Port Elgin Plays

The Canadian Auto Workers maintain a beautiful education facility on the shores of Lake Huron, near Port Elgin. Starting in 1984, Ground Zero Productions had a regular contract to provide a theatre production for the Canadian Labour Congress’ Ontario Region educational. Every Sunday night for a month, we would set the theme for about 200 unionists who had come from different unions around the province to learn about a range of subjects from basic shop stewarding through specialized topics like Labour history.

St. George / The Dragon [1984]

John Jarvis and Tish McSorely performing in Port Elgin.

A play about nuclear issues framed by the revived Cold War of the Reagan era.

People in a small town downwind of the above ground nuclear testing performed in the 1950s discovers that they have an abnormally high incidence of cancers. With the help of a time travelling knight, they set about getting some justice from their government.

This is the show that gave Ground Zero its name – until 9/11, Ground Zero was the military name for the epicentre of a nuclear blast. The show began as a project of Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament, and evolved into the first GZP show for Organized Labour through the support Doug Tobin and Catherine MacLeod from the Labour Arts and Media Working Group.

Script: Collaborative with Bryan Wade
Director: Don Bouzek
Performing Artists: Janice Bryan, John Jarvis, Tish McSorley, Alan Merovitz, Paul Rainville

The Free Trade Zone [1988]

The company at CAW DeHavilland union hall.

A musical about the dangers of the proposed Free Trade Agreement between Canada and the U.S.

Set in the bleak future of life under the FTA, people try to scrape by without decent jobs and without public social services.

The Port Elgin shows were part of a more extensive Ontario tour to help build the campaigns against the FTA. The show was developed with the additional support of the Naming the Moment project at the Jesuit Centre for Social Faith and Justice in Toronto.

Script: Collaborative
Music: Ramiro Puerta, Alan Merovitz
Director: Don Bouzek
Performing Artists: , Alan Merovitz, Paul Rainville, Julie Salverson

Hitting Home [1990]

The Hitting Home company busk Kensington Market.

A visual performance making the case against the introduction of the GST.

The show was a cabaret built around a series of visual images underlining the inequities of the tax system.

The show had two forms – one a street performance used around Toronto during a day of protest against the tax, the other a longer version for presentation at meetings and Port Elgin. Working with research from the Ontario Federation of Labour, it highlighted the disparity of income in Canada, using in part Linda McQuaig’s image of a parade of wealth.

Script: Collaborative
Music: Alan Merovitz
Director: Don Bouzek
Performing Artists: Jorge Barahona, Aida Jordao, Alan Merovitz, Lisa Reford, Tricia Williams
Visual Artists: Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge – projections Jim Miller. Shadowland - props