Article Category Archives: Script (excerpt)

Our Ghosts

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Author’s Note: Our Ghosts was inspired by the true story of the mysterious disappearance of my father during a routine flight from the Comox Air Base on March 22, 1956, and its impact on my family. I wrote the play for my Mom, Claire Stubbs. She passed away December 23, 2017, at the age of 91. She never stopped fighting and never gave up hope that my father would be found. The play is dedicated to Mom; Flying Officer Gerald Stephen Stubbs, the father I never knew; and Jerry Stephen Stubbs, the brother I lost.

A couple of production notes which may help with reading: ‘/’ is used to indicate when the next speaker begins talking. ‘…’ standing on its own indicates the character is engaged, responding non-verbally.



October 23rd, 2017, afternoon, Victoria, BC. KATE is alone in MOIRA’S near-empty home. She discovers an old business card among papers, looks out the window and—

It’s 3 am, October 2016, Victoria BC. Shrieking WIND, branches scrape against the window. Ninety-year-old MOIRA appears leaning into WIND. She’s barefoot, wearing a nightgown. A parachute harness, bearing the weight of a man, swings from a groaning tree branch.

MOIRA: I’m coming, Sweetheart!

KATE: Oh no.

MOIRA: (calling to ‘others’) Over here! /You’re never going to find him on the ground. Look up. Look up. Look up!

KATE: No. No. No. No. No. No. No.

MOIRA: Hurry! We’ve got to get him down!

Flashlight beam. KATE is with MOIRA

MOIRA: Get that light out of my eyes.

KATE: /Mum, please.

MOIRA: Where are the rest of your bloody searchers?  He’s up there.

KATE: It’ll be the wind or a raccoon. Those buggers are everywhere. Let’s get you inside before you freeze to death.

And they’re in MOIRA’S house.

KATE: Home. See? Your living room. (using flashlight) Grampa’s old armchair, your TV, boxes, boxes, more boxes, me.

MOIRA: Kate?


MOIRA: Turn on the damn light.

KATE: I’d love to, but I can’t find the damn switch. /(light on) Hallelujah.

MOIRA: Oh lord, I forgot… I forgot you were here, I thought… I’m sorry.

KATE: Nah. Don’t do that. Come here.

MOIRA: Oh it feels good to be held. I’d forgotten how good, /how good.

KATE: We had a big, old hug before I went up to bed.

MOIRA: Vic was here, Katie.


MOIRA: He’s here now.

KATE: You were sleep walking.

MOIRA: I was awake. I heard the wind in the trees. I was young and not young.

KATE: Time for bed. Big day tomorrow.

MOIRA: Yes. (Remembering) That Lieutenant fella…

KATE: Lieutenant Lorraine.

MOIRA: Yes, that’s it. He’s bringing news.

KATE: And so you’ve wound yourself up like the Tasmanian Devil.

MOIRA: I don’t know any Tasmanian Devil.

KATE: The Bugs Bunny Show. You used to say the Tasmanian Devil was Stevie’s mentor.

MOIRA: Stevie?

KATE: My brother. Your son.

MOIRA: I know who Stevie is.

KATE: Yeah, well, sometimes you forget things.

MOIRA: Not my son.

KATE: Fine, good, I’m sorry. All I was trying to say is, you wind yourself up too tight, you break.

MOIRA: I know what I know.

KATE: Let’s get you back to your bed.

MOIRA: I can’t sleep up there.

KATE: You can try.

MOIRA: I can’t breathe up there. Let go of me!

KATE: Done.

MOIRA: (On a mission) Papers.

KATE: Not now.

MOIRA: The Lieutenant fella will want to see these.

KATE: I don’t think so.

MOIRA: Have they found Vic?

KATE: How the hell would I know?

MOIRA: Oh god, what if…? Deal with that when it comes, /Moira.

KATE: Slow down. You’re going to fall.

MOIRA: Might put me out of my misery. Give you a little peace.

KATE: Tempting.

