The Howland Company has teamed up with Crow’s Theatre to present Prodigal. Written and directed by Paolo Santalucia, Prodigal is a riveting family drama that’ll keep you on the edge of your seat. The witty, fast paced dialogue delivered by a wildly talented cast makes for an unforgettable night of theatre.

Prodigal tells the story of a wealthy Canadian family whose son Edmund has been estranged from for many years. Edmund’s father Rowan has political aspirations which have required him to cut Edmund off from the allowance he’s been paying him since he left home. On the night of their other son Henry’s engagement party, Edmund returns home and chaos ensues. We watch as the family drama unfolds and old wounds are opened again while new scandals and issues also arise amongst the family and the people who work for them.

Paolo Santalucia has written an incredible script; the characters are so wonderfully human, they are flawed, they are funny, and they prove themselves to always be more than what we see on the surface. This inside look at the social elite and how they interact with the people they employ gives the play a kind of upstairs/downstairs type vibe but in a modern context. I was completely engrossed from the first moment to the last; I laughed, I cried, I gasped, this play truly takes you through a range of emotions. I also have a feeling many audience members will be able to relate to the family drama, even if the stakes aren’t usually this high.

Dan Mousseau plays Edmund, the titular prodigal son, and from the moment he comes out on stage I knew that I was going to be in his corner. Mousseau gives Edmund so much vulnerability, sass, and ferocity that I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. Shauna Thompson gives a similarly spellbinding performance as Simone; she gives her such strength and prowess to navigate not only this complicated family, but the social structures she’s trying to climb. Cameron Laurie and Hallie Seline are hilarious as Edmund’s siblings Henry and Violet; they both give fabulous performances full of beautifully delivered witty lines, wild punches, and whopping amounts of talent. Their parents are played by the indelible Nancy Palk and Rick Roberts. Their characters Marilyn and Rowan are so multi-faceted and complicated, and they navigate them with the certainty and deftness of those well versed in their craft; you loved them and hated them, pitied them and blamed them seamlessly from one moment to next. Veronica Hortiguela’s character Sadie was very much like that as well, and Hortiguela did an incredible job giving Sadie a side we could all understand and felt for. I love it when we get to see the real Sadie, not Insta-worthy Sadie, talking to Pauline; Hortiguela gave her a sweetness and a sassiness I loved. I really enjoyed the dynamic between Meghan Swaby and Jeff Yung as Pauline and Clinton; they show a healthy relationship with communication and kindness, and I thought that Swaby and Yung did a fantastic job with their roles. They provided a perfect foil to Palk and Robert’s characters. Rounding out the cast is Michael Ayres, who plays Levi, Simone’s brother who Edmund happens to pick up on their flight home. Ayres delivers a great performance as his character deals with his sticky enmeshment in with this family. This cast is stellar, I’d happily see the play over and over just to watch them work.

You simply have to see Prodigal before it closes on March 12th. I’ll certainly still be thinking about this production for several days to come; it’s a great story, well told, expertly acted, and makes for a great night at the theatre. For more information and tickets, visit:

Photo by Dahlia Katz


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