Stage

Nell

Winner of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild’s long manuscript award.

This full-length play is based on the life of Canadian-born silent film actor Nell Shipman, who acted, produced, and directed films, wrote novels and screenplays, and near the end of her life wrote her autobiography. Nell was a woman of great talent, ambition, and courage.

She was married to Canadian film producer Ernie Shipman, who ran around on her but knew how to get movies made. Ever out to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?”, he was more or less affectionately known as “Ten Percent Ernie.”

The setting of the play is Lesser Slave Lake, in 40 below weather, during a shoot for a movie called Back to God’s Country. Everything that could go wrong does. Everyone wants a piece of Nell, except perhaps for Ernie, who’s mainly riding out the shoot at the Palliser Hotel in Calgary. And the Cree people of the area provide the help the company needs to make a movie in such terrible conditions.

This play has been workshopped by the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre, with the excellent help of dramaturge Heather Inglis and a talented cast. I have some final revision to do on this, and then I’ll be sending it out to theatres.

Oddly enough, this would also make a satisfying movie.


Winning the Prairie Gamble

A one-act play with songs, co-written with Geoffrey Ursell, produced by Persephone Theatre, Saskatoon, for Saskatchewan’s Centennial in 2005.

It covers all the bases: settlement, First Nations history, World War I, the Dirty Thirties, and so on to the present. Everything from John Tootoosis and the founding of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians to Tommy Douglas and the CCF. And, as they say, so much more!


Double Take

A full-length play with dramatic and comic tendencies, which also won the Saskatchewan Writers Guild’s long manuscript competition. Twin sisters have an uncanny ability to share their thoughts and maybe more than that. They have a certain interest in a pleasant young man, a United Church minister. But other more sinister people have an interest in the sisters. This one needs some revision, and then I’ll be shopping it around.


Roundup

A full-length drama about the crisis in farming and ranching in the west. Prairie politics. Corporate farms versus the family farm, expressed in the relationship of a woman and a man who went to school together. Secrets revealed of loves old and new. Produced by 25th Street Theatre, Saskatoon and directed by Tom Bentley-Fisher.


The Great Orlando

...two acts, is the story of how a romantic stranger bewitches a rural community full of eccentrics. There will always be room in the world for romantic strangers. And eccentrics. Produced at Persephone Theatre and directed by Tibor Feheregyhazi.


Matty and Rose

...two acts, is a play I developed with the encouragement and help of Tibor Feheregyhazi. Based on my story, “Matty and Rose,” from my book South Hill Girls, it explores the lives of a young railway porter, Matty, and Rose, the waitress from the CPR restaurant. Produced by Persephone Theatre and directed by Tibor.


Lokkinen

My first full-length play, was produced by Twenty-fifth Street Theatre when Andy Tahn was the artistic director and published by Playwrights Canada Press. It considers the extreme individualism of a Finnish farmer and his dream of a northern farm. It will never come true if the women in his life have anything to say about it.

To buy the book...

If you'd like to buy my book, you can find it at bookstores across Canada, or you can contact my publisher at coteaubooks.com. It is also available as an e-book.