MOIRA: I beg your pardon?

KATE: Just kidding. /I think.

MOIRA: You can be some bitch when you set your mind to it, Katie Swanson.

KATE: It’s in my genes. Gonna be just like my Mum when I grow up.

MOIRA: Hurry up then.

KATE: (Exiting) I’ll get your robe and slippers. Then we’ll sort out a bed for you down here. God, the blood on your nightgown.

MOIRA: All night, scratch, scratch, scratch.

KATE: (Returning with robe, slippers, bedding) Blood on your robe, too.

MOIRA: Feel this. Feel.

KATE: Stop scratching.

MOIRA: Skin like paper. Tears at the slightest touch. Soon I’ll slide out of it. Like an old snake.

KATE: You’re making it worse. (Exiting) Where are the bandages?

MOIRA: Kitchen. Or bathroom.

KATE: (Entering) There must be thirty empty pill bottles on that counter. Arm please. Holy crap. You got a licence for these fingernails? You could decapitate somebody.

MOIRA: Better mind your manners then, Kid. (Searching) Cigarette. (Lights up) My closest and most constant life companions.

KATE: Thanks a heap. Put this stuff on.

MOIRA: Take these papers, keep them safe.

KATE: (Helping Moira) Put this on. You’re trembling.

MOIRA: This is our evidence, ammunition. You’re going to need this when I’m gone. It’ll be up to you then.

KATE: Not now. I’m so tired I’m dizzy.

MOIRA: They may have found your father. Does that mean anything to you?

KATE: Of course it does, but Mum, please, it’s after 3 o’clock in the fucking morning.

MOIRA: Language.

KATE: You remember I was in Vancouver when you called, right? That Alec and I actually live there.

MOIRA: Is Alec home?

KATE: Until next week. Then he’s back working in Brussels.

MOIRA: Your lovely man never stays still. But you, you’re on… Sab… damn my memory… /Sab

KATE: Sabbatical. And just because I’m not teaching right now doesn’t mean I’m not working.

MOIRA: You can write your little stories anywhere.

KATE: Good to know.

MOIRA: (about photo) Your Dad and me in Gimli.

KATE: I’m going to make up a bed for you right here on the couch.

MOIRA: Vic’s starting to get plump around the edges here. My biscuits and gravy man. We met in Winnipeg after the war. At the train station. I’d been home on leave from Camp Shilo, that’s east of Brandon, Manitoba. When you work in payroll during a war you’re the last to get discharged.  Your Uncle Gerry came to see me off and brought Vic along.

Sound of train station. MOIRA watches VIC enter.

MOIRA: They met overseas. Gerry was a gunner.

KATE: Uh huh.

MOIRA: They lost touch when the war ended then ran into each other in a beer parlour in the Winnipeg Exchange District. Glorious coincidence. Your Uncle made an ass of himself on booze in those days. Most of them did. Vic not so much. Your father was a pilot.

KATE: Bed’s made up.

MOIRA: He stayed on with the Air Force. Took it seriously. All of it. One of the best. They all said so. (watching VIC) Vic sits down beside me on a bench in the Station and the three of us share the chicken salad sandwiches Mum packed for my journey. He seems nice enough, but I guess you could say his effect on me is a slow, steady burn, not a sudden jolt to the heart. I notice things though. He listens, not everyone does that. He’s really hearing me, seeing me, not just Gerry’s little sister. And his lips. Dear lord, Vic has the most beautiful, full lips I’ve ever seen on a man, on anyone.

KATE: Why don’t you get under these covers?

MOIRA: There’s a tiny crumb of bread on his bottom lip. I can’t stop myself. I’ve never done anything like this before, I mean I’ve just met the man, but I reach out with one finger and (as if to brush crumb off Vic’s lip) Gerry makes some asinine comment, the train arrives and soon I’m waving to them from the window. Vic writes me, just friendly ‘How are you? This is what I did today’ letters. /And when I finally finish up at Camp Shilo and head home, there he is. Waiting for me at the Station. He takes my bag and my hand.

