The 1930s: a desperate time on the Canadian prairies, where a multi-year drought and the Great Depression make life almost impossible for Jen, an Irish-born war bride, and Bill, an English-born blacksmith. Like today’s pandemic and environmental crisis, the bad times seem to have no end, and the temptation to take desperate measures is strong— but how do you distinguish between inspiration and madness? As Bill says, “Hare-brained ideas, don’t seem so when you are desperate.
Kevin Longfield, Playwright
Kevin Longfield’s path to theatre went through a degree in mechanical engineering and a career in manufacturing before earning a theatre degree and acting, producing, and writing plays. His play Going Down the River appears in the anthology Canadian Mosaic: 6 plays and was on the curriculum at Matej Bel University in Slovakia. Prospects and Pigeon Pie is one of four plays he completed during the pandemic. He is delighted to be on this program with fellow Dramatists in Dotage member Lynn Martin. Thanks to Kay Brattan and the folks at Little Lion for producing this event, and to Yvette Nolan for early dramaturgical advice.
Ronja Siljander, Director
Ronja Siljander is Finland born and London based theatre director, drama facilitator, pedagogue and performer. Her visual, powerful and movement-based directing is often conducted with witty, arrogant and sincere spatial and emotional understanding of contemporary theatre meeting classical text. She always seeks to find ‘the fun’ out of injustice and disarray in arts. Her core strengths as a young practitioner are in devised and physical theatre as well as work with youth and emerging artists.
After finishing her BA degree in drama-based pedagogy, facilitating and applied theatre at Turku Arts Academy in Finland she graduated with distinction from Masters program of theatre directing at East 15 Acting School in 2020. She’s worked as a theatre director, assistant director, drama teacher and ensemble member in Finland, UK and internationally, including GITIS, Russian Institute of Theatre Arts and Zurich University of Arts ZHdK. She’s deepened her understanding in physical performance through dance, circus, clowning, mime and puppetry. In 2022 she developed her own devised, original work with a grant from Arts Promotion Centre Finland and worked as drama facilitator in primary schools for various companies in the UK.
In life she’s inspired by gender and opportunity equal approaches that leave no one with physical, mental or social obstacles in marginal. She’s a passionate roller derby skater, a film nerd, morning yogi and closet poet who will never say no to a nice piece of cake and a cup of coffee or an invitation to join for a day in an amusement park.