CCT’s ‘The Fighting Days:’ Find a voice, find freedom

Play opens tonight, Friday, Feb. 7 at the Studio Stage Door

Cranbrook Community Theatre’s production of “The Fighting Days,” opening tonight at the Studio Stage Door, pulls us back 110 years to vital period of Canadian history.

The play by Wendy Lill, directed by Melodie Hull, follows Francis Beynon, a real life character who took part in and got caught up in that history, and was largely forgotten by it.

Francis Beynon follows her sister Lillian (who would go on to become a noted author and editor) into the Canadian suffragette movement in Winnipeg, fronted by the dynamic Nellie McClung. Young Beynon is hired on as “women’s editor” at the Winnipeg Rural Review, headed by George McNair, who offers guidance and mentorship.

“Prove you’re worthy of respect,” Francis writes in her column, “and set yourself free.” And “freedom is like getting a voice when for so long you’ve been silent.”

Francis’s voice and ideals flourish, and in a powerful theatre device, her column gives voice to a host of prairie women through their letters to her.

The goal of the movement, led by McClung, is the franchise — Votes For Women. Freedom and Democracy are the same.

Then history intervenes — the Great War breaks out, pulling everything into its violent maelstrom, changing everything, even across the sea in Canada. Suddenly, the idea of freedom changes. Out of the ideals of the movement, prejudices, chauvinism and hatreds emerge. Francis Beynon and Nellie McClung and the movement are set for an epic clash over the ideals of pacifism, patriotism and democracy.

And the answer to the eternal question is still pending: What’s the best way to clean an owl?

The actors create an epic portrait of a tumultuous chapter in Canada’s story, on a stage designed by Kirsten Taylor. Costume design by Jean-Ann Debreceni.

Jelena Jensen plays the role of Francis Beynon; Candice Fisk is Nellie McClung; Alison Platt is Lillian Beynon; Nathaniel Leigh is McNair. The “Prairie Women” are played by Rhonda Sheridan, Anita Wishart, Sandy Ashby, Candace Wilson, Kathleen Simon and Amanda Casey.

“The Fighting Days” runs February 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21 and 22nd at The Studio Stage Door 11 – 11th Ave South, Cranbrook. All show times are 7:30 p.m., except the matinee on Sunday February 16th.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

RDEK calls on province for clarity, stronger measures for inter-community travel

The Regional District of East Kootenay has passed a resolution urging the… Continue reading

B.C. firefighters only responding to most life-threatening calls during COVID-19 pandemic

The directive comes after province spoke with paramedics, fire services, according to top doctor

‘An extra $220 every 90 days’: B.C. patients pay more dispensing fees due to prescription limits

Kelowna woman says it’s outrageous to charge for refills every 30 days

RDEK calls on province for clarity, stronger measures for inter-community travel

The Regional District of East Kootenay has passed a resolution urging the… Continue reading

Vehicle parades celebrate birthdays, recognize workers on COVID-19 front lines

Melissa Young started the parades in Cranbrook as a way to mark her son’s 12th birthday

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

B.C. VIEWS: Pandemic shows need for adequate care home staffing

Seniors in B.C. care homes face challenging times

QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Take this test and find out how well you know Canada’s most popular winter sport

Most Read