Prairie Berry Pie
...a preschool kid’s series. Co-created by Geoffrey Ursell and Barbara Sapergia, and co-produced with Kevin DeWalt’s Minds Eye Pictures.
Prairie Berry was set in an apartment at the top of a grain elevator, inhabited by two "kids" - an adorable little skunk called Sasha, who was essentially a two-year-old boy (played by Janni Lauzon) and Clementine, an only slightly prickly porcupine (Trish Leeper) who was a lot like a four-year-old girl.
The show ran for two years and in that time the little critters ran through two care givers. Year one featured singer-songwriter-novelist Brenda Baker as their loving “parent” and year two welcomed theatre actor and director Kennetch Charlette. Other principal actors included Melissa Hande, Kent Allen, and Tom Rooney. The last two played Franklin and Gridley, two strange brothers who always showed up in Act 3 to illustrate how not to do something that was a theme of the show.
Did I say that all the characters sang great kids’ songs? They did, and making the show was some of the best fun I ever had. I got to write a lot of scripts.
I had the good fortune to write a one-hour script, “The Blessing,” for this future fantasy series, a co-pro of Kevin DeWalt’s comany (Canadian) and an American and a German partner.
The script was based on a traditional African story. The original hope was to shoot it in Africa, but the budget didn’t stretch far enough, and the area around Drumheller, Alberta, became the stunning backdrop. I should say that, as in all good series, the crafting of the script was a company effort.
Midnight in Moose Jaw
...a comedy pilot Geoffrey and I wrote many years ago. It was produced by the CBC and we hoped it would become a regular series, but it got beaten out by the genius Newfies.
Any Farmers Left?
A 30-minute drama about farm suicides. This one goes back to the 1980s. Actors included Michael Taylor from the iconic prairie band Humphrey and the Dumptrucks.
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.