Stéphanie Morin-Robert is lovely in Blindside, the story of a young girl gaining the confidence to accept her differences and to wear them with pride. She takes us through a journey of self-acceptance, of her changing schools in the third grade, and not having the confidence to talk about her glass eye, all the way to the fourth grade, where she is now owning her differences with aplomb and confidence.
Her performance conveys a fragility, echoing the young girl that she once was, and her delicacy in describing her fears and the explorations with her cat through the minefield of her childhood home convey the tight tension that she lived through on a daily basis. The lack of support at home contributed to her inability to process the newness of her surroundings and the perpetual chaos of her illness, her family and her new school wind her up until she can barely move.
Extracting herself from the straight jacket of her circumstances is a team effort, joyfully undertook by new friends. I don’t want to spoil this, so I won’t go into it, but the story resonates with anyone that has every felt different and alone. It will make you want to hug your friends (and your pets) tighter. It is suitable, and I think would be useful, for children over eight years old to give them perspective on physical differences. I’m making this sound like a PSA, but it’s really not, it’s a gorgeous story that will just make you love Stephanie even more than you already do. Keep an eye out (HA! Puns) on the Fringe tour for this show.
Blindside played March 17-19 at Theatre St. Catherine.