Prairie Theatre Exchange will mark Canada's 150th birthday will an all-Canadian lineup for the 2016-17 theatre season — one which highlights plays by women and includes the return of the popular parenting show Mom's the Word, along with a new locally-written play to be produced in both official languages.
Here's what's coming up at PTE:
The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble by Beth Graham (Oct. 12-30): This Governor General's Award-nominated drama from Edmonton writer Beth Graham (a co-creator of The Drowning Girls, which Winnipeg audiences saw at the Royal MTC in 2011) centres around a woman struggling with early onset Alzheimer's disease — and how she and her family deal with her disappearing memories.
Mom's the Word (Nov. 9-27): This series of monologues on motherhood, collectively created by a group of actor-moms, has become something of a Canadian institution over the last two decades — it ran at PTE back in 1997, where its sequel ran in 2006. And now the original returns with a new cast delivering humorous and heartfelt takes on motherhood.
The Flats by Ginny Collins (Jan. 25-Feb. 12, 2017): Collins is a member of PTE's Playwrights Unit, focused on creating new works, and is known to Winnipeg audiences for her 2007 Fringe hit The Good Daughter and her professional debut at Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, 2013's Good Intentions.
Her new play is set in Churchill, Man., and begins with a murder mystery — and spins into exploring the "quirkier" residents of the town ("There's no such thing as a boring person in Churchill," Collins said in a PTE media release).
The Flats will be performed in English at PTE and then in French by the same cast at Cercle Moliere.
Elle by Severn Thompson (Feb. 22-Mar. 12): Adapted from Douglas Glover's Governor General's Award-winning novel, and based on a true story, this mostly solo work — starring the playwright — brings a harrowing bit of Canadian history to the stage. It focuses on a young French woman marooned on an island off the coast of Newfoundland in 1542.
The Birds and the Bees by Mark Crawford (Mar. 30-Apr. 16): This comedy focuses on a 40-something woman whose marriage dissolves, prompting her to move back in with her bee-keeping mom, Gail. A young grad student studying the bees — and Gail's tenant, who happens to be her ex-husband's new wife's ex-husband — complicate things on the farm.