Letters from Battle River returns to Edmonton

Letters from Battle River: The Adventures of Dr. Mary Percy Jackson was MAA & PAA Theatre’s inaugural production, back in 2007. The one woman show draws on more than 300 pages of letters, written home over a 2 year period, by a young British doctor posted to the newly-settled district of Battle River (now Manning, Alberta). Dr. Percy writes with wit and passion about a growing love for the land, and a growing respect for the first peoples and diverse immigant population she serves.

So often, our work involves sifting thousands of pages of material, looking for the rare spark that will capture the essence of a great story. With Dr. Percy Jackson’s letters, though, the sparks flew fast and furious.

Now it’s a joy to return to these stories with a new creative team, and a fresh perspective.

Letters from Battle River will be performed at the Garneau Theatre, Fringe Venue 26:
Thurs Aug 11 @ 8:00pm
Sat Aug 13 @ 3:00pm
Sun Aug 14 @ 9:00pm
Tue Aug 16 @ 5:30pm
Thu Aug 18 @ 5:30pm
Fri Aug 19 @ 9:00pm
Sun Aug 21 @ 12:15pm

Remembering Leilani O’Malley

In 2012, it was our immense privilege to help tell the story of Leilani O’Malley (nee Muir), whose lawsuit for wrongful sterilization helped crack open a wall of silence surrounding Alberta’s eugenics program. Invisible Child was one of our most beloved shows, and that strength sprang from Leilani’s immense spirit, frankness and irrepressible humour. She was an inspiration, turning decades of abuse and neglect into strength and compassion.

Leilani passed away on March 12th, in her home. I will miss her forever.

Witch Hunt at the Strand

In 1942, police began investigating a group of gay men in the Edmonton theatre scene. By midsummer, the sting had rounded up and charged a dozen high-profile men, shattering their lives. Using real court transcripts from these trials, Darrin Hagen weaves a tapestry of interrogations, testimony and backstage drama.

MAA & PAA is thrilled to be working with playwright Darrin Hagen and a stellar cast to tell this harsh and beautiful story. Witch Hunt at the Strand will run at the Strathcona Public Library, Venue 13, throughout the 2015 Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival. Performance times are as follows:

Friday, August 14             5:15pm
Saturday, August 15        2:15pm
Sunday, August 16           6:30pm
Monday, August 17         12:45pm
Tuesday, August 18         3:45pm
Wednesday, August 19 7:00pm
Thursday, August 20       2:30pm
Friday, August 21             1:45pm
Sunday, August 23           2:00pm


Bible Bill brings us Back to the Bible Hour

William Aberhart, Alberta’s seventh premier, was many things. A passionate teacher and principal. The popularizer of the Social Credit movement in Canada, and leader of the first SoCred government anywhere in the world.  The inventor of televangelism.  And, even seventy years after his death, a source of much heated debate.

Now, MAA & PAA adds one more description to Aberhart’s list: star of his own musical.  Heather D. Swain, Nicholas Samoil and David Cheoros are collaborating on a new gospel-flavoured musical based on Aberhart’s life and work, to premiere at the 2014 Edmonton Fringe Theatre Festival.

En Anglais, S’il Vous Plait

MAA & PAA is thrilled to be working with Vincent Forcier on a new work based on the rich stories and culture of Alberta’s Francophone community. The show will draw especially on the efforts of Leo Piquette to have French accepted as a language of commerce and government debate.  This new work, building on the Francophone holdings at the Provincial Archives of Alberta, will premiere at the 2014 Edmonton Fringe.

Never Let the Crew See You Cry tours Alberta in 2015


We are thrilled to confirmMay Waite, a friend of Ethel Wood, in front of one of the planes that they worked on in 1944. that Linda Wood Edwards’ fantastic play Never Let the Crew See You Cry, a sold out hit of the 2013 Edmonton Fringe, will be touring Alberta in February 2015.  The tour is being coordinated by Theatre Alberta in partnership with the Alberta Arts Touring Alliance.  We are very grateful for this opportunity.

Linda uses her mother Ethel’s story – becoming a flight line mechanic for one of the Air Training Bases dotting Canada during WW2 – as the jumping off place for a hilarious and touching coming of age story for an entire generation of Canadian women.


Never Let the Crew See You Cry

Classic Rosie the Riveter image

Rosie the Riveter had nothing on Ethel Wood. At the age of 17, Ethel left home to become a flight line mechanic at Elementary Air Training School De Winton, helping to maintain planes and prepare pilots during World War 2. Over the course of a year, she helped train 10 cohorts of pilots, and made an indelible impression on both the aircraftmen and her fellow workers.

Now, Linda Wood Edwards brings Ethel’s story to the stage, in a new collaboration between Northern Sabbatical Productions and MAA & PAA Theatre. Never Let the Crew See You Cry, starring Alex Mackie, Judy McFerrin and Laura Raboud, will be coming to the Strathcona Library Theatre as part of the Edmonton Fringe!

Invisible Child wins Ringwood Award for drama

Leilani O’Malley and Jenny McKillop share a moment of deep contemplation during the preparations for Invisible Child. Photo: Edward Allen.

At a ceremony on May 25th, 2013, the Writers Guild of Alberta announced the winners of their annual literary awards. MAA & PAA was honoured to be shortlisted for Invisible Child, alongside Col Cseke (Calgary) and his play Jim Forgetting, and Dave Kelly (Calgary) for his play Dad’s Piano, originally produced at Lunchbox Theatre. We were stunned and honoured to be selected for the 2012 award.

Congratulations to all of the award nominees and recipients. What an extraordinary group of writers call this province home!

Summer 2012

The summer and fall of 2012 will be a very busy time for MAA & PAA Theatre.

We are working with Leilani O’Malley and ML Morin on a new show based on Leilani’s life, Invisible Child: Leilani Muir and the Alberta Eugenics Board. We’re thrilled to welcome Vincent Forcier as director, and an extraordinary cast: Randy Brososky, Linda Grass and Jenny McKillop.  The production is sponsored by the Living Archives in Eugenics project.

We are once again hosting Fringe shows at the Strathcona Library Bring Your Own Venue.  Due to popular demand, we will also be presenting four productions at the Milner Library Theatre Bring Your Own Venue this year.

And to top it off, our first four history plays are being published by Brindle and Glass under the title Her Voice, Her Century.  Watch here for details of the launch on October 3rd, at the Provincial Archives of Alberta.