In This Light (An adaptation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People)

Written by:

Catherine Banks

Cast Size:

Roles For:

  • Men: 6
  • People of Colour: 1
  • Women: 4






95 min.

Year Written:



Dr. Thomasina Burke is a well-respected medical doctor in a rural village in the Annapolis Valley in 1931. Just as her home is poised to reap the benefits of an important new business–a health spa that will bring people from far and wide–Dr. Burke makes a discovery that will challenge her whole community to choose sides in a battle over the very nature of truth, and the power of one person to be heard.


DOCTOR THOMASINA BURKE: medical doctor, served in WWI. She wears her passionate convictions on her sleeve and leads with her sternum. She wears her military tag (dog tag) on a chain around her neck.

KARL BURKE: blind WWI vet, husband to Dr. Burke, father to Patricia, brother of Peter Burke, peacemaker to a point.

PATRICIA BURKE: daughter of Dr. Burke and Karl Burke, teacher, proponent of outdoor education. Very much like her mother.

PETER BURKE: Mayor, Chairman of the Baths, etc., brother-in-law to Dr. Burke, Uncle to Patricia. Conservative.

JOHN WALLACE: Dr.Burke’s adoptive father, owns the tannery that is polluting the Baths.

EDITOR (Mrs.) WHITMAN: widow, newspaper publisher/editor, suffragette.

JACK JOHNSON: printer, Head of the Householders’ Association and the Small Tradesmen Association.

HARRY BEALS: journalist, cousin to Camilla, “in love” with Patricia.

CAMILLA BEALS: 17, POC. A student of Patricia ’s taken out of school to work for the Burkes. Cousin to Harry Beals, daughter to Joe Beals.

JOE BEALS: widowed, Camilla’s father, breathing difficulties from working in the tannery. Building the road to the Baths.

First Produced:

Premiered at Two Planks and a Passion, July 6th 2019


In This Light is available through the CPO Website.

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

To view other works by this playwright, click here.


4 of the 5 scenes are set outdoors.

In the premier, the role of Jack Johnson was played by a woman.