Imprisoned in solitary confinement behind the Iron Curtain of post-war Romania, Elsie’s only companions are two other prisoners she cannot touch or see, tortured like Elsie for their beliefs.
As they tap out messages in Morse code from the confines of their lonely cells, the unseen companions trigger memories from her former life, especially her love affair before the war. Past and present collide as Elsie tries to imagine a future without torture or faith.
“Andrew Kooman’s We Are the Body is a thoughtful, harrowing drama…. It all has the ring of authentic truth to it….The cast… turn in powerful performances.” — Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald
“FOUR STARS…We Are the Body couldn’t be more relevant and unsettling” — Louis B. Hobson, Calgary Sun
“At a time when the planet is boiling over with religious conflict, We Are the Body dramatizes the redemptive power of faith in a way [that] is universal” — Calgary Herald
“Rewarding, moving… delightful!” — Theatre critic Colette Kehler
“The lyrical, intense script delivered an emotion-packed evening of theatre.” — Red Deer Advocate
“Waldschmidt clearly has a way with actors – Bratton, McIver and Pattengale are all exceptional….Pattengale, in particular, is outstanding.” — Red Deer Express
From the lonely confines of solitary confinement, Elsie, an art student in Budapest before the war, remembers her life with Ionel when the future was once bright. She longs for his forgiveness and his touch as days of imprisonment turn to years and she is left to survive, memories and unseen fellow prisoners her only companions.
Imprisoned for refusing to meet with his congregation even after public meetings were banned in Romania, Richard taps out sermons to fellow prisoners through Morse code as a way to survive the anguish of torture and the years of separation from his wife and son.
A young man when thrown in jail for attending an illegal meeting, Micah wastes away in prison in a small cell with little light and hope, afraid the only physical touch he will ever know is the forceful blows of Soviet fists. His secret conversations with Elsie and Richard through Morse code are a flicker of light in the darkness.
We Are the Body Nominate for 3 Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards (2015) including Best Actress, Best Actor and Best New Scriptread more
A preview article of We Are the Body by Louis B. Hobson of the Calgary Sunread more
In Andrew Kooman’s newp;’o The year is 1955 and the Soviet Union has drawn an Iron Curtain across Eastern Europe. Formerly Christian countries, such as Romania, are being forced to embrace a state-imposed atheism.read more
World Premiere Cast + Creative Team
Heather Pattengale – ELSIE
Tim Bratton – RICHARD / IONEL
John McIver – MICAH / PETRE
Stephen Waldschmidt – DIRECTOR / SCENIC DESIGNER & ARTIST
James Popoff – ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Colin Lowe – TECHNICAL DIRECTOR / PRODUCTION MANAGER
Victoria Krawchuk – COSTUME DESIGNER
Becky Halterman – LIGHTING DESIGNER
Paul Zacharias – COMPOSER / SOUND DESIGNER
Alida Lowe – PRODUCING DIRECTOR
We Are the Body had a public reading in Rosebud, Alberta in November of 2012. The play was developed in part through a Scripts At Work Playwright Circle led by Gordon Pengilly in 2012.
Where: Studio 914 Theatre
Where: Pumphouse Theatres
Where: Scott Block Theatre
Other Plays by Andrew Kooman
Haunted by anguished voices, a lawyer poses as a john to build a legal case against a brothel trafficking girls into Bangkok. Can he win the trust of a young prostitute and convince her to risk her life for the sake of justice?
History: 2011 Premiere in Calgary, Alberta | 2012 Canadian Tour
Learn more about the play
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If you truly love theater, you must see this play. And I promise you, it is a play you will carry with you long after the lights have gone up.
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