There For a Reason

A show about working life in health care by Robert Clinton with music by Guy Smith.

Jennifer Spencer, Michele Brown, Pat Darbasie and Paul Morgan Donald

During Banner Theatre’s visit to Edmonton with their play about the National Health Service, Free for All, Pat Darbasie, Robert Clinton and Don Bouzek worked with the UK company on initiating a Canadian version of the show. We shared research, improvised scenes and wrote songs. Because the company arrived during the height of the demonstrations against Bill 11, we all spent time at the protests on the steps of the provincial legislature.

GZP has always had a three stage development process for new shows. First, we work with community groups concerned with an issue to research and develop material. Next we create a working version of the show for feedback with trial audiences. Finally, we mount a fully produced version for touring to community-based venues.

Accordingly, Don began by commissioning Robert Clinton to write a script for the show, supported by Guy Smith as a songwriter. We called together a focus group of the four major unions in the Alberta health care sector – the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees [AUPE], the Canadian Union of Public Employees [CUPE], the Health Sciences Association of Alberta [HSAA] and the United Nurses of Alberta [UNA]. They shared their stories with us and also connected Robert with some of their members to interview further as he developed the actual dialogue for the piece.

GZP then did a workshop presentation of the show to provide us with feedback. A full mounting of the play was presented at the closing banquet of the Alberta Federation of Labour convention during May Week. A series of performances then took place at the annual conventions of the participating unions.

Script: Robert Clinton
Composers: Guy Smith with Robert Clinton
Director: Don Bouzek
Designer: Lynette Maurice & Cindy Zuby
Performing Artists: Robert Clinton, Michele Brown, Pat Darbasie, Guy Smith, Paul Morgan Donald, Jennifer Spencer
Stage Manager: Amy DeFelice