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Season Info

The Drawer Boy
Michael Healey

The Drawer Boy
Chip Heller, Robert Budaska

Scenic Design
Lighting Design
Sound Design
Costume Design
Wig/Make-up Design
Production Stage Manager
Assistant to the Stage Manager
Dialect Coach
David Rose
David Potts
Lisa D. Katz
Drew Dalzell
A. Jeffrey Schoenberg
Joni Rudesill
Leesa Freed
David Elzer/Demand PR
Spencer Howard
Joel Goldes
House Managers

Lighting Operator
Back Stage Crew

Sara Painter
Elizabeth Saryan
Amy Masgai
Spencer Howard
Technical Director/Master Electrician
Set Construction
Production Crew

Hair & Makeup

Casting Coordinator

Red Colegrove
Pro Sets West, Inc.
Nick Bindbeutel
Jeremy Bryden
Ross Copeland
Derek Bjornsen
Robert Kyle
Joni Rudesill
Denise Dillard
Production Photography
Original Production Artwork

Michael Lamont 
Adam S. Doyle

Trees and Greens provided by Take One
Refrigerator provided by SAVON Appliances, Burbank



Chip Heller 
Robert Budaska 
Brian Taylor 

The play takes place on a small farm in central Ontario, summer 1972

Act One:

  Scene one: A July Afternoon
  Scene two: The next morning
  Scene three: Lunchtime, later that same day
  Scene four: Late afternoon, several days later
  Scene five: After dinner the same day
  Scene six: Late that same night
  Scene seven: A couple of days later

Act Two:

  Scene one: The next day
  Scene two: Late that same night
  Scene three: The next morning

"Freshie" -- A popular Canadian powdered drink, similar to Kool-Aid

"Princess Pats" -- Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, founded in 1914 by the Duke of Connaught and named for his daughter
The Drawer Boy premiered in February, 1999 at Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto.  This production is produced by agreement with Mirvish Productions, Toronto.
The History of The Drawer Boy

"I had an idea for a play about two bachelor farmers, slightly isolated, whose lives are governed by myth and ritual. The myths were in the stories they told each other, the ritual consisted mainly of the preparation of the same meals, over and over. I was interested in setting up their life, and seeing what might happen when society intrudes."

-Playwright Michael Healey

The Drawer Boy takes its inspiration from an historic chapter in Canadian theatre history. In 1972, a group of young actors from Toronto embarked on a project where they went off to study an Ontario farming community. Actors lived with farm families in Clinton, Ontario, labored on those farms and collected stories from the people they encountered. 

The stories were developed into a collective theatrical piece called The Farm Show, which opened at Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille, and later toured extensively throughout Canada, becoming a landmark theatrical event. The stories and songs in The Farm Show grew out of the actors’ attempts to dramatize their discoveries in daily improvisational sessions. 

At first the results didn't seem like a play: no lights, no set, a barn for a theatre and hay bales for seats. It was simply pure performance. No one anticipated the delight the local people would take in hearing their own language and observing their own culture. 

The Farm Show eventually took on a life of its own and was a perfect example of documentary or ethnographic theatre - where artists enter communities and create works that speak specifically to and about the group from which they are derived. 

The Drawer Boy received its World Premiere at Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille - the same theatre that The Farm Show put on the map 27 years earlier. And here's the most beautiful part: The Drawer Boy was directed by Miles Potter, an original cast member and co-creator of The Farm Show -  whom Michael Healey used as his inspiration for the fictional character of Miles in the play you are seeing tonight.

Director’s Notes

Telling Tales

"You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing."

-Luis Bunuel 

The act of storytelling, its causes and its consequences, both for the teller and the listener, lies at the heart of Michael Healey's The Drawer Boy. If we want to know about a person we ask, "what's their story," or, "what's their real story," if we feel we don't know the whole truth. And when memory fails us, we must rely on the recollection of others to fill in the gaps in our own stories. 

The two farmers in this play, lifelong friends and partners who depend solely on each other, lead isolated lives where storytelling is the best remedy for what ails them. Circumstances necessitate that they retell their life story almost daily. I was drawn to this play because of their bond of friendship, their fierce loyalty, and the manner in which it is tested. The appearance at their doorstep of a young actor who wants to hold a mirror up to their lives provokes a profound re-examination of the manner in which they care for each other and a discovery of what is really most important to them. 

All three characters make discoveries that allow them to come to new understandings about themselves, change something basic in their behavior, and own their own stories. The play resonates as a meditation on the potential for theatre to provoke change, to encourage healing, and to tell the truth. 

-David Rose

This production was made possible by the kindness and generosity of:
Perry Ash, Bardwell's on the Boulevard, Douglas Bashaw, Michael Becker,, 
Brad Brown, Michael Cabler, The City of Burbank, The Colony Board of Trustees, Laura Dwan, Jason French, Green Set, Demetrio James, Shelby Jiggetts-Tivony, Gay Kahkonen
Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Paul Marius, Robert E. Moore III, Salvador Palacios, Mi Piace Italian Kitchen & Bakery, Bill Shaw, San Gabriel Civic Auditorium, Clayton Stang,
Wadler Data Systems, Lee Wochner, Counterintuity