Fresh From the Island 2023

New Play Development at The Kings Playhouse

The Kings Playhouse was the incubator for a series of new play

developments in October.

A workshop of a brand new musical written by local resident Jack King

took place from October 15-17 with dramaturg Pamela Halstead and

musical dramaturg Robert Greene, plus five actors. The Yankee Gale

musical was workshopped with funding assistance from Innovation

PEI and Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre(PARC).

“ This was an opportunity to work with Jack and look at the bones of

the play and to see the potential of a production in the future at the

Kings Playhouse.” says Interim Executive Director, Catherine O’Brien.

“ There is potential there, as the story is strong. The next steps are

more rewrites and workshops. More funding will be needed for future


The Yankee Gale is set during the 1851 storm that was the worst

maritime disaster to hit Prince Edward Island Shores. At least 74 ships

were destroyed and over 150 crew were killed. Actors who

participated in the workshop were Rob MacDonald, Kristen

Thompson, Melissa Mullen, Cameron MacDuffee and Catherine


The 3rd Annual Fresh From The Island Festival, in partnership with

Young at heart Theatre and PARC took place almost immediately

after, beginning on October 19th. Brynn Cutcliffe and Kris Williams

were two of the playwrights selected to workshop their plays over a

four day period.

Pamela Halstead was the dramaturg for Kris’ play, Elmsdale, and

Brynn worked with dramaturg Johanna Nutter on the play The

Weatherman. There was a public presentation of the first act of

Elmsdale on Sunday October 22nd at the Kings Playhouse.

The actors involved in the workshops were: Cameron MacDuffee,

Judy Marshak, Wade Lynch, Kristen Thompson, Marlane O’Brien,

Melissa Mullen, Ben Hartley, Melissa Kramer and the Stage Manager was Anne Putnam. The third playwright, Scott Parsons, worked with

dramaturg and playwright Beau Dixon remotely, and will be presenting

his work, And the Land Rested From War: Stories and Songs For My

Father on November 10th as part of the Legacy Projects with support

from Veterans Affairs Canada’s Commemorative Partnership

Program. (Top photo: Elmsdale play workshop participants from L top Cameron MacDuffee, Kristen Thompson, Anne Putnam, Pamela Halstead(dramaturg)Kris Williams(playwright), Melissa Mullen. Front: Ben Hartley, Ben(the dog), Wade Lynch). 

Bottom photo: The Weatherman workshop participants: Melissa Kramer, Cameron MacDuffee, Anne Putnam, Marlane O’Brien,Judy Marshak, Brynne Cutlciffe( playwright), Johanna Nutter (dramaturg), Wade Lynch