What are you doing on Feb 29, 2024? Nothing, right! Make it a memorable Leap Day… It only comes once every 4 years! Your patience has paid off because our preview performance of Marion Bridge on Leap Day, Feb 29 at 7:30PM, is now half price!
For a limited time, this next week only, your price will only be $20.50!
The incredible production of The Invisible has just opened at Grand Theatre. Did you see our ad in the program? So exciting!
Don’t forget to buy your tickets for our upcoming production of Marion Bridge by Daniel MacIvor. The show runs from Feb 29 – Mar 10 at the Procunier Hall, at Palace Theatre, 710 Dundas Street, London, Ontario.
Of greater interest than the accolades is probably knowing how he got started writing. Originally from Cape Breton, his family was Catholic and not uncommonly, his father was an alcoholic who as Daniel says, ‘was known to the police’. His mother was an outstanding waitress who put Daniel through school. One of his teachers provided encouragement by making sure he knew he had talent. For his sixteenth birthday a present of an electric typewriter set him on a writer’s career path.
He entered Dalhousie and went into journalism. Somehow, he fell into the theatre department initially as a performance major. Daniel is probably one of only a few playwrights who has written a play without actually having seen one. When asked by Tom Power how he starts to write a play he talked about Daniel Brooks. “Daniel says the show begins with the poster, the artwork, the image.” The artwork is a major influence and as the development process begins to generate material it becomes part of the work. I wonder how many other playwrights combine the visual with the aural in the early stages of development.
In next blog post I will give you more background on the genesis of Marion Bridge. Many of you know the Marion Bridge movie which is quite unlike the play. Come back and you’ll learn more.
We know Daniel MacIvor as one Canada’s greatest playwrights. He’s also a performer, and filmmaker who divides his time between Toronto and Cape Breton. He has been the recipient of a Governor General’s Literary Award, the Siminovitch Prize for Theatre, a New York Obie Award, and a GLAAD Award. His plays include Never Swim Alone, In On It, His Greatness and The Best Brothers which have been translated into French, German, Czech, Spanish, Japanese and Portuguese. He has worked on commissions for the Wexner Centre at the University of Ohio, A Beautiful View, the National Theatre School of Canada, You Are Here, Mulgrave Road Theatre Marion Bridge, the Canadian Opera Company where he wrote the libretto for Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian, and the Stratford Festival where he continues to develop Walker Rhodes, a new musical with Steven Page.
Daniel’s most fruitful partnership has been with director Daniel Brooks (23 June 1958 – 22 May 2023) with whom he created seven solo performances for international touring. The style of these pieces, and much of his other work, is minimalist and meta-theatrical. Marion Bridge is his most performed play, and it is wholly unlike his solo work. More on that is my next newsletter. His most important solo plays may be Here Lies Henry and Monster. These were performed last month at Factory Theatre in Toronto. Here Lies Henry has been admirably performed here by Justin Quesnelle. I saw it twice.
Get ready to fall in love with “Marion Bridge.” MacIvor, hailing from Nova Scotia, skillfully paints the backdrop on the canvas of Cape Breton. The storyline revolves around three sisters who reunite at their family home as their mother faces her final days. Each sister carries the weight of life’s disappointments, as nothing has unfolded according to their plans. With looming questions and unresolved resentments, the narrative unfolds with a blend of humor and touching moments.