“No two strangers ever sat down at my table that didn’t stand up as friends. The rules of the house are posted on the inside of your room door. I do not permit any food or drink in the rooms, and that includes alcohol. There is absolutely no sleepwalking permitted on my premises and excessive snoring will not be tolerated. The streetcar runs from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and I lock my front door at 10.15. Not 10.14. Not 10.16. Precisely at 10.15. Never argue with a Brazil Square landlady. My mind is just like my bed. I make it up when I’m good and ready, I make it up my own self and no one changes it but me.”
Mrs. Kent, in Brazil Square.
I was born in 1959. When my family moved from North West River, Labrador to Marystown, Newfoundland in the 60’s I was introduced to my beloved Uncle Bern, my mother’s brother. He was a road cowboy. A long road taxi driver, driving people from the outer reaches of Newfoundland over the dirt roads into the metropolis of St. John’s. It took 12 hours sometimes to make the trek and we rattled in to Brazil Square, the touchstone of our destination, dust covered pioneers. Brazil Square was a busy bustling welcoming home away from home. Brazil Square is my homage to the many wonderful people who lived there, to those who came and went, and to those of us who still remember.
“I starts my new job at the Presentation Convent tomorrow. Housekeeping for the Nuns. My Aunt did it all her life until she fell down and broke her hip last month. So Nan arranged for me to take over cause she says I got no head for education. I told her, I used to have a head for education but the Nuns beat it out of me for being stunned.”
Daisy, in Brazil Square.
It is the plague of even the most successful playwright that it is difficult to get multiple productions of even the most successful script. ‘Brazil Square’ was blessed with two previous incarnations, one with RCAT, and another with TNL. I was wishing out loud not long ago that someone else would produce the play when a friend said, “Yes someone should. You.”
So here we are, on this showboat of a show, with a wonderful group of people who believe in the play as much as I do. We are making music, singing, acting up a storm and taking our chances. It’s very much a passion project, meaning a tiny budget starting out.
“I want to speak to real Newfoundlanders, not just politicians, but real down to earth types. When I was “on the Burin”, for example, they allowed me to share in the custom of immersing ones self in the frigid waters while clad in…ones’ birthday suit.”
Mr. Winton, in Brazil Square.
I hope people will have as much fun watching it as we are rehearsing it. Tickets are on sale now here – purchase soon to avoid disappointment as we have sold out our previous runs!
Shows play Wednesdays thru Saturdays at 8pm and Saturdays at 3pm from July 5-22 at the Majestic Theatre on Duckworth Street. Come visit us on the Square!