedy strikes, they draw on their underlying strength and love. Steel Magnolias is an iconic play that continues to speak to audiences all over the world about hope, love, loss, and friendship. Gracie Finley, Marlene Handrahan, Sharleen Kalayil, Kristena McCormack, Risha Nanda, and Marlane O’Brien are all performing in Steel Magnolias. Gaslight By Johnna Wright and Patty Jamieson, based on the play Angel Street By Patrick Hamilton will run from July 7th to August 25th and will be directed by Martha Irving, who directed last summer’s hit production of Educating Rita. The thriller that spawned the term ‘gaslighting’, Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play gave us the word we now use for an insidious form of mental abuse. Bella Manningham hears strange sounds and the gas lights dim for no apparent reason. But is she losing her grip on reason, or is it being loosened for her? Bella thinks she’s losing her mind. The truth might be far worse. Marlene Handrahan, Benton Hartley, Kristena McCormack, and Risha Nanda will be performing in Gaslight. Individual Ticket are now on sale at or by calling the box office at 902-963-3963.