A New Normal

An original play by Shelley Picard

Maggie is fiercely independent but now needs someone to rely on as financial strains threaten her living.  Helen is challenged by her inability to function on her own in a modern world and is seeking her own independence. Thrown together by diametrically different circumstances, they scramble through the adjustments of day-to-day life and discover something to be treasured. This heart-warming, funny and ultimately moving new play explores perception and judgement and how what the world sees is not necessarily the reality being lived.

Audience Advisory: This play contains mature content including discussion about a past sexual assault and a description of an instance of bullying.


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Approximate Duration: 2 hours. Subject to change.
Content: This play contains mature content including a discussion about a past sexual assault and a description of an instance of bullying.



"Making a new normal": Interview with Director Jacq Ainsworth

Jacq Ainsworth, director of A New Normal, chats with us about the play.

"Human and real": Playwright Shelley Picard on A New Normal

Shelley Picard on acting in and writing her new play, A New Normal!



Shelley Picard


Shelley returns to the Gallery 7 Theatre stage wearing 2 hats this show. The pandemic shutdown allowed her time and her passion for theatre ignited her creativity from which came the script for tonight’s production.  This is her 4th produced script and she is looking for more creative inspiration to come.  Shelley also appears in tonight’s production as Maggie. What a joy, she has excitedly shared, to bring this character to life while sharing the stage with a truly gifted cast. It doesn’t get any better.  She hopes that you enjoy your evening with us. 

Sarah Wiget


After a long hiatus, Sarah is back on stage (or rather on screen) for this marvellously written show, playing the dynamic and energetic Helen. As a graduate of UFV Theatre studies, a parent to three busy kids, and an active participant in the adventures of life...returning to theatre to play this role has been a real joy. In her off time, Sarah enjoys being outdoors, travelling the world, watching movies, and spending time in pursuit of many artistic avenues. She hopes more doors will open in the future and thanks Gallery 7 Theatre and Jacq for this unique opportunity.

Laura Kehler

Mrs. Bronson

Laura has been volunteering with Gallery 7 Theatre for the last 4 years, both on and off stage. This season she was even in one of their online shows (Macbeth). This past year has been strange for all of us, but for those that love and live for live theatre, it's been heartbreaking. Not being able to do what gives us such joy and passion, has been devastating. Having an experience such as this has brought just a tiny portion of that joy back, and she is so thankful to Ken and the G7 staff for finding ways in letting us put on our creative shoes again. She really hopes that you enjoy the show, and thanks you for choosing to support local theater. She is really looking forward to when we can all be back together in person again, some day!!

Tamara Charman


Tamara is thrilled to be working with Gallery 7 Theatre once more! Recent roles were in Relative StrangersA Midsummer Night's Dream and The Mousetrap. This production has been quite a new experience, but a thoroughly enjoyable one! Special thanks to my daughter Rachel for running lines with me.


Trudy-Bridgette Smith


Trudy-Bridgette is excited to be performing in her first Gallery 7 Theatre show! She has been part of many school and community productions in the past, both on and off stage. Some of her credits include: A Christmas Carol, Cats, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Bakkhai, Guys and Dolls and Wicked. She has her BA with a Theatre Major from UFV and is now pursing acting professionally. Trudy-Bridgette recently performed in her first full length film. She is also a make up artist and has done make up for a couple plays and short films. Theatre, dance and make up are her passions. She hopes you enjoy the show!


Artistic & Production Team


Jacq Ainsworth


Jacq fell in love with theatre while gluing tissue to a cardboard lamb for a Christmas play (Gr.1). After being passed over for Snow White and being made to play the Queen (Gr. 7), she realized she was made of darker stuff! Her first solo directing gig was for Bard in the Valley with Crouching Romeo, Hidden Juliet: A Martial Arts Romance where she learned that leading a project is much easier when you are completely passionate about telling your story. Nothing builds a team into a theatre family like a mutual joy in creating something together.

Matthew Piton

Digital Designer

Matthew has an MFA in Design and Production from The University of British Columbia and a B.A. in Theatre from the University of the Fraser Valley. He specializes in Lighting, Set, Sound, and Projection Design. As a member of the Associated Designers of Canada, Matthew is working actively in the theatre and dance communities in British Columbia. Recent productions include: Noises Off Assistant Lighting Design (The Arts Club); Mixed Nuts, Set Design (Arts Umbrella); The Rocky Horror Show, Lighting and Set Design (Alchemy Theatre). Full CV at MatthewPiton.com

Bethany Somerville

Sound Designer

Bethany is a reach-for-the-stars, smile-through-it-all, super geeky lover of all things music and production. After graduating with a BA Music from Trinity Western University, she fell in love with event production and sound design, and has worked in the industry ever since.  Bethany has previously served as a stage hand and assistant stage manager for Gallery 7 Theatre, and provided sound design for The Miracle Worker.  As mom to two kids, she answers most of life’s problems with dark chocolate, baking, and hugs.  Her other interests include reading in cozy corners, writing, hiking, and paddle boarding.  

Nelly Fargeon

Stage Manager

Nelly has been involved in theatre for quite a while now. She loves being backstage in any capacity and has enjoyed adapting her skills to work in this online medium. You may have 'seen' her handy-work lately when she called the show for Gallery 7 Theatre's virtual renditions of A Christmas Carol, Macbeth and The Little Prince. Enjoy the show!


Aaron Dawson

Digital Technical Director

Veda Maharaj

Assistant Director of Photography

Brittany Suderman

Assistant Stage Manager

Discussion Guide

Download our free Discussion Guide and enjoy insights from our director, playwright and designers, plus background info and study questions to help you dig deeper in to the themes of the show. Edited by Angelika Dawson, this guide can be used for personal reflection or for engaging in enthusiastic discussion with members of your household.

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