Judith Thompson, one of Canada's leading playwrights, opened her first new full-length work in seven years at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Jan. 14. That production, directed by Duncan McIntosh, artistic director of Edmonton's Citadel Theatre, ran to Feb. 16. Now the play comes to Vancouver's Touchstone Theatre for an opening April 3. The show began previews March 28 and runs to April 20 at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre.
Set in Toronto, Sled follows the lives of people who live in a cluster of nearby homes. There's a lounge singer, a waitress, a retired salesman and an Italian immigrant. The past influences them all, leading to "violent action, the possibility of redemption, bittersweet reconciliation and ghostly interventions."
The three-hour epic stars Diane Brown (Annie), Joel Wirkkunen (Kevin), Marie Clements, Allan Morgan, Sal Sortino and Mike Stack. Designers for the drama are Greg Snider (set), Del Surjik (lighting), James A. Glen (costumes), Tim Matheson (slides) and Dvid Epp & Andreas Kahre (sound). Co-directing the show are artistic director Roy Surette and associate artistic director Stephane [sic] Kirkland. Trudi Forrest choreographs.
Previous plays by Thompson include The Crackwalker (1980), White Biting Dog (1985), I Am Yours (1987) and Lion In The Streets (1990). Thompson is the recipient of several Chalmers Canadian Play Awards and two Governor-General's Awards For Drama. The playwright will appear at the theatre for a free reading/discussion between the matinee and evening performance April 12.
For tickets (C$11-$21) and information on Sled at Touchstone, call (604) 215-3853. --By David Lefkowitz