This April 11-14, Nanaimo audiences are invited to the BC premiere production of With Glowing Hearts: How Ordinary Women Worked Together to Change the World (And Did) written by Jennifer Wynne Webber, and directed by TheatreOne’s Artistic Director David Mann, an important and timely play about Canada’s labour history. This BC premiere production stars Tamara McCarthy as Kay Carson, Michelle Lieffertz as Dorothy MacFarlane, Amber Landry as Pavla “Poppy” Chytuk, and Linda Pollard as Cecile Gauthier.
With Glowing Hearts is the true story of a group of Canadian hard rock miners’ wives who came together in 1941 to stand up for better conditions for their families and who ended up changing the world – and themselves. Set in both the harsh winter of 1941-42 and the unfolding present moment with the audience, the play follows the “Kirkland Lake gals of 1941” as they relive and discover anew just what sparked and then galvanized their social action as stalwart members of Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers’ Union – Ladies Auxiliary. Through the journey of this play, the four protagonists come to better understand just who they are, the depth and breadth of what they achieved, and how they can carry their legacy forward – especially with the help of the audiences who see this original production.
The role women have played in Canada’s labour movement is largely untold, though their work is both significant and relevant to people across Canada. First of all, their efforts have led to profound social and legislative changes, including to some important labour laws. Chapter of the Mine, Mill, and Smelter Workers’ Unions were active right across Canada, including here on Vancouver Island. This play has particular impact and resonance for communities like Nanaimo, which was founded on the coal-mining industry and identifies itself as a proud working-class town with deep roots in the labour movement. The recent women’s marches seen across Canada and around the world in January of this year also make this story particularly timely and meaningful.
“Your heart will glow with pride in our history and fill with hope for our future. A ‘must see’ for everyone – whether you are a social activist or not. Go celebrate this true story and leave inspired and challenged. I laughed and cried. I got angry. I gained courage. I saw the connections between yesterday and today. I am more hopeful than ever that together we can make our lives, our communities, our country and our world a better place for all.” – Barb Byers, Member of the Order of Canada, former Secretary- Treasurer of the Canadian Labour Congress
“This play is just what you’ll need to lift your hearts and your spirits! What an inspiring story about how a small group of brave women organized to bring change for all workers! Such an important part of the history of workers’ safety and workers rights.” – Lori Johb – Secretary-Treasurer of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour.
This production is supported by funding from the City of Nanaimo, the province of British Columbia, and the BC Arts Council. Thank you to sponsor Buccaneer Inn.
Tickets are $29 and $15 for students from theatreone.org and 250-754-7587.