Bone Cage

Written by:

Catherine Banks

Cast Size:

Roles For:

  • Men: 4
  • People with Disabilities: 1
  • Women: 3




Natural Resources
Small Town


90 min.

Year Written:



Bone Cage is a poetic and darkly humorous portrayal of life in rural Nova Scotia, where stripping the environment means stripping your soul. Jamie is twenty-two years old and works twelve-hour shifts operating a wood processor, clear-cutting for pulp. At the end of each shift, he walks through the destruction he has created looking for injured birds and animals and rescues those he can. Jamie’s desire to escape this world is thwarted by his fear of leaving the place where he has some status.

Bone Cage examines how young people in rural communities, employed in the destruction of the environment they love, treat the people they love at the end of their shift. The play is about the difficulty in growing and hanging on to dreams in a world where dreams are seen as impractical or weak. It is funny. It is tragic. It is about different kinds of escaping. It is about a soul trapped in its own rib cage, a cage of bone, a Bone Cage.” (From the CPO Website)


Jamie: twenty-two, works as a tree processor.

Chicky: twenty-five, Jamie’s half sister, works on the sod fields.

Krista: seventeen, Jamie’s girlfriend, in high school.

Kevin: eighteen, Krista’s brother, works chainsaw.

Clarence: fifty-two, Jamie’s father, on disability.

Robby: thirty, considered slow, works for Chicky’s married lover.

Lissa: fourteen, Robby’s sister.

First Produced:

2007, Neptune Studio


ABone Cage is available through the CPO Website and the Playwrights Canada Press.

For more information about the playwright and her work, visit the CWPO collection.

To view other works by this playwright, click here.


Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama

Featured Play Category:

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Selection Notes:

I love everything playwright Catherine Banks has written. Each one of her plays takes me into an unexpected and fresh dramatic world with vivid characters that draw me in. Bone Cage is especially compelling to me as someone who grew up in a rural part of the country. It captures the tension between a love for the land people have in rural places with work resource-extraction industries that exploit the land for profit. As well the captures conflicts between wanted to leave an isolating place and wanting to stay a place that feels like home. That theme particularly saturates the poetics and canon of work from Atlantic Canada, but Banks brings it to the stage in Bone Cage with a cast of characters relatable to an audience today, and who also represent a great challenge for an ensemble of students. Has received some University productions but there ought to be more! -Barry.