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The Great War ()

Produced by


Playwright: Michael Hollingsworth
Director: Michael Hollingsworth


The Cameron House – Back Room


May 1st - 4th, 2010


May 5th, 2010 – June 30th, 2010


The play begins in the spring of 1914 in Canada. Young men are reading Kipling or flirting with their best friend’s gal, others are raising chickens or killing raccoons. Though many cultures are struggling to maintain or establish their voices in the national dialogue, British Canada is a well-fed young bulldog with a loud bark, large bite, and the absolute run of the place.

Sir Robert Borden is Prime Minister, having defeated Sir Wilfrid Laurier’s Liberals in the General Election of 1911. Laurier’s caucus is divided as usual by Quebec nationalists Henri Bourassa and Armand Lavergne. PM-in-waiting Arthur Meighen keeps Borden’s government tightly disciplined – all but armchair warrior, Sam Hughes, Minister of Militia and Defense.

At Rideau Hall, Queen Victoria’s son, Duke of Connaught, presides with his Prussian Duchess. The Duke is the uncle of England’s King, Russia’s Czar and Germany’s Kaiser, whose loyal empires are engaged in a family quarrel soon to be known as “the war to end all war”. With Quebec dissenting, the loyal colony of Canada sends a tenth of its population to defend the British Empire.

The play follows Canadian officers and infantrymen through the battles of the Ypres Salient, Vimy Ridge, Passchendaele, the Somme, and Amiens, as the war devours ten million lives. The action features General Arthur Currie, and characters names in no history book: officers Stephen Ramsey, Robert Adams, and the heretofore unknown soldiers, Dave and John.

Through the action on the Western Front, the home front is glimpsed – Canadian soldiers storm machine-guns as conscription-resisters are shot in the streets of Quebec City. Under British Command, the Canadian forces suffer 230,000 casualties, 58,000 killed, altering the colonial gestalt forever. Pride and grief kindle a desire for an independent destiny… (


Greg Campbell Prime Minister Robert Borden / John's Mother / General Julian Byng / British Soldier #1 / Dwayne
Richard Alan Campbell Arthur Meighen / Butler / Arthur Currie / Henri Bourassa / Soldier #3 / Mabel
Richard Clarkin Stephen Ramsay / Sir Wilfrid Laurier / Colonel Otto Schlippenschloppen / Soldier #7
Kerry Ann Doherty Laura Borden / Edith Ramsay / Butler / Duchess of Connaught / Madge / General Alderson / Nurse / Soldier #2
Mac Fyfe Robert Adams / Duke of Connaught / Soldier #6 / Arnold the German Prisoner / Messenger / Gas Casualty
Anand Rajaram Dave / Armand LaVergne / Sam Hughes
Dylan Roberts Dave's Father / John aka Johnnie / Soldier #4 / Foreman / Mademoiselle Armentieres / Gas Casualty

Creative Team

Michael Hollingsworth Playwright
Michael Hollingsworth Director
Andy Moro Lighting Designer
Andy Moro Set Designer
Astrid Janson Costume Designer
Sarah Armstrong Costume Designer
Deanne Taylor Associate Director
Brent Snyder Composer
Justin Roddy Sound Designer
Melanie McNeill Assistant Costume Designer


Andrew Dollar Production Manager
Andrew Dollar Stage Manager
Casey Johnson Sound Operator
Brad Harley Props
Alice Norton Wigs
Melanie McNeill Head of Wardrobe
Patrick Wilkie Production Assistant
Phil Atfield Costume Construction
Amelia Bērziņš Costume Construction
Sherri Catt Costume Construction
Lina Falomkina Costume Construction
Lokki Ma Costume Construction
Monica Viani Millinery
Julia Kitras Wig Assistant
Melissa Fisher Wig Assistant
Dani Klein Wig Assistant
Dianne Weinrib Publicist
Jim LeFrancois Producer