KATE: And when I finally finish up at Camp Shilo and head home, there he is. Waiting for me at the Station. He takes my bag and my hand. And the rest is history. Let me tuck you in.

MOIRA lights another cigarette.

KATE: Give me that smoke and get into bed.

MOIRA: I will not.

KATE: If you’re planning to be awake for your meeting tomorrow, you’ll put that damn cigarette out right now and get to sleep. (exiting) Good night.

MOIRA: Take that mountain of files.

KATE: I thought Lieutenant Lorraine needed to see this stuff.

MOIRA: I have copies.

KATE: Copies? No wonder there’s so much crap in here. Why the hell do you need fucking copies?

MOIRA: So you can have the fucking originals.

KATE: I don’t want them, /thank you.

MOIRA: Tough. Keep them safe. And read them.

KATE: I’ve read

MOIRA: Every, single page.

KATE: I’m not talking about this now.

MOIRA: You’re welcome to that box of photos, too.

KATE: Good night.

MOIRA: There are some nice ones of Stevie in there.

KATE stops, pulls a photo.

KATE: Oh god. Who knew he ever looked like this?

Five-year-old STEVIE appears. Looks like he’s dressed for Sunday School.

KATE: You must want to keep these.

MOIRA: Look around you. And a lifetime of boxes upstairs.

KATE: But Stevie

MOIRA: I prefer the images playing in my head. They keep me marching.

KATE: Is Stevie playing in your head now?

MOIRA looks at another photograph of life with VIC.

MOIRA: The bottles on this table. Like a distillery. Rye, rum, scotch, /beer, mixer.

STEVIE disappears.

KATE: Do I ever play in there?

MOIRA: Vic was the only sober man at that table. Where the hell do you think you’re going?

KATE snaps light off, exits with photographs.

MOIRA: Turn that light on!

And KATE’s looking through the box of photos of STEVIE. She hears a mischievous little chant

STEVIE’S VOICE: Uh e̅h uh uh e̅h uh e̅h, Uh e̅h uh uh e̅h uh.

KATE: Little bugger.

Seven-year-old STEVIE rides in on bike. Laughing, he circles KATE, gets closer, closer, closer and whoosh! He’s gone.

Suddenly You’re 50

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Author’s Note: Suddenly You’re 50 (working title) is currently under development with the Exploration series, Sunset Theatre in Wells, BC.


(Lights up. Opening monologue directly to audience)

