Pirate Attack on the 1C Bus Going DowntownPirate Attack on the 1C Bus Going Downtown is one of the wackiest titles of any play in Windsor this year, but despite its humour and light-hearted approach to telling its story, the emotional impact of its sensitive subject will most likely reside deeply in the hearts of all who see it. The Post Productions premiere is on for three more performances only, this weekend, from December 1 to 3 at The Shadowbox Theatre.

The story was written by local author and actor Joey Ouellette, who also takes on a few roles in this production, including the Police Officer, News Reader, Bus Driver, and Lawyer. It tells the story of a group of people “othered” by mainstream society due to disability, neurodivergence, and chronic illness, who act when the city shuts down the only bus route that services at their community drop-in centre. Determined to prevent their second home from being closed by corporate yeoman Kelly Turnbull, community members Claire, Ollie, Aggie, and Shawn don’t wait for a “normal” person to swoop in and save them, they fight back.


It’s really the story of four people who are tired of an “all-inclusive” society, not including them in it because of their disabilities. Each of the four main drop-in centre characters has a disability. Claire has Tourette syndrome, Ollie has autism, Aggie appears to suffer from selective mutism and Shawn is wheelchair bound. Together, they bond, feel safe and interact at the drop-in centre.

This is really a social justice piece that highlights the injustices the disabled community in Windsor suffer from, including access to work facilities, transportation and other limitations faced daily. In this story, the bus system is the focus, leading up to a pivotal moment where three of our heroes end up.

Using humour to tell a story like this can be touchy, but as with comedians like Russell Peters, who came to Windsor recently on his latest tour, the humour here is authentic and helps to tell a difficult story. It’s a beautifully written piece that uses care and attention to detail when it comes to the funny parts. Claire, for example, is a wonderful, smart young woman whose tic word is “flamboyant,” which often comes at the worst of times. Actress Shannyn McRae is often seen in frustration as her character’s nervous verbal reactions disrupt her conversations.

Actor Michael Potter is the most visually disabled and sits in a wheelchair throughout the production. In real life, he’s a double amputee and blind, so much of the turmoil that faces the renegade characters is something he no doubt faces every day. Justin Mulder’s character Ollie sings and swash buckles across the stage, taking on the traits of a pirate that he picked up from watching Pirates of the Caribbean. Chantel Pare’s Aggie, although quiet throughout the entire show, has a vast number of facial expressions that tell a story in themselves – in some ways she seems like the most intelligent of the bunch.

Emma Truswell is fun to watch as Kelly, the one sent from head office to close the facility. Her slow, progressive breakdown throughout the show is priceless, as she loses her “perfect life” to become one of the misfits herself.

Michelle Mainwaring has five different roles in this show and is a bit of an unsung hero in the production. With plenty of costume and character changes throughout, she shines brightly as Mother, Reporter, Mayor, Bus Passenger and Police Officer.

The set for this show is very simple and ads to the “romper room” feel that the misfits are staying in. The homemade bus was a neat touch as well.

It’s a shame the audiences for this run aren’t bigger, because It’s performed, with passion, by a talented and determined cast, and the message is one everyone should hear. Post has done a great job telling an original story, written by a local author with local issues at hand. It’s the most “flamboyant” show of the year.

Pirate Attack on the 1C Bus Going Downtown resumes for three more shows from Dec. 1 to 3. Tickets are available at The Shadowbox Theatre (103b – 1501 Howard Ave., Windsor, Ont. – corner of Howard and Shepherd) or online at www.postproductionswindsor.ca.

Pirate Attack on the 1C Bus Going Downtown

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