This Ruddy Desert

In September, I acted on a long-suppressed whim. Over the last few years in Canmore I had noticed in the newspaper the occasional call for auditions by the local theatre company, Pine Tree Players. As an engineer in construction, the most creative part of my daily routine is deciding which pattern of flannel should adorn my button-up wrinkled shirt. And in high school and university, I opted for mountain biking and extra physics classes over drama and painting. Needless to say, I was shocked- and terrified- to be awarded the lead role (note: I have no illusions- my successful audition was more so due to the lack of male candidates than my natural thespian talents).

The play was written by a playwright named Ralph van Drielen, who happened to hail from Golden. This was the world premier- no director to date had taken the bait as did our fearless leader, Louise Shore.

We rehearsed relentlessly. Three to four times a week, we would trot and stomp and cry and shout around the stage in the Canmore Miner’s Union Hall (built in 1910, and recently beautifully restored). Come the premier on November 13, my boots were still shaking. “George Marshdom”, my alter ego, was to be a pretentious stockbroker, a slight stretch from my low-toned self. Every one of the eight shows we performed over following 11 nights was a unique adventure. I immensely enjoyed myself and am looking out for the next challenge.



  1. Darn, I wish I had known you were in the play. I would have made a point of going. Let me know if your alternate career takes off and I’ll get to one of your other plays. sharon

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