My mom says,
“You can come and help me take care of dad.
Maybe even have some time to yourself and do some writing.”
I will come but—
the last thing I want to do is write
I am done with writing
Out with the writing, in with the sun-tanning
And reading books.
Reading a book from start to finish
No working
No writing
‘Cause the last thing I want to do is write
Not writing
No desire
To write
Not even journal
And I am definitely not going to write a new show.
The world does not need another show—right?
Another one person fucking show—excuse my language.
I like to swear sometimes
And that’s the truth.
So no, I am going to do my best to not write
I repeat.
I am not writing a new show.
You cannot make me
Couldn’t pay me a million dollars to do it.
Or even ten thousand.
Why? you ask? Or maybe you don’t ask.
Doesn’t matter cause I am going tell ya anyway.
Cause writing sucks.
It pays literally nothing and self-producing is tough at the best of times,
without adding being a Mom on top of it.
And do you get it?
It’s a ONE WOMAN SHOW here…
I am the entire circus, the clown, the ring leader, the acrobat, the trapeze artist,
the ticket taker, the bookkeeper, the stage sweeper
and I pick up after the elephant.
Researching where to produce, fundraising, juggling,
paying people, doing the promo, workshopping the script,
re-writing, arranging tickets, comps, contracts, photos,
and, oh, rehearsing—
which god you gotta focus on cause its your ass on the line. Right?!!!
Not to mention the “friends” or folks sitting there waiting to tell you how and why
they could have done it better.
So yeah, do all that and then REPEAT.
Every time you do YOUR stupid solo SHOW.
Then you gotta hear: “Oh my god I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOUR show!”
But then they don’t come.
They never come.
Cause they don’t mean it,
Then there’s the people that say they ARE going to come and they don’t.
They repeatedly don’t come which is fine
but then also they are the same people who later say
“OH I didn’t know you were doing a show …
when are you going to do it again so I can see it?”
Yeah, really.
This happens and it’s not like my show was just on for two weeks.
No, I’ve been doing it FOR FOUR YEARS!!
So chances are—
If you had wanted to see the SHOW you would have come already!
But you didn’t. Why? Cause what? You didn’t like the title or blah blah blah.
Did you know that it’s an “unspoken kind of rule”
that you don’t often do intermissions when you do a one person show?
Only if you are FAMOUS. Know why?
Cause the audience ain’t coming back at intermission that’s why.
Hell, why would they when even the theatre critics don’t stay for the talk-backs?
Critics only stay for the ones that are deemed “hip enough.”
You know those ones, the “we think we’re supposed to do this so we are going to tie it loosely to this theme.”
The theatre critics don’t stay for the “un-hip” or “women’s issues” ones—
the ones that are literally changing the lives of the audience members—
but then go home and write reviews which often are a masterclass in nice, white misogyny.
So NO. Not doing that. Writing another GODDAMN show.
This? Right now? Here?
What I am doing right now is—
Not a show.
It’s not.
It’s a—a story about how suddenly you’re 50
You find yourself on an all-inclusive vacation with your aging parents.
It’s a story about that.
A milestone.
(Transition. Sounds of seatbelt dings and the lull of the airplane motor and air-conditioning on the plane)
I’m on the plane and I look over at them
Mom with the one good ear
Dad with the one good eye
Between the two of them they make up one full person.
Seemed like a good idea at the time
Can’t really go wrong with tacos
Real, authentic tacos
The perfect vacation right?
I deserve it.
A vacation.
(Deep inhale of breath)
Everyone needs a vacation
Time to get away—
When things get too complicated—
You need to sort things through—
My brother lives there
He’s a permanent resident now
So off I go.
My husband says enjoy the time
You never know how long you have with your parents
Both of his gone.
I am going to help my mom who is primary caregiver to take care of my dad.
He had a stroke a few years back, he has a bad leg, a bad foot and is completely—like I said—blind in one eye.
It’s not funny.


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Author’s Note: #metoo was written and performed as part of Hysteria, Direct Theatre Collective’s premiere show, created by Jill Raymond, Isa Sanchez, Ariel Martz-Oberlander, Kim Ho, and Lauren Martin.


I was seventeen.
And you made out with me while I was passed out.
I was so drunk; I had crashed into the glass patio door.
Fell right on my ass.

I got really funny when I was drunk.
I was kind of a shy kid, so, being funny was intoxicating.
I got drunk a lot. But, my friends were there.
They put me on the couch, to sleep it off.

Next thing I remember; you were on top of me.
Your tongue was in my mouth.
Your hands on my breasts.
And I heard my friends came in and say:

Hey! Kent! Stop being a fucking cunt!
Kent the Cunt.

Although it’s not really fair to cunts.
But the alliteration has kept you in my memory for years.
When so many other names have slipped away.
Names I never bothered to learn.

The man who wagged his dick at me on my way home from school.
The “agent” who put my hand on his bulge.
The “director” who held an audition in a hotel.

Getting drugged at a night club.
My boyfriend at the time, said:
“It’s not like it was the first time you got so drunk you don’t remember.”
… and that was true.

The stranger who jerked off into my panties at the local laundromat.
My boss telling me how sexy I looked pregnant.
Getting called a whore while pushing a stroller across the street.

These stories aren’t clear-cut narratives. Not rape.
Just … disrespect. Degradation.

