We Are the Body

Synopsis:

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.

Critical Praise

“Andrew Kooman’s We Are the Body is a thoughtful, harrowing drama…. It all has the ring of authentic truth to it….The castturn in powerful performances.” — Stephen Hunt, Calgary Herald

FOUR STARSWe 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

Thanks to everyone who made the World Premiere Tour an incredible success!

Looking to produce the script? Email the playwright

 

We Are the Body by Andrew Kooman - nominated for 3 Calgary Theatre Critics' Awards

Read more critical praise for We Are the Body

Elsie

Elsie

imprisoned 1952

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.

VIDEO: Elise Featurette 

Richard

Richard

imprisoned 1948

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.

VIDEO: Richard Featurette

Micah

Micah

imprisoned 1951

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.

VIDEO: Micah Featurette

Playwright’s Blog

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

Production History:

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

914 20 Street West
Saskatoon, SK S7M 0Y4
en.latroupedujour.ca
(306) 667-1221

Where: Pumphouse Theatres

2140 Pumphouse Avenue Southwest
Calgary, AB T3C 3P5
(403) 263-0079

Where: Scott Block Theatre

4816 50 Avenue
Red Deer, AB T4N 4A3
(403) 346-0402

Other Plays by Andrew Kooman

Synopsis

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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Pat Donnely
Pat Donnely Montreal Gazette

She Has a Name is a polished, well-acted production of a play with an urgent message about human trafficking.

Gerry Camp
Gerry Camp Folsom Telegraph

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.

Liz Nicholls
Liz Nicholls Edmonton Journal

Bravely, She Has A Name isn’t a simple-minded empowerment document, First World to the rescue. It builds suspense. Will Number 18 be newly victimized by activists as their prize witness, a sacrificial lamb to the larger campaign to build a case against human traffickers? Let’s just say, that’s when social-action theatre takes the longer view.

Uptown
This is heavy subject matter that resonates emotionally.

Plank
Plank Vancouver
Brace yourself…. Compassion and equally forceful excoriations drives the moral narrative in a distressingly emotional but physically satisfying way.
Winnipeg
Winnipeg CBC
4 Stars! She Has a Name is a play that is well performed [and] tells an important story…. The talented cast tackles the material admirably.
Estelle Rosen
Estelle Rosen
5 out of 5! She Has A Name had its way with me…. A powerful, haunting theatre piece.
Ignite 107
Ignite 107 Winnipeg
5 STARS ABSOLUTE MUST SEE! “This play polished to perfection. Be a witness to She Has a Name and you’ll never be the same.
Lana Michelen
Lana Michelen Red Deer Advocate
A non-stop, 90-minute tour de force production that’s both action-packed and ultimately gut-wrenching…. Buy a ticket simply because She Has a Name provides a thought-provoking, compelling evening of theatre.
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