Special Pres: 1837 The Farmers' Revolt Panel Discussion / by Michael Kruse

 William Lyon Mackenzie (Matthew Gin), with help from his assistants Marcia Johnson (left) and Parmida Vand uses his magical deck of cards to explain the relationships in the Family Compact, in 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt at the Blyth Festival. Directed by Gil Garratt. Creative team: Beth Kates, set, projection and lighting designer; Gemma James Smith, costume designer; and Deanna H. Choi, sound designer and music composer. Production stage management: Heather Thompson and Katerina Sokyrko.. Photo credit: Terry Manzo.

William Lyon Mackenzie (Matthew Gin), with help from his assistants Marcia Johnson (left) and Parmida Vand uses his magical deck of cards to explain the relationships in the Family Compact, in 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt at the Blyth Festival. Directed by Gil Garratt. Creative team: Beth Kates, set, projection and lighting designer; Gemma James Smith, costume designer; and Deanna H. Choi, sound designer and music composer. Production stage management: Heather Thompson and Katerina Sokyrko.. Photo credit: Terry Manzo.

A little palate cleanser for the end of the summer. On July 18 2018, at the Huron County Museum, Blyth Festival artistic director Gil Garratt and local historian David Yates sat down with moderator and film director Christopher Spaleta to talk about the history around Blyth's current production of 1837: The Farmers' Revolt. We talked about this play during the episode with designer Rachel Forbes and the production last year at the Shaw Festival. This is more of a historical discussion, rather than one about design, but it is still a great talk about politics and privation and standing up to government, a topic no less germane today than it was 130 years ago.

A special thanks to Beth Kates who coordinated and recorded this event, without whom this presentation would not be found here.

Bios

Gil Garratt

Gil Garratt is a director, playwright, dramaturge, Dora Award-winning actor, and theatre administrator who has worked across Canada and internationally. With a career that has been dedicated primarily to the development of new Canadian plays, Gil has been with the Blyth Festival since 1999.

Gil’s varied and eclectic career as a creator has seen him collaborate with such radical play creation companies as DNA theatre and The Cabaret Company, to such mainstream institutions as The Stratford Festival and The Grand Theatre.

As a performer Gil has literally worked all over the country, including: Theatre NorthWest in Prince George, BC, Centaur Theatre in Montreal, Canadian Stage’s St. Lawrence Centre in Toronto, Shakespeare in High Park, Neptune Theatre in Halifax, the Festival Players of Prince Edward County, Buddies in Bad Times in Toronto, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, to name a few.

Gil is also member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada, several of Gil’s plays have received multiple productions, toured internationally, and been translated into French.

David Yates

David is a 28 year history teacher currently at Central Huron Secondary School in Clinton.

Since 2007 his local history column has appeared in The Focus, Goderich Signal Star and other local papers. He is a past President of the Huron County Historical Society.

In 2014, he was a member of the Great Lakes Storm of 1913 committee which won the Governor-General’s Award for Community History Programming. Currently, he is a member of the Huron County and the Great War commemorative committee.

Christopher Spaleta

Christopher is a writer, actor  and director for independent film, television and theatre. He grew up in Goderich, studied English and Screenwriting in Ottawa, and lives with his wife Maria on a farm in Central Huron.  In addition to his duties on the Huron Arts and Heritage network board he is a member of the Rebuilding Oversight and Steering Committee for the reconstruction of the Square in Goderich.