As his conservative Catholic father is dying, Peter is shaken by religious epiphanies. It’s 1995, and Quebec is on the verge of a referendum to decide its fate in Canada as Peter realizes he must return to the family home to reconnect with his father, and overcome the differences that left them estranged. This beautiful story with original music captures the innocence of child-like faith and the pain of its loss. The play explores the deep need for reconciliation, the honesty that makes it possible, and the inner and interpersonal tensions between faith and sexuality. While fiction, the story is based on the playwright’s own experiences and spiritual struggle as a gay man who grew up in the Catholic tradition.
The world premiere was March, 2006 at Pacific Theatre in Vancouver by Touchstone Theatre and Pacific Theatre. Written by Canadian playwright Shawn Macdonald, the play was developed in association with Banff PlayRites Colony, Playwrights Theatre Centre, and Touchstone Theatre. 9th Hour Theatre Company’s production was the Ottawa premiere with original music by local composer Margaret Smith. The play was performed at 3 different venues across the national capital region, November 1-3 at Centrepointe Theatres, November 7-9 at the Shenkman Arts Centre, and November 11-12 at La Nouvelle Scene Gilles Desjardins.
“What is good about 9th Hour Theatre Company is their unflinching courage to tackle bold and often sensitive subjects. What is great about them is their consistently challenging and artistic story telling that manages to hold up a mirror to its audience, no matter the topic… George Dutch’s dramaturgy combined with the direction of Jonathan Harris produce nothing short of magic… The whole project is clearly the product of dedicated team work. The connection between actors is so real that it seems more like a glimpse into a private world than scenes at the stage.” ~Capital Critics Circle
“Prodigal Son tackles a topic that is new to 9th Hour and one that is rarely, to my knowledge, addressed on stage… Harris’s direction is rock-solid, but there is one point in the play that had me holding my breath. He manages to portray Young Peter’s ecstatic spiritual experience as totally believable. I’ve never seen this done successfully on stage… it does make you think, no matter where you stand on theology. And my atheist husband enjoys their plays as much as I, a Catholic, do. Looking for thoughtful and polished theatre? Then see Prodigal Son! I’m looking forward to 9th Hour’s next production.” ~Apartment 613
“9th Hour Theatre Company did an amazing job with Prodigal Son – I saw it on Sat night and I was blown away. Such a powerful story, and the actors were unreal. Hopefully I’ll get to see more from 9th Hour.” ~Audience Member
“Wow! Prodigal Son was a very powerful and moving production. Bravo to all involved.” ~Audience member
THE ARTISTIC TEAM
SHERVON AMIN (Make-up & Hair Designer) | MARY BLAKLEY (Costume Designer) | GEORGE DUTCH (Assistant Director, Dramaturge) | JONATHAN HARRIS (Director) | CAMERON A. MACDONALD (Lighting Designer) | SUSAN MARRINER (Graphic Designer) | ANDREW PALANGIO (Sound Designer) | SCYNTHIA A. ROSS (Scenic Artist) | TERESA SEASONS (Properties Designer) | SHYSTY SHANE (Scenic Artist) | MARGARET SMITH (Composer)
THE PRODUCTION TEAM
FLO ALEXANDER (Production Assistant, Hospitality Coordinator) | ALEXANDRA BENDER (Backstage Manager) | TATIANA BLANCO (Make-up Artist) | VERONIQUE BOUCHER (Make-up Artist) | ANDRE GAGNE (Photographer) | CAROLYN GUILLEN (Make-up Artist) | DAVID PLOUFFE (Transportation Coordinator) | SAADYA KHAN (Make-up Artist) | TANYA SYLVESTER (Assistant Stage Manager) | RACHEL-DAWN WALLACE (Production Stage Manager)
THE ENSEMBLE CAST
TOM CHARLEBOIS (Murdoch Morrison) | ALEX FRIESEN (Young Richard Morrison) | KENNY HAYES (Peter Morrison) | CATHY NOBLEMAN (Marlene Morrison) | REBECCA RUSSELL (Carol / Lisa Morrison) | JACOB SEGRETO (Young Peter Morrison) | CLARA SILCOFF (Young Lisa Morrison) | SHAUN TOOHEY (Barclay / Richard Morrison)