Two plays that were generated out of the playwrights’ interest in the interpenetrating relationships between carnal desire, spiritual love, media, and popular music.
Still Desire You (a fresh adaptation of I Love You, Anne Murray, first produced in the 1980s) deals with issues that are central to the growing malaise of celebrity culture in our society. For some fans, innocent fantasies about their connection to the performer behind the song can become real and dangerous obsessions. Such is the story of David Stuart, a fundamentally decent man on trial for “the crime of loving a girl” who happens to be a pop icon. Still Desire You explores the slippery slope of a fan’s delusions and, in the process, indicts the star-making machinery behind our communal obsession with celebrity.
Fire explores the extraordinary relationship between Pentecostal Christianity, the birth of rock and roll, and the rise of right-wing fundamentalism as a force in American politics. Inspired by the lives of Jerry Lee Lewis and Reverend Jimmy Swaggart, who learned how to play on the same piano, Fire traces the rise and fall of Cale and Herschel, the sons of a Southern preacher. In the ’50s Cale becomes a rock and roll star but, convinced he is damned for playing “the devil’s music,” embarks on a self-destructive rampage that nearly destroys him. By the 1980s Herschel has become a famous televangelist and is drawn into a dangerous mix of faith and right-wing politics. Caught between the two brothers is the woman who loves them both, Herschel’s wife, Molly. A play about searching for salvation with your head, your heart, and your groin.
Paul Ledoux was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He studied at Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He began writing for theatre while living in Montreal and working at the Centaur Theatre.
David Young has written extensively for film and television, beginning with Jim Henson’s Fraggle Rock. Most recently he wrote and co-produced a one-hour dramatic comedy pilot for CTV about residential real estate agents. Theatrical works include Love is Strange (with Paul Ledoux); Glenn, a theatrical portrait of Glenn Gould, which had numerous productions in Canada (including at the Stratford Festival) and overseas; and Inexpressible Island, which was produced in Canada, the United States, Germany, and London’s West End. Both Glenn and Inexpressible Island were nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Clout, a portrait of a neoconservative press baron, was co-produced by the National Arts Centre and Tarragon Theatre. David also wrote an adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People for the NAC. David adapted Alistair MacLeod’s award-winning novel No Great Mischief for Tarragon Theatre. Current theatrical projects include Without Hope, Without Fear, a theatrical portrait of Caravaggio for the NAC. David was a founding director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada and is a trustee of the Griffin Poetry Prize.