Amanda Schenstead and Ryan McLeod will spend Valentine’s Day playing sweethearts, in the same theatre where they met in 2013.
Ryan McLeod and Amanda Schenstead will spend Valentine’s Day playing sweethearts, in the same theatre where they met in 2013.
The real-life husband and wife play the two main characters in the Regina Little Theatre’s production of In the Cards, a comedy about a psychic named Barbara and the man she is fated to marry.
“It’s kind of a journey through pretty much from the moment when they’re seven or eight ‘til up to their 40s, and they kind of bump into each other periodically throughout their lives, or are drawn together for one reason or another,” McLeod summarized.
“She’s in the sandbox and she’s telling Robert about how they’re going to get married one day,” added Schenstead. “And, of course, she’s OK with the idea, but then Robert doesn’t really like it that much.”
McLeod and Schenstead each grew up with a love of theatre — him in Regina, her in Whitewood. They met in fall 2013, acting in the RLT’s staging of The Velveteen Rabbit.
“Ryan was playing the rag puppy and I played the toy fairy,” Schenstead said, laughing.
“It must have been love. I was wearing a blue onesie,” McLeod quipped.
Friends first, they began dating a few months later.
In their current performance, McLeod and Schenstead carry the show.
There is a third cast member, Cameron Tucker, but his character arrives late in the story.
It was no accident that Schenstead and McLeod were cast for these roles. Director Carri Lelliott gave them the script last summer.
“She approached Ryan specifically,” said Schenstead. “And of course, Ryan and I read it together one evening, and I really liked it too, and I thought, ‘Well, I’ll go out and audition, too.”
“Well, that’s because I told you to; you’re perfect for the role,” McLeod said, correcting her.
This is not their first time portraying a couple.
They were also Titania and Oberon in the Five Loaves Theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in June 2015 — though that was “a different type of love story” with a “feuding relationship,” said Schenstead.
They enjoy sharing a stage.
“There’s always new discoveries to be made with every different script,” McLeod said about their on-stage chemistry.
“It’s wonderful working together. It’s just a really awesome thing that we can do as a couple,” said Schenstead, who works as a music therapist at Wascana Rehabilitation Centre. McLeod works for Health Canada now, but spent five seasons as Brent Butt’s stand-in on Corner Gas.
In the Cards promises to be a “good date night,” said Schenstead.
“It’s a nice night out at the theatre. It’s light-hearted,” McLeod agreed.
In The Cards, written by Caroline Russell King, is on at the Regina Performing Arts Centre Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 13-16. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $23 for adults and are available online at reginapac.com or by calling 306-779-2277.