Dave Carley
Photo credit: Stephanie Hanna


I should have seen it coming. She was lying in wait for me. Like the spider and the colonial fly.
(Esca; Canadian Rajah)


Dave Carley is a Canadian playwright. His plays have had over 450 productions across Canada and the United States, and in many countries around the world. They include Writing with our Feet (nominated for the Governor General's Award), The Last Liberal, The Edible Woman and, most recently, Twelve Hours, Canadian Rajah and The Shakespeare Club

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Many of Dave's plays can be ordered directly online from his publisher, Scirocco Drama. They include Canadian Rajah (publication date - Fall 2021), Twelve Hours, The Last Liberal and Three Plays (Writing with our Feet; Midnight Madness; and Into).

what's new...

Spend the Day in Port Hope!

It's a laidback arts festival with stuff for everyone. This year the Port Hope Art Festival is also including four short plays, staged about the downtown. You can wander about and watch... Plays are Go Fish (Sean Carthew); Valse Sentimentale (Wyatt Lamoureux); a scene from Serving Elizabeth (Marcia Johnson) and Really True Romance (Dave Carley). The plays will all have multiple performances throughout the day and are free...  The PHAF is Saturday, August 14 - all day - downtown...


Megan Follows Records Emily of New Moon Adaptation - NOW RELEASED!

Megan Follows has recorded an audiobook presentation of the Lucy Maud Montgomery classic, Emily of New Moon. This new adaptation, by Dave Carley and Beverley Cooper, is available, in a Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre Production from Blackstone/ Audible.

Megan Follows' interview about the project with Chris de la Torre on CBC's Afternoon Drive...

Canadian Rajah - Publication!

Scirocco Drama has announced it is publishing Canadian Rajah. The book will be launched Fall 2021 and will include never-before seen photos of Esca, as well as a forward and afterword... Watch this space for launch details! But here - to tantalize you - a picture of Esca (second from right) and classmates, part of a club called (believe it or not) 'The Dudes'. The purpose of the club is lost in the mists of time but they sure looked natty, posing for this 19th Century group selfie... (Photo courtesy John D. Burns Archives, Trinity College School, Port Hope). You can order Canadian Rajah directly from Dave's publisher, Scirocco Drama... 



Urban Nun returns!

A pandemic can't deter the Urban Nun. Two appearances are coming up - a full production of Into at Memorial Hall in Fredericton New Brunswick (University of New Brunswick) at the end of January - and a solo visit to Going Dark Theatrics, as part of their Nine Circles of Hell show in Austin Texas. (The Nun is representing 'heresy'.) Production/Ticket info to come...

Popinjay hits You Tube...

Hear - and see - it on You Tube!

Friends of Freddy is nearly 40. For the first time, the registered US charity is having a virtual convention, "Cyberboro". And the jewel in the crown - or maybe the feather in the cap - is a You Tube puppet play, Popinjay. It features a script by Dave Carley, freshly torn from the pages of Brooks' Freddy and the Popinjay (widely regarded as one of the best in the series) + amazing puppets created by Mary French + text voiced by the uber-talented Mark Brownell + produced by the equally uber-talented Glenda MacFarlane...

Popinjay goes live on You Tube at 7 pm Saturday October 17. Prior to that there is a glittering 6 pm Zoom reception...

Now closed: Taking Liberties in New Brunswick!

Forget the pandemic. An imaginative presentation of Taking Liberties is set to take over the streets of Saint John. The play spans five decades in the life of a city - and the production company is using five outdoor settings in Saint John's downtown that represent those eras. Does director (Jo Dixon) have the power to order in a bit of Fundy fog for the final monologue? We'll leave that up to the theatre Gods...


Did you hear the one about the playwright in a pandemic? OK, too early for that - but I can report that there is life after and during social isolation. While I miss getting out and sampling Toronto's rich variety of shows - and even as I mourn a few lost productions - I can tell you that I am enjoying this gift of a time to write.

I'm finishing a new play and working with playwright Beverley Cooper on an audiobook production. And there may be a graphic novel in the works, too. Suddenly, I have the time!

I should also say how tremendously lucky I feel that the two productions detailed below - the sold-out New Stages presentation of Canadian Rajah and the Campbell House production of Taking Liberties - were able to get in "under the wire". 