And maybe you don’t think it’s fair that I lump you in with them, Kent.
You were a young guy. You were drunk.
It wasn’t so bad.
But I urge you, now, to be a cunt, in the truest sense of the word.

Because cunts expand.
Cunts are receptive. Cunts absorb.
So, hear this.
Because if it happens to all of us,
it’s happening because of some of you.
Some of your friends.
And yeah, some of my friends.

I know change is hard.
Change, it hurts. But I know it won’t break us.
Because cunts are strong.


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Author’s Note: The following is an excerpt from the solo play Certified, written and performed by Jan (JD) Derbyshire. In this interactive piece, the audience is endowed as a Mental Health Review Board and determines JD’s sanity by the end of the show. The work premiered at the Vancouver Fringe Festival in 2016, was reworked and presented by Handsome Alice Theatre in Calgary, 2018, and reworked again for The Uno Fest in Victoria 2019 and the FoldA Digital Arts Festival, Queens University, Kingston. The show will be part of Vancouver’s Touchstone Theatre’s 2019/20 season and One Yellow Rabbits High Performance Rodeo in 2020. The play was used as inspiration material for the fictional memoir Mercy Gene; the man made making of a mad woman. The book awaits publication.


JD: OK. Being certified insane means being kept against your will in a psychiatric facility. You are incarcerated but inside a hospital. Less bars, mostly just on the windows. And no guards, just nurses, but male nurses, big male nurses. A lot of ex-biker gang guys, who get sober and become psychiatric nurses. FYI. The long and the short of it is this: you are certified to protect yourself from yourself. And sometimes to protect others from you. More later. You start out being certified for 72 hours, three days. And if things still aren’t looking good, you are certified for 30 days, and that 30 days can be reviewed and renewed until you are no longer a danger to yourself or others. Following so far? Great.

Now, there is something called a Mental Health Review Board. At any time during your enforced stay, if you feel like you’re not crazy anymore, you can make your case to a Mental Health Review Board. If they agree with you, they’ll let you go. If they disagree they’ll make you stay.

I never went up against a Mental Health Review Board when I was certified insane because, at that time, I was also suffering from the lowest self-esteem of my life. People thought it was about the Stigma but I blame the paper slippers. It’s hard to have any game in paper slippers. I’ve always thought that would be great though, to be told you’re sane again. I mean even when they let you go from the hospital, they don’t certify you sane. I think there should be some kind of paperwork or at least a rubber stamp across your forehead … SANE. Maybe it just shows up under black light or something. I’m a little ashamed to say, but even though it’s been years since I was certified insane, I want that. I want some people on the outside, looking in, to tell me I’m sane.

I believe I am sane now. I know that’s all that should matter. But, hear me out. One of the symptoms of psychiatric illness is thinking you don’t have one, when really you do. This is why I need your help. You are my Mental Health Review Board. Usually, it’s composed of three people: two psychiatrists and a mental health professional like one of those Hell’s Angels nurses. But I wanted a wider diversity of humanity to determine my sanity and I really couldn’t think of a group more suited to the task than people who still come to live theatre.

Did everyone get three cards on their way in? One red, one yellow, and one green? Great. When all is said and done, you will vote on my sanity with those cards. When asked to do so, you will hold up a red card if you think I’m still certifiably insane. You will hold up a green card if you think I am sane. Go dog go. You will hold up a yellow card if you aren’t quite sure but think I should proceed with caution. And please don’t worry about getting it exactly right. Psychiatry isn’t a precise science. There are no diagnostic tests to prove or disprove that you have a mental illness. Diagnosis involves what we call educated guesses.

So relax, have fun. Turns out close doesn’t just count in horseshoes and hand grenades, it counts in psychiatry, too. What else? Oh, absolutely everything is up for grabs to help you figure out if I’m still crazy after all these years: my appearance, my grooming, clothing, facial expressions, gestures, speed of movement, sense of calm and ease, where I pause, where I stumble, how I say what I say, how I look at you, where I look at you, what I take seriously, and when I’m glib. I love that word: glib, glib, glib.

