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The Dunsmuirs: Alone at the Edge

The Dunsmuirs: Alone at the Edge
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Rod Langley
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 103
Pub. Date: 1991
ISBN-10: 0889222975
ISBN-13: 9780889222977
Cast Size: 2 female, 6 male

About the Play:

The Dunsmuirs: Alone at the Edge is a full-length drama by Rod Langley. The play chronicles the journey of Robert and Joan Dunsmuir, who settled in Nanaimo in 1853. Dunsmuir was a mine worker who eventually became a coal baron. A gritty history of the tough-as-nails family who rose from poverty to become one of B.C.'s most respected, yet reviled families.

The Dunsmuirs: Alone at the Edge is about the Scottish immigrant and industrial magnate Robert Dunsmuir who, with his discovery of coal, virtually founded Nanaimo's corner of the world. The play chronicles the disgrace and exile of Robbie Dunsmuir from Scotland, the settlement of his family as indentured labourers to the Hudson's Bay Company in the Nanaimo coalfields, and his application of "scab" labour tactics which won him an independent prospector's licence from the company. His discovery of a vast coal deposit on Vancouver Island, and his scramble to first finance and then gain control over the Wellington Mine on this site, over the literally dead bodies of his friends and supporters, brings this play to a stunning climax. The Dunsmuirs: Alone at the Edge is the first of two plays chronicling the saga of one of Canada's wealthiest, most ruthless, and ill fated families.

The Dunsmuirs: Alone at the Edge premiered in 1988 at the Chemainus Theatre Festival in the seaside community of Chemainus, BC. A version of both plays in The Dunsmuirs series has been performed annually at the Nanaimo Festival for several years.

Cast: 2 female, 6 male

What people say:

"The story of the Dunsmuirs is a hell of a tale that's got everything." Victoria Times-Colonist

"The Dunsmuirs: Alone at the Edge ... Rod Langley's story of Nanaimo's dynastic coal-mining family is a stirring saga of adventure, struggle, romance, and union-busting. Who'd have thought Nanaimo was the Dallas of the North?" The Province

About the Playwright:

Rod Langley is a Canadian is a playwright and director. He was born in Australia, moved to Canada in his teens, and has lived in Nanaimo, BC for many years. His published work includes two plays about the Dunsmuir family coal barons and a play about Norman Bethune. He has also produced a number of documentary films on the history of Nanaimo.

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