Things We Were Never Told

It was wonderful to welcome Julie Salverson in Winipeg over the weekend. Her reading at McNally Robinson included portions of her play BOOM, her opera Shelter and her new manuscript Atomic Elegy. Although the long weekend meant a small crowd, it was certainly a thought-provoking event. Julie’s work explores the theme of witnessing. Her manuscript, which was inspired by learning about Canada’s link to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nakasaki, led to a vibrant discussion both with Julie and at least in my case with family and friends afterwards. It was certainly news to me that the uranium ore used to make the atomoic bombs came from Northwest Territories. You can learn more by reading Julie’s article “They Never Told Us These Things” in the summer issue of Maisonneuve. I know I’ll also be waiting to read her full manuscript when it is published.

Board member Andrea Geary with Julie Salverson

One of the things that makes me so passionate about the arts is that they really do allow us to constantly learn more about the world we live in. I’ve been reading a lot of Anne Bogart lately, after participating in a fabulous Viewpoints masterclass in Banff with Michael Greyeyes. In her book and then, you act Bogart says: “Ultimately the role of art is to wake us up. Routine takes the place of life so easily. The senses reign, numbness enters. Our job as artists is to sharpen our perceptual mechanism on a daily basis in order to venture out into the world with curiousity to receive, perceive, and report back.”

This is certainly at the heart of Sarasvàti’s work and what stood out in Julie’s work.
-Hope McIntyre, Artistic Director

Unique Opportunity to Hear Guest Playwright Julie Salverson

We are always excited to have playwrights come to Winnipeg and share their work with us. Canada can be such a regionally divided country that the opportunity to welcome a fellow theatre artist, doing exciting work in another part of the country is  always a pleasure and a chance to learn more about theatre outside of Winnipeg. So, we hope you will join us in welcoming guest playwright Julie Salverson at 2pm on July 30th at McNally Robinson Grant Park in the travel alcove. She will read from her manuscript Atomic Elegy: Finding Community in Haunted Places; her opera libretto Shelter (a clown opera about the atomic bomb, composer Juliet Palmer) and her play BOOM (commissioned by the Canadian Red Cross).

Julie Salverson

Julie Salverson writes plays, essays and opera and has published and taught extensively about the artist as witness, historical memory, ethics and the imagination. She recently edited Community Engaged Theatre (2011) and Popular Political Theatre and Performance (2010),  Playwrights Canada Press.  Her feature article They Never Told Us These Things is in the Summer, 2011 issue of Maisonneuve Magazine.  In 2009 she was a runner up for the CBC Literary Awards (creative nonfiction) and in 2008 received honorable mention from the Malahat Review, Creative Nonfiction (with Peter van Wyck). Julie teaches drama at Queen’s University.

This special event is being offered in partnership with McNally Robinson and with the support of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts.