Attending the Storm (working title)

by Marilyn Anne Campbell

Stageplay: Theatre for Young Audiences, 10 minute play, 1M/1W
It's 1850 in Mimico, Upper Canada. Eleven-year old Janice needs to memorize a play for school, but her father doesn't agree with her choice of literature. Janice's only other option is to write a poem herself, which seems like an impossible idea until help comes from the skies.

A Play in a Day

Attending the Storm was written for the 2017 "A Day, A Play" writing game hosted annually by Write Local Play Global to mark the World Day of Theatre for Children and Young People (March 20th). Participants received instructions and elements that had to be included in the morning and had 24 hours to submit what was meant to be a 500 word play. Mine ran a little long (but since there are no winners in this game, they accepted it anyway).

The Pigeons of Mimico

The theme for 2017 was "Where do I come from?" which I decided to use as a prompt to set my play close to home. Mimico, for those unfamiliar, is a neighbourhood in South Etobicoke with a name derived from an Ojibwe word meaning "place of the wild pigeons" or "abundant with wild pigeons." I don't actually live within Mimico, but I do love to bird-nerd, so the chance to have the now extinct passenger pigeon feature prominently in a play was too good to pass up. I play pretty fast and loose with history (very little time to research) but the massive flocks of pigeons were real.

Read Online: You can read all of Attending the Storm on the 1 Day, 1 Play website:

Explore the rest of the site to discover works from playwrights all over the world. You can, for example, see the Canadian plays here (and I must say, I'm pretty excited to have my work listed on the same page as Damien Atkins, who is a fantastic actor and writer).

Status: I may expand this into something more. We shall see.

"Model Citizen" on Wattpad

Saturday March 11, 2017

It's been a long time since I've used my Wattpad account, but I recently rediscovered this social site dedicated to the sharing of original writing. It felt sort of strange to just be skulking around reading though, so I uploaded my odd little short story Model Citizen to the site.

Model Citizen was published in the first issue of the YA speculative fiction lit mag Inaccurate Realities back in 2013, but if you missed out on reading it then you can now check it out in its entirety online:

Read Model Citizen on Wattpad

Of course most of what's posted to Wattpad are unpublished works-in-progress, as the site has a heavy emphasis on getting feedback and developing as a writer. I have been thinking about uploading one of my Nanowrimo novels that's just sitting around collecting digital dust, but I'd definitely want to spend a little longer re-familiarizing myself with the site before I decide whether or not to do that.

Are you on Wattpad? What sort of work do you share? Have any good suggestions of stories to read or writers to follow?

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Urban Maple Syrup Harvesting at the Humber Arboretum

Monday February 27, 2017

So, this is what I've been up to lately. Working at the Humber Arboretum as a Communications Assistant, which includes such onerous tasks are running around the woods learning about maple syrup harvesting while making this video: 

My favourite part of this was that I smelled like wood smoke for the rest of the day. I think it's an important thing, to smell like wood smoke every so often.

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Failing Hands

by Marilyn Anne Campbell

Stage play: Theatre for Young Audiences; two-act, 3W/1M
Two young nursing home volunteers – one who is truly dedicated and one who is only doing mandatory volunteer hours to graduate high school – discover that one of the home's dementia patients served as a Nursing Sister during World War II. As the teens get to know more about the veteran's experiences at war and her current challenges with memory loss, one of them becomes dangerously obsessed with the past while the other begins to reconsider the future.
See all blog posts tagged "Failing Hands"

Public Presentation

As one of the winners in Storybook Theatre's National TYA Playwriting Competition, Failing Hands will receive one week of workshopping with Storybook Theatre in Calgary, AB then be presented in a public reading on Friday September 9th at 7pm at the Beddington Heights Community Arts Centre (375 Bermuda Drive NW). The link is now live for you to book your free tickets to the reading. 

A Little History

The Toronto Arts Council supported the first draft of Failing Hands with a Level 1 Playwrights Grant. I spent a lot of time researching – far more than I intended – and ended up needing to use the now-defunct, 100-pages-in-a-month writing challenge Script Frenzy to force myself to sit down and write a full first draft. That first draft only had three characters; teen volunteers Jenna and Andrew, and Nursing Sister veteran Helen.

After working on a few more drafts on my own, I took the script to a new writer's group led by Derek Gingrich, which was a Playwright's Guild of Canada pilot project. Later, I took it to a playwright's group being run through the Toronto Public Library by David S. Young, who was at that time the TPL's Writer in Residence. Between the feedback I received from those two excellent groups of writers, a fourth character (Lakeview administrator Linda Muir) was added, and with her came Helen's memory of the Matron she served under.

Although the script has received years of development on paper - the most of any script I've worked on so far - it has yet to be on it's feet with actors or a director. That's about to change in Calgary, and I'm very excited to see what comes.



  • Public reading scheduled for September 2016
  • First option to produce with Storybook Theatre, Calgary AB

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Results of the Storybook Theatre National TYA Playwriting Competition

Sunday August 7th, 2016

I really thought my return to the blog was going to be to share the amazing time I had visiting with the talented and welcoming people of Storybook Land Theatre in Aberdeen, South Dakota and seeing their production of The Knight's Errand. And I WILL still post about that, because it really was fantastic. But I have to interrupt my own very loose editorial calendar with some exciting news...

My long-in-development play Failing Hands was selected as one of three winners in Calgary-based StoryBook Theatre's first ever National TYA Playwriting Competition! I'll be flown out to Calgary at some point over the Labour Day weekend to spend a week with SBT staff and artists and the other two winners, Jeremy Mason and Kiel Fredrickson, as the three scripts are developed for public readings on September 9th and 10th.

The first draft of Failing Hands was supported by the Toronto Arts Council and the script has been through two different writers groups where I got some great feedback that really helped it along. But the chance to get the script into actors' hands, with a director's guidance and a dramturg's feedback is a whole different thing. Many thanks to SBT's Artistic Director JP Thibodeau and Literary Manager Caroline Russell-King for creating this new award and opportunity - I'm very excited to see what happens in September!

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