Watch "//Skål"

Show Notes

//Skål takes us into the private world of married couple Colin and Denise during their evening nightcap on Zoom, separated by an ocean due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. Now into week nine, the rifts in this marriage have turned into fault lines that may cause this couple to drift apart for good.

On one particularly cold and dark night in the midst of lockdown, this story wrote itself. Looking at the impact it had on my family personally, and listening to the stories of those around me, it was easy to see that this unprecedented event was taking its toll on relationships everywhere. The stories I heard most often were how stress and uncertainty, combined with extended physical proximity with those closest to us over time was causing many couples to break apart; let’s face it, how much time do we actually spend with our spouses when the world isn’t being turned upside down by an airborne virus?

Denise and Colin have the opposite problem: distance. They believed that Zoom would be the answer to their prayers. Like the rest of the world, they jumped at the assumption that a virtual relationship could suffice for the real thing. This film was an opportunity to explore more deeply the idea that distance could also break couples apart, that each couple in fact will have their very own story about how Covid-19 was itself a sinister character designed to bring out the worst features in our relationships with those we love.

What better time to investigate all of these possibilities than during a global pandemic – and during a virtual film festival. And with a couple married in real life.

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Meet the Cast & Crew

Robin Whale

Robin Whale is a long-time fixture in the Northumberland community as a caring healer in his Chiropractic practice, but not so much as an actor. (Although if you ask his patients, they may reveal he has delivered many a "poignant monologue" beside the chiropractic table!)

Robin has shared the stage with his wife Caroline before, back in 2006/2007, in a small-town production of The Sound of Music. He tested out his acting AND singing prowess as Captain von Trapp, to his wife's Maria, and held his own.

Playing the husband role in this production was a natural fit for him and the "spirited" chemistry between himself and Caroline in real life, has added depth to his performance.

Caroline Taylor

Caroline Taylor is a local Chiropractor and mother whose secret passion is being in the spotlight. (Shhh, don't tell anyone!)  Her father always told her she was "such an actress" growing up, so her psyche latched onto that dream.

Caroline has performed in a few local productions including, The Sound of Music, Radium Radio Hour, The Vagina Monologues and most recently, The Northumberland Player's rendition of Chicago.

Caroline has been missing the stage and is grateful for chance let it rip again with Stacey Toste and the Northumberland Players, in a role that she has been preparing for her whole marriage 😉

Madeline Toste

Madeline Toste (Abby) is nine years old and attends CR Gummow Public School in Cobourg. Madeline made her Northumberland Players debut at the age of 7 in the Miracle on 34th Street radio play, and recently was part of the cast of A Christmas Carol.

In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing and drawing. She hopes very much that she will be able to pull off her portrayal of Abby in //Skål, because as she points out, ”Abby is the exact opposite of me and I don’t like her”.

Stacey Toste

Stacey Toste is a local teacher who adores reading, writing, art and travel.  She has performed in a number of productions over the past five years, including Miracle on 34th Street, All the King’s Women, Stars on Her Shoulders, and most recently, in the wonderful local production Plan X in last year’s Spirit of the Hills arts festival.

She has written many, many, many things over the years, but //Skål is one of the few things she’s liked enough to finish. Here’s hoping you don’t relate to this AT ALL.