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Posted: Tuesday March 23, 2010
Leanna Brodie

Leanna Brodie is an actor, translator, and writer. Her radio dramas have been heard on CBC, and her plays – which include The Vic, For Home and Country, Schoolhouse, and The Book of Esther – are regularly performed across Canada. In addition, she has translated into English works by the Quebec playwrights Christian Bégin, Louise Bombardier, Rébecca Déraspe, Sébastien Harrisson, Catherine Léger, Philippe Soldevila, Larry Tremblay, and Hélène Ducharme, whose award-winning production of Baobab has toured North America with over 500 performances. She has been Playwright-in-Residence at the Blyth Festival, 4th Line Theatre, and Lighthouse Festival Theatre, and together they have commissioned her new documentary play, Turbulence, which she further developed as a member of the 2014 PTC Playwrights Colony in Vancouver. As an actor, Brodie most recently appeared with Blackbird Theatre in the Canadian première of Samuel Beckett’s All That Fall. Her opera with New Zealand composer Anthony Young, Ulla’s Odyssey – winner of both Opera Factory New Works (New Zealand) and the Flourish Competition (UK) – will be produced by London’s acclaimed OperaUpClose in October 2015.

LATEST Leanna Brodie NEWS


Book of Esther, The

"Like The Vic, Leanna Brodie’s play The Book of Esther is filled with tenderness, heart, and humour. It is also an eloquent plea for understanding. It posits that people who feel they are very much on the opposite ends of the belief spectrum can learn to understand human difference. Are her dreams possible to realize in reality? I’m not sure, but one must admire her skill as a writer, and her ambition as a dreamer."
—Sky Gilbert

"For those who fear yet another gay diatribe wrapped in a religious title, Leanna Brodie’s The Book of Esther is not that play. Set in both the urban and rural landscapes of the 1980s, the work stands in the ongoing Canadian tradition of drama with characters trying to forge their identities and, by extension, define the nation, as well. Whether or not one agrees with the opinions of the characters is beside the point. Brodie is exploring the possibility of a Canada where the embattled farmer, the gay urbanite, and runaway teen-agers can find themselves in this mosaic of ours, through mutual respect …" —Dr. Lloyd Arnett

“The issue is simple—as black-and-white as a Holstein cow … But, happily, The Book of Esther is more than a simple catalogue of controversial, or at least provocative, subjects. When the play opens, the forces that divide—ignorance, prejudice, intolerance, hypocrisy and arrogance—are given free rein. At play’s end, however, the forces that bind—understanding, compassion, tolerance, honesty and love—assert themselves.”

“There were audible gasps in the audience as the play’s teenage anti-hero, A.D., spouted off his anti-religious diatribes. Some of his dialogue was so politically incorrect that, if an adult had spoken the lines, it would border on hate-mongering. But that is the conflict situation that Leanna Brodie has set up in her play.”
—Globe & Mail



“A thoughtful … well crafted … beautifully inspired piece. Like the Blyth Festival, Schoolhouse is a Canadian story. It is an excellent choice to mark the theatre’s 100th milestone, compelling and richly rural.”
Ottawa Citizen

"Under the (quite-skilled) storytelling, the play is an exuberantly theatrical and moving tribute to the schoolhouse itself, filled with memories and local details distilled from Brodie’s extensive interviews with former teachers and students who shared the experience of the one-room school."
Canadian Literature


For Home and Country

The play’s generosity of spirit equals that of the Women’s Institutes that are its subject.
—Ric Knowles

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