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New Work in Progress
Several film, TV & theatre projects currently on the go in a range of different genres. Two recently re-developed new plays are described below:
"Peaches and Cream"
PEACHES AND CREAM is a warm, witty comedy about how the lives of two young women changed one summer night in the Sixties not long after one of their mothers discovered Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique. A warm-hearted, quirky comedy, PEACHES AND CREAM offers a unique and imaginative look at the bonds of friendship and love, the fallibility of memory, and the power of hope to change the future.
PEACHES AND CREAM is a heart-warming and funny exploration of fateful choices, love and friendship, the rising tide of feminism, and the pure joy of "girl power."
PEACHES AND CREAM unfolds on a summer night in Saskatchewan's Qu'Appelle Valley in 1963. Or does it? When Josie McClung receives a letter from the long lost Lois Kisby, she's returned to that fateful summer night through the fallible lens of memory and finds herself once again vying for the coveted Peaches and Cream Cotillion prize money that has the potential to open an entirely new door on her future. But, with the prodding of her friends from the past, Josie finds herself imagining the future that might have unfolded had she made a different choice on that long ago summer night. N.A.S.A. lunar landings in mini-skirts? Betty Friedan on the moon? In this altered version of the "future," Josie confronts not only what could have been, she discovers how to beat the fears that have held her back -- and discovers that sometimes, when the moon is just right, it is possible to revisit the past and let love change the future.
Cast: 6 (9 if double-casting is not used) 4 women (2 in their early 20s, 2 in their mid-40s); 2 men (2 in their mid-20s, 3 in their mid-40s)
Production / Presentation History:
An all new version of PEACHES AND CREAM was workshopped and presented as a staged reading at Theatre One in January 2015 with direcotr/dramaturge Nicolle Nattrass and the following cast: Josie - Terry Lynn Boyle; Lois - Michelle Lieffertz; Mrs. Kisby - Sharon Wahl; Betty Friedan - Norma Bowen; Mr. Kisby/Bob/Hank - Stephen Ogden; Walter/Tommy - Erik Gow.
(A very early draft of PEACHES AND CREAM was previously workshopped at the Saskatchewan Playwrights Centre’s 2005 Spring Festival of New Plays with director/dramaturge Rachel Ditor and the following cast: Josie – Angela Christie; Lois – Amy Matysio; Mrs. Kisby – Sharon Bakker; Betty Friedan – Christine MacInnis; Ralph/Bob/Hank – Matt Burgess; Walter/Tommy – Tim Hildebrand.)
Caitlin is a psychologically damaged young woman who has trouble distinguishing between dreams and reality. Her charismatic mother, Marilyn, orchestrates successful ad campaigns for a living. The two of them are locked in a profoundly disturbed relationship based on a lifetime of secrets and lies. Friend to both is Martin, a young Inuk filmmaker with secrets of his own, who brings with him age-old legends of the northern lights.
With every lie told and every secret unraveled, Martin is drawn further into Caitlin and Marilyn’s treacherous world; at the same time, Caitlin and Marilyn drift steadily into his. Dancing above them all the while are the northern lights of Martin’s beliefs. Threatening danger, even while offering the possibility of transcendence, the northern lights hold the power to transform each of their lives forever – and the results are sure to shake the night skies.
Highly charged and ever-shifting, WHITE LIES is a psychological thriller and drama of blood and passion – about love, hate, betrayal and the collision of worlds.
Cast: 3 (two women; one man)
Production / Presention History:
In September 2010, WHITE LIES (under its previous title WHISTLING AT THE NORTHERN LIGHTS), was presented in New York as a staged public reading at the award-winning Off-Broadway theatre, Urban Stages as part of its "New Plays for a New Season" Fall Reading Series. Urban Stages Artistic Director Frances Hill directed the staged reading with Broadway actors Susan Louise O'Connor, Susan Greenhill and Thom Rivera playing the roles of Caitlin, Marilyn and Martin. Urban Stages Artistic Director Frances Hill subsequently nominated the play for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, an international award annually to recognize women who have written works of outstanding quality for the English-speaking theatre.
Previous drafts of the play have also received considerable attention. In 2007, WHISTLING AT THE NORTHERN LIGHTS was selected as one of five Canadian plays to be promoted throughout Germany as part of a Canadian theatre export program organized by the Canadian Embassy in Berlin. The international jury who selected the play called it a “sophisticated psychological thriller.” In 2006, the play was selected for Saskatchewan Playwrights' Centre's Spring Festival of New Plays and was presented as a staged public reading directed by Susan Ferley with Angela Christie as Caitlin, Cynthia Dyck as Marilyn, and Lorne Duquette as Martin. In 2005, an even earlier version of the script was shortlisted for the Canada's national On the Verge festival of new plays as well as for Nightwood Theatre's Groundswell Festival of New Work by Women. The earliest version of the play was also workshopped with series of staged public readings under the title “MEMENTO MORI” at the University of Alberta in January & February 2004. Director: Brenda Finley (MFA Supervisor: Kim McCaw) with Caroline Livingstone (Marilyn), Tiffani Mann (Caitlin), and Sheldon Elter (Martin).