May 24 - Jun 9, 2024
Firehall Theatre
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May 24 - Jun 9, 2024
Firehall Theatre

When We Were Young and Unafraid

by Sarah Treem

Directed By

In the early 1970s, before the Violence Against Women Act, Agnes has turned her quiet bed and breakfast into a home where victims of domestic violence can seek refuge. But Agnes is dismayed when her college-bound daughter falls under the influence of the home's newest arrival.

As the feminist revolution gains momentum outside of her tiny world, Agnes is forced to confront her own presumptions about the women she has spent her life trying to help.

This play will resonate for an audience seeking theatre that challenges and provokes.

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Important Show Info

This play contains explicit and coarse language, and explores mature themes. Not suitable for children.

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Originally published in Northumberland News

Sarah Treem, writer of the Netflix series “House of Cards,” created “When We Were Young and Unafraid” about an unassuming, cosy bed and breakfast that moonlights as a battered women’s shelter.

Before Roe v. Wade or the Violence Against Women Act. the play takes place in the spring of 1972 and is based on the historical “safe houses” that served as refuge for women fleeing from abuse.

Agnes (Linda Armstrong) lives on a remote island off the coast of Washington with her 16-year-old daughter Penny (Jamie Raymond). Agnes has turned her quiet bed and breakfast into one of the few spots where victims of domestic violence can seek refuge. She upholds an ironclad set of rules and boundaries to protect her B&B guests and the women she shelters.

But trouble is brewing. Mary Anne (Marley Soutter), her latest badly abused runaway, is beginning to influence the college-bound Penny.

And then Hannah (Kate Blundell) drops in. She is an outspoken lesbian separatist radical with the belief that all enlightened women are lesbians. Hannah, who dreams of “womyn-land,” (Get it? No men!) provides wonderful comic relief.

And then arrives Paul (Shawn Dubeau), a guitar-playing B&B tenant. He is very funny but also subtly cunning. He “politely” forces his way into everyone’s space and eventually overstays his welcome.

This is Anne-Marie Bouthillette’s directorial debut. She says in her notes: “This play was definitely a risk. It should make you reflect. But if we’ve done it right, it will make you appreciate the beautifully flawed humanity that lives inside each of us, and that keeps hope alive.”

Trust me Anne-Marie, you have done it right. Brava, Bravo Northumberland Players. This extraordinary collection of volunteers has done it again. “When We Were Young and Unafraid” will leave you on the edge of your seat with a renewed appreciation of a woman’s rights.

Selena Forsyth, Northumberland News

Cast & Production Team


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Assistant Stage Manager
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Plumbing Designer
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Lighting Operators

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Front of House

Carol Beauchamp
Anne-Marie Bouthillette
Lynn Wilcox
Deirdre McIntosh
Becca Reed
Ward McCance
Judy Bridle
Matt Blundell
Matt Blundell
Jamie Finan
Ann Hancock
Sheilah Currie
Lee Wakelin
Mary Lou Secord
Paul Herron
Hsiu Liao
Claire Rowett
Madaleine Nelson
Ward McCance
Judy Bridle
Lynn Wilcox
Ward McCance
Judy Bridle
Paul Herron (Lead)
Mary Lou Secord (Lead)
Rick Hoogsteen
Jim Abbott
Bill Reid
Frank Burns
Hsiu Liao (Lead)
Claire Rowett (Lead)
Deirdre McIntosh
Fran Martin
Theresa Herron
Glenis Burnie
Sharon Rathbone
Louise Sirtonski
Pat Papp
Tori Geloso
Sherwood McClernon
Greg Curtis
Leslee Argue
Jamie Finan
Valerie Russell
Jack Boyagian
Ian Everdell
Lauren Page Russell
Jack Boyagian
Kaye Torrie

Firehall Theatre


The Firehall Theatre is located behind Victoria Hall in downtown Cobourg. Seating is general admission.


213 Second St.
Cobourg, ON
K9A 2M2

Getting Here

Parking is available across Second St. in public lots – please note that this parking is only valid for two hours.

Street parking is available around the theatre.

Cobourg Transit stops less than a block away: Route 1 at :10 and :45, and Route 2 at :15 and :42. For more information, see