I will now set a timer for 50 minutes. Why? Because that’s precisely the amount of time you have to prove yourself in front of a real Mental Health Review Board. Not that you’re not real. I know you’re real.

So what the fuck happened? Thanks for asking.

(JD on mic)

In the worst of it, thoughts, ideas, feelings, fly over the corpus callosum like cows gone mad in an endlessly repeated nursery rhyme. There’s always some cat playing fiddle on the corner and a good sport of a dog laughing. For culinary reasons outside sanity’s protocol, the dish always runs away with the spoon. The fork and the knife remained, gleaming for the attention they felt they deserve. “Avoid sharp, pointy things,” one of the airborne Bovines reminds on her last pass over the moon. And this piece of advice makes the most sense of the trillions of synapses and snippets of sayings and opinions and trivia fighting to be heard in your head. Facts and fictions merged into factions. Run on sentences start limping badly. Memories surface like milk-soaked photos, you can’t even begin to see what they might have been. It’s a cerebral dog’s breakfast, brought to you by Kellogg’s: snap, crackle and pop. Logic hides in the bomb shelter, rage riots, moments are stolen. You try calling the mental police, but you can’t remember the number. 8 … 8 … 86 … 867 … 8675 … 8675309. (sing) 867-50309. Jenny, I found your number, oh no, not Jenny, not now. Outside the window, the grass growls, you can hear a squirrel’s heartbeat, the leaves on the cherry trees scream green. The emotional rollercoaster kept on going. (carney voice) “Do you want to go faster?” Fuck Yeah!

You fly off your amusement park moorings, overshooting the sound of mind completely and landing in the street with nothing but a pack of cigarettes and a rant. You start batting Starbuck’s coffee cups out of people’s hands, denouncing them all as addicts of North America’s most insidious drug … coffee. You pop up on a metal paper box and pontificate on the dangers of caffeine. “Caffeine does not give you energy. It stimulates your nervous system and that’s not energy, that’s stress. The energy you get from caffeine is on loan from your adrenals and your liver and the interest you pay is high: anxiety, depression, hypertension, hypoglycemia, mood disorders, say what? So give it up Starfucks, Starfucks, Starfucks.”

(JD mimes knocking coffee cups out of hands in slow motion)

It was sort of like that, from what I can remember.

I vividly recall what happened next. Some handsome boys in blue came, put some lovely matching bracelets on my wrists, gently helped me into the back of their pumpkinah, a squad car—and took me to the hospital. I was admitted against my will.

Section 34, Mental Health Act. R. S. B. C. c.288
Reasons for Involuntary Admission.

A medical doctor signs a medical certificate to keep you because the medical doctor is of the opinion that a) you are a person with a mental disorder that seriously impairs your ability to react appropriately to your environment or associate with other people, b) you require psychiatric treatment in or through a designated facility, c) you should be in a designated facility to prevent your substantial mental or physical deterioration or to protect yourself or other people, and d) you can not be suitably admitted as a voluntary patient.

And then things got weird.

(JD moves to mic. Sung to tune of Girl from Impanema)

Lithium adds some Zyprexa
Serequel twinned with Effexor
Respiradol, Zyban and Prozac too.

Wellbutrin, Xanax and Paxil
Tegertol and Chlorpromazine
Olazepine, Ativana and Celexa.

Oh what a wonderful feeling
To hit an emotional ceiling
Never too high or too low
Numbed out with nowhere to go.

(The music becomes distorted as JD’s body slowly collapses and slowly shuffles just past centre stage. When the music stops she stands tall again)

I was definitely calmer.

