I can't try to play cool. This is a big deal for me, so it's very exciting.
—Ellen Peterson, playwright
1969 was a big year. Apollo 11 landed on the moon, it was the year of Woodstock, it was a time of a lot of social upheaval and change. And it is the backdrop for a brand new play called The Brink.
Prairie Theatre Exchange launches its 40th season with its 140th world premiere. The Brink was written by Manitoba playwright Ellen Peterson.
"It means a lot," says Peterson. "I can't try to play cool. This is a big deal for me. This is my first full-length play. I've written a lot of shorter pieces, Fringe plays, but this is the big one for me so it's very exciting."
Peterson is especially pleased that the play is being produced by PTE, which has been one of her theatrical homes through her career. The play also benefited from a number of workshops leading up to the production.
The story revolves around a family trying to save their printing business in Chippawa, now part of Niagara Falls. A draft dodger from the U.S. army arrives and reminds them of all the things they are trying to forget.
Peterson is one of 10 playwrights chosen to be part of PTE's Playwrights Unit. That program gives artists a space and the creative environment to write and share ideas with each other and their mentors.
The play stars RobYn Slade, Steven Ratzlaff, Jan Skene Megan McArton and Evan Hall. PTE's artistic director Robert Metcalfe directs.