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 cast turn 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 Bodydramatizes 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

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.

CHARACTERS

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

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

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

 

LOOKING TO PRODUCE THE SCRIPT? EMAIL THE PLAYWRIGHT

 

WE ARE THE BODY IN THE NEWS:

CTV Saskatoon Morning Show – VIDEO Interview with We Are the Body Director Stephen Waldschmidt and Actor Tim Bratton, May 25, 2015 (at 12:00 min mark)

Cold War drama based on true events set to premiere Star Phoenix, May 20, 2015

Calgary theatre critics announce Critter nominees Calgary Herald, May 19, 2015

We Are the Body Nominated for 3 Calgary Theatre Critics Awards2015 Calgary Theatre Critics’ Awards: The nominees Calgary Sun, May 19, 2015

Thandiwe Konguavi Drama explores power of conscience Western Catholic Reporter, May 18, 2015

REVIEW: Stephen Hunt, Keeping the faith in We Are the Body, Calgary Herald, May 16, 2015

Stephen Hunt, Kooman gets solitary with We Are the Body Calgary Herald, May 14, 2015

4 STAR REVIEW: Louis B. Hobson, Andrew Kooman’s ‘We are the body’ is a tragic tale of modern-day martyrdom Calgary Sun, May 14, 2015

We Are The Body’ an homage to a modern-day martyr Calgary Sun, May 11, 2015

REVIEW: An emotion-packed evening of theatre, Red Deer Advocate, May 6, 2015

REVIEW: We Are the Body offers challenging, thought-provoking theatre Red Deer Express, May 6, 2015

Saskatoon artists play prominent roles in World Premiere of We Are the Body , Wire Service, May 5, 2015

Psychological thriller looks at prisoners of conscience Red Deer Advocate, April 30, 2015

Burnt Thicket Theatre presents premiere of We Are the Body Red Deer Express, April 29, 2015

 

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