Robert Chafe: Two Plays
By Robert Chafe
Introduction by Denise Lynde
Thirty years ago Nora's mother disappeared into the small, dense forest of Butler's Marsh. She emerged three days later, covered in blood, badly shaken, and completely silent about what had happened. Having never been offered a suitable explanation, and now finding ... Read more
Thirty years ago Nora's mother disappeared into the small, dense forest of Butler's Marsh. She emerged three days later, covered in blood, badly shaken, and completely silent about what had happened. Having never been offered a suitable explanation, and now finding herself at her own moment of crisis, Nora ventures to Newfoundland for the first time to explore Butler's Marsh for herself. She is accompanied by her partner Tim, who, while less than helpful, is nevertheless adamant that she not be left alone. But as Nora's night in Butler's Marsh unfolds, and Tim's good humour wanes, the primary question of what happened to her mother quickly becomes less troubling than another; with whom exactly is she lost in the woods?
In 1921 Myra Grimsley signed a two-year contract and boarded a steamship from London, England, to St. John's, Newfoundland. Her charge: to serve as the sole health-care provider for three hundred miles of the sparsely settled coast of Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula. By the time her contract ran out two years later, Myra was married to local Angus Bennett, and had given birth to their first child, Grace. Based on the true story of Nurse Myra Bennett, Tempting Providence is a play about duty and sadness, love and change. Four strong characters drive this no-frills drama about a young British nurse who only signed on for two years, and the local man for whom she stayed for seventy.
Robert Chafe has worked in theatre, dance, opera, radio and film. His stage plays have been seen in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and in the United States, and include Oil and Water, Tempting Providence, Afterimage, Under Wraps and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams. He has been shortlisted twice for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama, and he won the award in 2010.
He is the playwright and Artistic Director of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland. Two-Man Tent is his first work of fiction. He lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Dr. Denyse Lynde began her university career at Queen’s, where she completed a B.A. with honours in English and Drama before moving on to pursue both an M.A. and a Ph.D. at the University of Toronto’s Graduate Centre for the Study of Drama. Denyse is the editor of the first volume of The Breakwater Book of Contemporary Newfoundland Plays and Voices from the Landwash. She lives in Newfoundland where she is a professor at Memorial University.