I look forward to the return to normal - whatever normal may be - and wish everyone health, sanity and creativity in these unusual times...

And speaking of that return... I have just finished a great workshop of my new play Extinction, with Anne Page and Tristan Claxton. And, in tandem with Beverley Cooper and Deb Drakeford, plans are unfolding for an innovative festival at Campbell House Museum... 


Canadian Rajah is being produced and performed at the Port Hope Arts Festival. The festival itself is a combination of virtual and non-virtual events, including art installations around the town, engineered by Herb Jung. Northumberland 89.7 has recorded Canadian Rajah with actors Jonathon De Leon and Barbara Worthy, Victor Svenningson doing sound and Cecily Smith directing. It will be broadcast during the festival itself. For more information on the Port Hope Arts Festival go here.


"Bravo to Dave Carley for discovering this gem of a story and writing this fascinating play, and bravo to the two actors who faced several challenges to bring it to life." (Lynn Slotkin, the Slotkin Report)

"The beauty of Canadian Rajah is the ambitious stakes that playwright Dave Carley sets for himself, which the cast and crew quite admirably exceed... Canadian Rajah is both educational and entertainment - without skimping on either." (Mooney on Theatre)

Link to read more about Canadian Rajah

A great article by Sam Tweedle in Kawartha Now

Canadian Rajah is hitting the road. The first stop is being produced by New Stages in Peterborough. A one night only event will take place at the beautiful Market Hall Theatre on Sunday, March 8, including a full performance and talkback following. The stars of the Toronto production, Jon de Leon and Barbara Worthy will be reprising their roles. 

For Tickets...

Below - Esca Brooke Daykin...

JUST CLOSED: Taking Liberties at Campbell House! THANK YOU TORONTO - 12/18 performances sold out!!! 6 Terrific talkbacks! Two amazing galas! 

"In these fractious times, Dave Carley's play Taking Liberties is more important than ever... Taking Liberties, with its focus on civil liberties, freedom of speech, responsible journalism - not matter how unpopular th opinion - makes it as timely today as it was 30 years ago when the play was first performed... Dave Carley's bracing, challenging play is more vital and important than ever before. Alas." (Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter)


A new production of Taking Liberties is coming to Toronto. This is its fifth production in Toronto since it was written thirty years ago. For more information on the February 2020 presentation, check out the Taking Liberties website.

The Campbell House production of Taking Liberties is cast - and it's a great one! The actors re Alison Beckwith, Tristan Claxton, Hayden Finkelshtain, John Jarvis and Cecily Smith (below). Cecily is also directing.

The play and Venue

Thirty years later... Taking Liberties returns for another production in Toronto. The venue is the ballroom at Campbell House Museum and the play will run in the museum's ballroom for three weeks in February, from the 5th to the 23rd. A series of seminars and readings will run in conjunction with the production, highlighting the play's focus on civil liberties issues.

4 Classic Horror Stories

Beverley Cooper and I have adapted four classic horror stories for audio, and they are now available from Audible. The collection includes Bewitched by Edith Wharton, The Black Cat and The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and The Body Snatcher by Robert Louis Stevenson. Each story is chillingly enhanced by  music and sound effects, by audio producer David Farquhar. 

Digging Up Hoffa

The 1975 disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa continues to fascinate North Americans. A great deal of time and money has been spent looking for Hoffa's body. Meanwhile, in a tiny house in a Detroit suburb, a mother worries about her future, and that of her grown son. She's a resourceful woman - and decides that desperate times require bold action.

Digging Up Hoffa is now available from ArtAge. 

Digging Up Hoffa is a one act play and its current production schedule bears out our ongoing fascination with Hoffa, even fictionally. 2017 has seen three productions thus far, and one more about to happen...

- A live recorded presentation by Radio Theatre Project in Tampa in January
- Shakespeare in the Burg, Williamsburg VA March
- North Park Theatre, San Diego CA May
- Boxfest, Detroit Michigan, Aug 19-26 

Here's Jimmy in livelier times:

Urban Nun Published...

Urban Nun, the stand-alone opening monologue from INTO has just been published in 'Red Bull Shorts', a volume of short plays celebrating the best of the Red Bull Theater Short New Play Festival. Urban Nun was produced at the New York City festival in 2012. The Steele Spring publication also features short plays by John Guare, David Ives and Jen Silverman, among others.