Seven Pieces

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Author’s Note: Seven Pieces is an interdisciplinary play about hope and healing. Through physical, vocal, breath, and sound languages, as well as humour and text, Seven Pieces theatrically explores the effects of dissociation from one’s Self and Body as a result of childhood sexual abuse through the portrayal of Kate and her child self—Katie. The presence of an elephant in this story plays a key symbolic role on this journey, further illuminating the consequences of lost matriarchy, family, identity, and belonging. Throughout the play, Kate explores the many seeds of dissociation perpetuated in her childhood home, including the denial of their Métis roots, the dull, distant disconnect to their French Canadian culture, and the powerful force of religion as the shield between secrets, truths, and what we refuse to see. This is a story of courage, healing, and the reclamation of a woman with the child she was, and with her Body.



We hear cello music.

The music morphs into the drone of voices speaking the Apostle’s Creed. “I believe in God, the father almighty….”

On a backdrop, we see a moving shadow. A projection of something large that takes up most of the backdrop. Gradually, it grows smaller and towards the end of the scene we discover it is the body of an elephant.

One by one, we see three women emerge onstage.

Mother holds a Catholic rosary which she moves through, bead by bead, with her hands as she speaks/prays.

Child Katie, seven years old, is wearing a purple towel makeshift superhero cape and has a purple stuffed elephant tied around her neck as though she is piggy-backing it.

Kate, a woman in her forties, enters carrying a backpack, holding three notebooks. She places her backpack and the books down.

Slowly, the women begin to speak, with growing intensity and pace. The prose is a chorus, a prayer, a story.

Behind them, we see the shadow moving, swaying, journeying.

Before bird songs and dreamy blue skies

All dotty with magical puff-cloud creatures

Before crickets and sticky humidity

On crooked cut brown bangs over green eyes on a brown body

Long long before

The pestering curiosity of skin and origins


The Little Indian Girl /

I’m an Indian? /

We’re not Indian.

The je ne c’est quoi of shushed hushed languages

Kilts and bagpipes and filthy Scots and—

The jagged lines of tight lips and severed bloodlines.

Before the long fade out buzz of the heat bugs in the maples

Those covers off hot Ontario nights

Before church

And God

And promises and

Kneeling to be better

And begging for


For guidance

For protection

For belonging—

For love.

Before the call to mother

The reach for warm breasts

For soft arms

The absence of response

The turn again to God

And promises

And protection

And forgiveness.

Before the sunrise promise of tomorrow and

The deep sleeping breath of others

So close

Before the creak

Of the door

Those slow steps in the night

The thievery of breath

Before the black black black of dark

The white eyed search to see

The hot knives of



Before the whisper

Of lies

And the pretty costumes of

Lovely promises

Before covered eyes

Shut eyes

No eyes

Not I—

Not he—

Not he—

Not /


Before the /

/ Bang bang of heart

KATE (checks her pulse)
And pulse

And blood

Crack of

Lungs suspended

All Inhale—suspend breath—release


Before the

Not there

Not there

Never there

Not here, no where

The drifting

Plopping, plunking

Dropping pieces

Two tiny legs, two tiny arms /

Tiny head, tiny torso /

Dirty dirty down down there

Floating falling fleeting flying

Before the


Before the


There was a girl and her BODY

Her first land

Her home land

Her unstolen land

Lights out except for BODY who is standing assuming a position reflected larger on the wall behind her
the shape of an Elephant.

End of Scene



The development of Seven Pieces was supported by Native Earth Performing Arts Animikiig Creators’ Unit and Weesageechak Begins to Dance 2018 and 2019.

Jenn Forgie acknowledges the support of: Canada Council for the Arts, short-term projects component of Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples; Native Earth Performing Arts; Cahoots Theatre; Buddies in Bad Times; and Volcano Theatre through the Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants.

Jenn continues the interdisciplinary development of Seven Pieces with her creative senior artists: dramaturge and mentor Marjorie Chan, playwright, librettist, and Artistic Director of Theatre Passe Muraille; movement devisor/choreographer Heidi Strauss; and vocal/breath/sound devisor Fides Krucker.

Follow Jenn on Facebook Jenn Forgie, Instagram @jennforgie, Twitter @JennForgie, Website (in development).