The Book of Esther
June 1981. Farmers face a debt crisis, with interest rates as high as 24%. More than 300 men are arrested after police sweeps of Toronto bathhouses, yet Pride Toronto launches its first Gay Pride day. Everything’s changing, including fifteen-year-old Esther, who escapes the family farm and runs away to the city. With the help of a brash young hustler and a gay activist who shelters street kids, she confronts her conservative-Christian parents—farmers on the brink of financial ruin—and begins to find her way home. Acclaimed playwright Leanna Brodie excels with this heartwarming coming-of-age, and coming-out, drama.
Cast size: 2F/3M
"Like The Vic, Leanna Brodie’s play The Book of Esther is filled with tenderness, heart, and humour. It is also an eloquent plea for understanding. It posits that people who feel they are very much on the opposite ends of the belief spectrum can learn to understand human difference."
– Sky Gilbert, playwright and founder of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre
"Whether or not one agrees with the opinions of the characters is beside the point. Brodie is exploring the possibility of a Canada where the embattled farmer, the gay urbanite, and runaway teenagers can find themselves in this mosaic of ours, through mutual respect …"
—Dr. Lloyd Arnett, Trinity Western University
"...serious themes... snappy dialogue ... a clever and well-crafted play that deserves a long shelf life."
– Paula Citron, The Globe and Mail
Brad Rudy, Maggie Blake
Maggie Blake, Nathan Carroll
Maggie Blake, Marion Day
Blyth Festival, 2010. Directed by Leah Cherniak. Set and costumes by Victoria Wallace, lighting by Rebecca Picherack. Photography by Terry Manzo.
Leanna Brodie, Abigail Fernandes
Festival Players of Prince Edward County, 2011. Directed by Brad Rudy, set and lights by Glenn Davidson, costumes by Jennifer Triemstra-Johnson. Photography by Michael Grills.