Before the Leaves Turn by Jamie Bradley is set in a small town inspired by Sackville, New Brunswick during the span of the First World War. Presented by three actors, this reading introduces the audience to two families who are experiencing the highs and lows of these difficult years. Touching, poignant and funny, the charming script tells the story of those “left at home,” and the characters will inspire audiences with their courage and humanity in the face of terrible uncertainty.
This play is not just about the war as an event, but how normal people endured the seemingly impossible chaos. Playwright Jamie Bradley says, “War isn’t just men and women overseas with guns and tanks and bombs and flamethrowers. When there is a war everybody is affected. Even the smallest town in the Maritimes.”
“The two lead characters in my mind are the mothers,” he says, “they’re the ones who have to hold everything together.” These two matriarchs make sure that despite everything, life continues. They get the mail, share awful or important news, keep the men’s spirits up, make sure the kids have a routine and the list goes on. As the audience watches, their daily activities take on an important gravity when through them a backdoor to understanding is opened. “We always hear about the huge battles, how many thousands of people were killed or mustard gas,” explains Jamie “But the little things… that’s how we can relate to war, is through the tiny things.”
Written by Jamie Bradley
Directed by Andrew Chandler
Stage Managed by Virg Iredale
Performed November 11, 2018
At the Canadian Museum of Immigration
at Pier 21 in Halifax, NS
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Before the Leaves Turn was originally produced in New Brunswick, completed a successful tour through Nova Scotia in 2016 and has been a hit with people of all ages, from children to seniors and veterans. This presentation, in partnership with Kick At The Dark Theatre, took place as a reading on Remembrance Day, November 11, 2018, at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21.