... Come with me to the high school. Where they're teaching girls to be wives. And boys to go to war. We'll go up the front steps. Come inside. Let your eyes adjust to the gloom. Room Two is on your left. The Grade 12 room. Push the door open, walk in, walk with me past the moronic teenagers, come to the back of the class. To where the lanky boy sits. The lanky distracted boy. Patrick. Let's stand behind him, look over his shoulder, let's watch where his distracted mind is about to head...

(A Splinter in the Heart) 


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, Taking Liberties and, most recently, Twelve Hours.

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Canadian Rajah at the Wesleyville Arts Centre

Chick Reid and Richard Lee are starring in a sneak preview of Dave's new play Canadian Rajah. The staged reading is taking place at the enchanting Wesleyville Arts Centre, just west of Port Hope, on Monday, August 29. Read the Northumberland Today article here.

Canadian Rajah tells the bizarre but true story of Esca Brooke Daykin, who was exiled from Sarawak (now part of Malaysia) and ended up in Madoc, Ontario. The eldest son of the then independent country's rajah, Esca by rights should have been the Rajah of Sarawak - but that country's loss is our gain. Join actors Chick Reid and Richard Lee (below), as well as some of Esca's descendents -  and hear discover more about the incredible life of Esca.

The reading is at 7 pm on Monday, August 29. Directions: Exit off the 401 to Wesleyville Road (Interchange 456) and head south to Lakeshore Road (Wesleyville Road ends there). Turn right, travel 2.5 kms to Wesleyville Church, at 2082 Lakeshore Road. If you are coming from downtown Port Hope, head west 10 kms along the beautiful Lakeshore Road to Wesleyville Church. Admission is free but donations will be happily accepted.

A Splinter in the Heart Has Hit the County! IT'S A HIT!!!!!!!!!

OPENING AUGUST 3 - Runs to AUGUST 21. For tickets, contact the Festival at 613-476-1991 or 1-866-584-1991. Buy online at www.festivalplayers.ca



A Splinter in the Heart is now in rehearsals for its August 3rd opening. Here's the cast - at work - on stage under the big tent at Rosehall Run Winery. From L to R: John Jarvis, Darcy Gerhart, Ben Chiasson, Caitlin Driscoll and Stuart Clow. It would appear NONE of them are off book... Oh wait, that's the concept.

Here is the cast, at play, taking a field trip to the Glen Miller or Bleasdale Rock. This rock figures romantically in the play. Left to right are cast members Darcy Gerhart, Ben Chiasson, John Jarvis, Stuart Clow and Caitlin Driscoll. Photo by Rob Middleton. 

A Splinter in the Heart is a full dramatization of poet Al Purdy's novel A Splinter in the Heart The novel (and play) is a love story, set against the backdrop of one of the most astonishing events of man-made destruction in Canadian history - the 1918 fire and explosion at British Chemical in Trenton, Ontario.



Two Ships Passing in the Ports (Hope and Stanley)...

Stephen Sparks stars as Wesley, in the November production of Two Ships Passing.

A liberal judge, a progressive cleric - and an MBA. It's a combustible trifecta and the basis of a three characters pile-on inTwo Ships Passing. The sequel to Dave's popular comedy Midnight Madness, Two Ships Passing premiered at Hamilton's Theatre Aquarius in 1998 and has enjoyed many subequent productions, including an Arts Club tour of British Columbia. The play is being produced in Port Hope in November, following on the heels of a 2015 sold-out run of Midnight Madness in that delightful burg. The show stars Anne Page, Stephen Sparks and Scott Kuipers. Producer is Ontario Street Theatre.

Scott Kuipers stars as Jason in Two Ships Passing, Port Hope - November

Do you live in Western Ontario?

You don't have to miss the fun, either. Two Ships Passing is part of Port Stanley Festival Theatre's play-reading series, held the weekend of September 16 and 17. Simon Joynes is directing a special reading of the play - details to follow.

