Courting Johanna

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Scirocco Drama, 2009 - Drama - 64 pages
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Courting Johanna is set in the claustrophobic atmosphere of Huron County, Ontario in the 1950s. Johanna is a dignified Scottish immigrant housekeeper who works for the well-off Mr. McCauley. She looks after McCauley’s granddaughter, Sabitha, whose mother is dead and whose father, Ken, is a deadbeat looking for work out West.

When silly, spoiled Sabitha and her younger, but more mature friend Edith—the sensible daughter of an immigrant shoemaker—discover a personal letter Johanna has written to Ken, they decide to play a trick on her. More out of boredom than cruelty, they begin forging letters from “Ken” to the lonely Johanna, who opens her heart and confesses that before she became his pen pal, she had “only had one friend in my life.”

When the semi-fictional correspondence becomes more explicitly romantic, events spiral out of control: Johanna takes off for Gdynia, Sask., with a load of furniture that belongs to Ken - an accusation of theft following in her wake.

Based on the luminous short story “Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage” from the Alice Munro collection of the same name, Courting Johanna is a window into the human heart—a tale of loneliness, deception, and redemption.

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About the author (2009)

Marcia Johnson began her career in 1983 as an actor on an episode of CBC-TV’s Hangin’ In. Her main focus was theatre, working with companies such as the Grand Theatre in London, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Manitoba Theatre Centre and The Theatre Centre in Toronto.Her first play, in which she also acted, was You Look Great Too as part of the Rhubarb! Festival at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto in 1995. This was followed by Perfect on Paper at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2001 and was adapted for radio on CBC’s Sunday Showcase. Other radio dramas include Wifely Duties for Sounds Like Canada and Say Ginger Ale for the Round-Up.Later productions include Binti’s Journey, an adaptation of the teen fiction novel, The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis (Theatre Direct/MTYP) and Late, an original piece produced by Obsidian Theatre Company.Marcia also wrote the libretto for the short opera My Mother’s Ring with composer Stephen A. Taylor for Tapestry New Opera’s Opera to Go.

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