the children

That’s the name of the play I saw yesterday, by Lucy Kirkwood (b. 1984), a British playwright with a number of awards and productions already to her credit in Britain, New York and Toronto.. Wow.

I can’t help making personal comparisons, to my detriment. What was I doing at age 34? I had four children by that time, from 4 to 10 years old, the youngest one challenged. I’d written 4 or 5 puppet plays, produced and touring the Winnipeg elementary schools and in the Junior League library for productions in the U.S. I’d had my first main-stage production at the Manitoba Theatre Centre - a Canadian adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, set in Saskatchewan, and at the Workshop (forget what it was called), a production and provincial tour of my translation and adaptation of Molière’’s George Dandin, set in late 19th century Manitoba - all very local, nothing significant or world-changing. I was still learning (still am). When I was a student at the University of Manitoba, there were no playwriting classes, anywhere in Canada. (The National Theatre School was established in 1960, 8 years after I graduated.

The first play by a Manitoba playwright (Lulu Street by Ann Henry) was produced some time there, not published until 1975, by which time I was widowed and struggling to survive in Toronto. I did not enter the contest she won for a new play at MTC before my husband and I left for Stratford (in 1967) because I was learning how to teach my challenged son (see The Book of Matthew, McClelland and Stewart, 1984).

Ah, well, “ life is what happens to you while you were making other plans.” This line is most famously attributed to John Lennon, but it is credited to a number of other authors dating back into the 1950s, at least.

And my blog is what happens to you when I digress into other paths.

Tune in tomorrow (it’s already here).