Be Still

Written by:

Janet Munsil

Cast Size:
10

Roles For:

  • Men: 3
  • Women: 7

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

19th Century
Art
Canada
Grief
History
Mistaken Identity
Surrealism
Women

Length:

75 min.

Year Written:

2000

Synopsis:

Be Still is a fictional play inspired by the multiple-exposure work of Canadian surrealist portrait photographer Hannah Maynard. Consumed by grief at the loss of her daughter, Hannah submerges herself in morbid photographic work and the clockwork routines of daily life with her husband. Intrigued by a friend’s Spiritualist leanings, Hannah questions mysterious goings-on in her studio, and wonders if a reunion with her child is possible. But the ghostly presence she encounters is her own double, Hannah 2.

Characters:

Hannah Maynard, a photographer
Hannah 2, Hannah’s double
Richard Maynard, her husband
Lily, a child (7-10)
Belle Adams, a murderess
Miss Harper, a debutante
Mattie & Maudie Martin, twins (same actor)
Dr Fell, a physician & spiritualist
A Police Constable

First Produced:

Richmond Gateway & Belfry Theatre, 2001

Resources:

Be Still is available through the CPO Website.

To view other works by this playwright, click here.

Notes:

Jessie Nominations: Best New Play (Small theatre), Sydney Risk Award for Outstanding Original Script by an Emerging Playwright“Captures beautifully the Victorian obsession with death and the afterlife. It’s a spookily sweet nightmare, of grief suppressed to the verge of hysteria. Be Still expresses an often breathtaking vision.” — TIMES COLONIST“Munsil’s new play is written from an 1890s sensibility: an era on the brink of amazing scientific advances yet still attracted to the occult: seances, apparitions, mediums.” — VANCOUVER COURIER