Homestead Players preparing to stage Sandy Ives theatrical performance

A book written by respected folklorist Sandy Ives is becoming a stage show in P.E.I. but before it's ready, the Homestead Players want to tell people about it.

The stage production will be based on his memoir Drive Dull Care Away

The Homestead Players Melissa Mullen and Rob MacLean will be part of a presentation being given on turning the memoir of folklorist Sandy Ives, into a stage production. (Angela Walker/CBC)

A book written by respected folklorist Sandy Ives is becoming a stage show in P.E.I. but before it's ready, the Homestead Players want to tell people about it.

Ives, who lived in the U.S., first visited the Island in 1957 to track down the trail of Larry Gorman.

"This book that he wrote in 1999, Drive Dull Care Away, is a memoir of all the years he came to P.E.I. learning about P.E.I. folk music and the folk music tradition here," said Melissa Mullen of the Homestead Players. 

Another member, Rob MacLean, said when taking something from the page to put on stage you look for a story of someone who had a passion — something he said Ives captured very well in the book.

"He's written it in a very approachable way. It's fun and he's got a sense of humour. He's got a really sharp eye for detail and people," said MacLean.

Searching for songs

Ives was a folksinger before becoming an English professor and folklorist and would often play guitar when he was living in Maine.

"He was playing sort of the usual folk songs that were around, and people would keep saying 'do you know this song, do you know that song?'" MacLean said.

Ives hadn't heard of any of the requests being made.

Drive Dull Care Away was written by folklorist Sandy Ives about his time on P.E.I. collecting information about old folk songs. (Facebook)

"He said 'so where did the songs come from?' and people would say 'p-i,'" said MacLean, adding that in Maine the "e" was often left out of P.E.I.

For Ives, the Island became a magical place he wanted to visit. 

"So he wrote this memoir of trying to find this almost idyllic spot that was the source of all these songs that he came to love," said MacLean. 

A presentation about the coming stage show with information about Ives and Gorman is being held as part of the Island-History Brunch Series at the MacPhail Homestead on Sunday, Sept. 24.

Breakfast will be served at 11:30 a.m. Sept. 24 and the talk will take place following the meal. Admission is $25. 

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.