In this production shot: Jason Jazrawy, Gina Wilkinson and Ric Reid from the Theatre Aquarius production, which was directed by Chris McHarge.

Freddy and the Ignormus

One of the greatest novels in the Walter Brooks canon, Freddy and the Ignormus, will come alive at the biennial Friends of Freddy convention this October. The 500 member international organization of Brooks enthusiasts (he also created Mr. Ed the Talking Horse) have booked the raffish Winter Clove Inn in the Catskills and will meet for a weekend of lectures, plays and music.

Dave is adapting Ignormus for performance. The novel - which was first published 75 years ago - is particularly relevant in this election year, as it deals with 'fear of the other'. Brooks' characters learn that the things that make them afraid disappear upon acquaintance...

The website of Friends of Freddy is here.

And this is what an Ignormus looks like, according to Walter Brooks' illustrator, Kurt Wiese.

Just Arrived at a Bookstore Near You...

Twelve Hours has just been published by Scirocco Publishing. It can be ordered through your favourite bookstore or from Playwrights Guild of Canada

Twelve Hours premiered last year in Columbus, Ohio. The Columbus Dispatch hailed it, saying, "Twelve Hours packs a lot of humanity into 90 minutes of gripping theatre."

Coming to an Anthology Near You: Urban Nun!

The Urban Nun continues her guerrilla, bun-throwing, heirarchy-assassinating crusade across North America. (Actually, around the world: she's made an appearance in Perth, Australia, as well.) A hit at the 2013 Red Bull Theater Shorts Festival in New York, Urban Nun has just been published in an anthology of that theatre's top commissions from past seasons: "Red Bull Shorts: Best of Red Bull Theater's Short Play Festival" published by Steele Spring (Los Angeles). Urban Nun is the monologue that opens the play INTO.

Jane Burpee as the Urban Nun, Saravasti Productions, Winnipeg, March 2015. Hope McIntyre director. Photo by Janet Shum.

The 2016 'Making a Scene in the Annex' walk was a great success - large crowd, great acting and, behind Dave's back, a ghost. OK, so it wasn't a ghost. It was Canadian music theatre icon Nancy White, waiting to beckon the crowd inside, for an impromptu kitchen concert...

Jane's Walk 2016 - Making a Scene in the Annex!!!
Saturday - May 7 - 2 pm - Meet at the south-east corner of Spadina Road and Lowther Avenue 
For more information - go here 

It's a Jane's Walk with a dramatic twist - a stroll through the Annex exploring the secret lives and writings of playwrights. Many of Canada's best playwrights lived in the Annex, writing/drinking/arguing/wining and whining in its many small restaurants and bars over the decades.

The 2016 walk is set for 2 pm Saturday, May 7. It will be led by Dave and his frequent partner in crime, Glenda MacFarlane. Participants in 'Making a Scene in the Annex' will stroll the streets and stop off at the homes and apartments of various playwrights - and hear snippets of their work performed by some great actors, including Randy Baumer, Mark Brownell, Marcia Johnson and Cathy Lewis. The walk ends with a special treat on Palmerston Avenue, when one of Canada's most celebrated musical satirists - Nancy White, - will serenade, assisted by two other fabulous chanteuses, Suzy Wilde and Robin Craig!

One of the stops will be on Brunswick Avenue, where David French wrote the Canadian classic, Salt-Water Moon. (Richard Clarkin and Denise Naples from the original 1984 Tarragon production are pictured above.)

The walk begins at the southeast corner of Spadina Road and Lowther and will end up with a special concert on Palmerston Avenue. It will take about 90 minutes.


Like A Blueberry Podcast - Release date January 19!

Kerry O'Malley, Kelly Deadmon and Wally Dunn are starring in the podcast of Like A Blueberry, scheduled for release in January by Amy's Horse. The piece - inspired by a true-life subway encounter by Tony Hamill - centres on a transit rider's growing impatience with uptalk, newspeak and the over-use of 'like'. To access the podcast or for more information on Amy's Horse, click here. Below: Kerry O'Malley.