Queen Lear   9 comments

Queen Lear is my most recently produced play, which opened at the Joyce Doolittle Theatre at Calgary’s Pumphouse Theatres in February, 2009, produced by Urban Curvz Theatre. I wrote the play as an 80th birthday present for my friend Joyce Doolittle. She starred in the premiere production, along with Georgina Beaty and Morag Northy on the cello.

After a second production in North Vancouver, the play was improbably picked up by a Turkish actress, Yildiz Kenter, through a Turkish friend of mine now living in Calgary. Simply stated, Yildiz is the face of Turkish Theatre, and has her own theatre in Istanbul. Her daughter, who holds a PhD from Cambridge, translated the play into Turkish and it has been running off and on for over two years, including a tour of Cypress.

It has subsequently been translated into Russian and we are waiting to hear of the dates for a production in Moscow, possibly at the Moscow Art Theatre, which is Chekhov and Stanislavski’s old haunt.

Meanwhile. I am hopeful for other productions in English. It is a simple and inexpensive play to produce, with only two roles, an old woman and a girl in her late teens. There is also a cellist on stage who creates and performs a “score” for the production.


The play has been published by B House Publications (my own company) and is available in book form, or I am willing to send the script electronically to anyone interested in producing the play.

Georgina and Joyce.

Posted January 29, 2012 by Eugene Stickland

9 responses to “Queen Lear

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  1. Pingback: Cello and Voice Bring an Emotional Tale to Life - United Active Living

  2. Hi Eugene,
    I’m looking for some monologue/audition pieces and was wondering if I could get access to Queen Lear and Sitting in Paradise. I’m happy to purchase them in whatever format if you can give me some direction.
    Anne Petrie

  3. Hello. Has the play been translated into Bulgarian?

  4. I am rather disappointed that the post makes no mention of those who put up the financing so UrbanCruvz could mount the production.

    Perhaps this is a good indication why those who do support theatre with substantial monetary contributions feel that there is little point in continuing to do so. If we are forgotten partners, why be partners in the first place?

    • I guess I’m remiss for not mentioning the very generous support that I received personally while writing the play and that Urban Curvz Theatre received subsequently for the production of the play. There’s often an unwritten law between benefactors and artists who are lucky enough to have them: “Take this, but don’t let anyone know where it came from!” The worry being that a line up would soon form outside the benefactors’ door comprised of other needy and probably just as deserving artists. Some discretion is wanted, one assumes, but maybe in this case that assumption was not correct.

      So it would seem I have a green light to talk about Kevin from Canada and his wife Sheila (also from Canada) who have been incredibly supportive of the theatre in Calgary for the last few decades, and who have been generous and supportive to me and to my career in particular. It’s no exaggeration to say that my play Queen Lear, like Writer’s Block before it, would never have been written without their generosity and support; Queen Lear never would have been produced without them. When the Canada Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts let me down, Kevin and Shelia helped me out and probably saved my life. There’s no really suitable tribute I can write to honour their support. It’s been immense.

      Not only that, all the while, Kevin from Canada has been a true mentor to me. I teach a lot and have a lot of younger writers who look up to me for some mentorship . . . but who will mentor the mentor? Kevin from Canada has always been there to ask the hard questions and give me the benefit of his great wealth of experience and wisdom. Shelia’s support of my daughter Hanna has also been immense.

      I’m sorry I have never acknowledged this before. I wasn’t sure it would be welcome. I am eternally in their debt and emboldened and blessed by their support and friendship.

  5. I am relieved and grateful to have finally tracked down a means of contacting you!! I am an “actress of a certain age”. Friday night at Globe Theatre (in Regina) after a particularly exciting production of “Cope”, a new script by a remarkable young actor/rapper/playwright, a young friend in the company asked me if I was doing any acting these days. I said, “Only if someone asks me to do something with very short scenes and very few lines — or a table read.” His eyes lit up, and he said, “You should get hold of a script I saw in Vancouver, by Eugene Stickland of Calgary. It’s a two-hander called “Queen Lear”!! The more I heard about the play, the more interested I became — additionally because for several years now, I’ve been helping another actress friend of mine — my age — who IS still working, to learn her lines, whenever she’s cast in a role!! I know that Regina Little Theatre’s season for 12/13 is set, but there are some other small groups here who might produce it — is it too big for Fringe? Hell, I’d produce it myself if push comes to shove! First of course I’d like to see the script. How can I buy one from you? Can you send it electronically? If it needs to come by post, I’ll send you my address.
    And on top of everything else, I find that you were born in Regina! I do maintain that here we have just 2-degrees of separation, rather than the traditional world-wide 6-degrees!!
    Many thanks Eugene! Let me know.
    Jean Freeman

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