Prairie Nurse is a playful ode to the outsider
PlayME’s new season begins with an offbeat comedy about coming to Canada
If you live in Canada, chances are you have an immigration story. Whether you came here in your lifetime, or your ancestors did generations ago, most of us live here because someone had the courage to leave home.
Prairie Nurse, by Marie Beath Badian, is an offbeat comedy overflowing with all things Canadiana: prairie winters, hunting ducks, hockey and the search for a better life. It's the first play-turned-audio drama in the second season of PlayME — a podcast that recently joined the CBC family.
The story transports us back to small-town Saskatchewan in the 1960s, not long after the birth of medicare, as two Filipino nurses arrive to work at a local hospital. While they couldn't be more different, no one in town can tell the two nurses apart, including the man that falls in love with one of them, but mistakenly courts them both.
Prairie Nurse transcends cultural divides and underscores that, whether you're from a tiny village in the Philippines or a small town in the Prairies, there is far more that brings us together than sets us apart.
Listen to Prairie Nurse below, in three parts:
- "I am here to work. I don't have to be their friend. Anyway, they all look the same to me, it is hard for me to tell them apart." — Indepencia "Penny" Uy on befriending Canadians
- "Hockey is a stupid game. But you didn't hear that from me. That's the kind of blasphemy that'll get you tarred and feathered around here." — Marie Anne Lussier on Canadian culture
- "That Filipino language of yours sure is pretty. Sounds like music. Can't understand a word of it, mind you. 'Cept Saskatoon. But I don't s'pose there's a Filipino word for that, eh?" — Charlie Govenlock on what's lost in translation
About Prairie Nurse
This production of Prairie Nurse ran at the Factory Theatre in Toronto, and at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Gananoque, Ont.
Prairie Nurse was commissioned, developed and premiered at Blyth Festival. The play received additional development through Cahoots Theatre Company as well as funding support from the Ontario Arts Council. Prairie Nurse is produced by permission of the Author and Marquis Literary.
Cast and crew
- Patricia "Patsy" Hackett: Janelle Hanna
- Marie Anne Lussier: Catherine FInch
- Purificacion "Puring" Saberon: Belinda Corpuz
- Indepencia "Penny" Uy: Isabel Kannan
- Wilfred "Wilf" Klassen: Matthew Shaw
- Charlie Govenlock: Layne Coleman
- Dr. Miles MacGregor: Mark Crawford
The original theatrical production was directed by Sue Miner.