WILD GEESE by Nanaimo’s Jennifer Wynne Webber
This staged reading in the Port Theatre lobby is directed by TheatreOne’s Artistic Director David Mann. He comments, “We are thrilled to embark on a new play development project with playwright Jennifer Wynne Webber, who made such a positive impression on TheatreOne’s audience with her hit play With Glowing Hearts: How Ordinary Women Worked Together to Change the World (And Did). The workshop and public reading of Jennifer’s new play Wild Geese will be the first step in a continuing process of development with the intended goal of mounting a production of the play in TheatreOne’s MainStage Series in the not-too-distant future. The public reading is a great chance to be in on the first stage of this exciting process.”
She’s a free spirit without a conventional bone in her body. Her aging dad is every bit as independent and indomitable. But, like the wild geese they both love, it’s in their genes to look out for family — to stay behind and protect one another when one falls ill. So when his health deteriorates, she invites him to move in with her and her partner — forcing them all to find new ways to fly.
Cass’s heart is in the right place but as a busy urban planner and perpetually tweeting social activist she rarely sits still long enough to hear what it’s trying to tell her. Which is how she almost misses it telling her to take another hard look at her dad, Leroy, and see not just the independent and indomitable rancher she’s always known him to be but the frail and vulnerable man he’s become since the death of her mom. But even though it’s now clear he needs help, he’d still be the last man on earth to admit it. And, even if he did, Cass isn’t so sure he’d ever accept that help from her, the wayward daughter who never lived up to expectations. Fuelling her resentment, Cass is convinced her dad has never fully accepted her partner Zoé and, therefore, never fully accepted her. But when Cass hears her dad telling Zoé about his beloved wild geese, the geese who return faithfully to his ranch year after year, something starts to shift. When one goose falls behind from weakness, Leroy explains, another in the flock will always drop back to stay with the lone goose until it’s strong enough to continue the journey. The next thing Cass knows, she and Zoé are both convincing Leroy to come live with them “just temporarily, just until he’s back on his feet.” Which, of course, is not how things go. When Leroy’s health deteriorates, Cass starts to stumble in her new life as a caregiver and fears she may be blowing up her life on all fronts, professional and personal. A play about learning to follow your heart, even when it feels like you might be on a wild goose chase, and about learning to love, even when people change beyond recognition — yourself included.
Emerging Voices is a series of staged readings of new Canadian plays by local and regional playwrights. The series allows emerging writers to have their plays workshopped by professional artists in a day long workshop and performed in a staged reading before an audience, providing valuable feedback in the creative process.
Admission by donation.