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Schoolhouse

Schoolhouse
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Leanna Brodie
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2007
ISBN-10: 0889225710
ISBN-13: 9780889225718
Cast Size: 5 women, 7 men with doubling

About the Play:

Schoolhouse is a full-length drama by Leanna Brodie. A young teacher struggles to connect with the troubled student and prove to the community that he's not as dangerous as they think he is. Schoolhouse is an inspiring play that celebrates the one-room schoolhouse era and is a tribute to all good teachers, but especially those young women, who worked so hard to help their students succeed.

Schoolhouse evokes a way of life shared by generations of rural North Americans. The time is 1938 and the place is S.S. #1 Jericho School, a one-room schoolhouse in a farming area just outside the fictional village of Baker's Creek, Ontario. There, a delightful but unmanageable group of children finally meets its match – wide-eyed Melita Linton, an 18-year-old teacher fresh out of Normal School. But Miss Linton soon faces her own challenge, in the form of Ewart, a menacing and mysterious juvenile delinquent sent to "straighten out" on a farm after doing time in Battenville Training School. The play chronicles Miss Linton's struggle to connect with a boy who has cut himself off from everyone, including himself — and to persuade the cautious and close-knit community to open its arms to this stranger in their midst. Full of warmth and poignant humour, Schoolhouse explores timeless themes of rejection, of compassion, of damage, of hope. It is a story about insiders and outsiders, and the fact that every time you draw a circle, some things are inside the circle and some things are not. In the end, the play is about those on the outside – about people who often "don't have the words" to express themselves or the training to cope with their lives but who have to get through anyway – those we leave behind to their own devices, who set themselves free.

Schoolhouse was first produced in 2006 at the Blyth Festival Theatre (one of Canada's most widely-praised producers of new plays) and was seen by over 20,000 people in multiple sold-out runs. The play has been embraced by school and community theatre groups across Canada as well as by professional theatres. It remains her most produced play.

Cast: 10 women, 10 men (alternate casting: 5 women, 7 men with doubling; the 12 speaking roles can be performed by a mix of adults and children, or by adults doubling as children)

What people say:

"Under the (quite-skilled) storytelling, the play is an exuberantly theatrical and moving tribute to the schoolhouse itself, filled with memories and local details distilled from Brodie's extensive interviews with former teachers and students who shared the experience of the one-room school." — Canadian Literature

"A thoughtful … well crafted … beautifully inspired piece. Like Blyth Festival, Schoolhouse is a Canadian story. It is an excellent choice to mark the theatre's 100th milestone, compelling and richly rural." — Ottawa Citizen

"Playwright Brodie has penned an inspiring, metaphoric work that deals with issues of rejection, isolation, abuse, compassion and hope." — The Sault Star

About the Playwright:

Leanna Brodie is a Canadian playwright, translator, and actor whose work has been performed across Canada, the USA, the UK, and New Zealand. She was the first Canadian invited to the ACT/Hedgebrook Women Playwrights' Festival in Seattle, and has twice been Playwright-in-Residence at the 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook, Ontario.

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