Love, Mona (previously titled The Bitterest Time)

Written by:

Andria Hill-Lehr, Sarah Jane Blenkhorn

Cast Size:
12

Roles For:

  • Men: 4
  • People of Colour: 1
  • Women: 8

Genre:

Biography
Drama
Historical

Themes:

Canadian History
Consumerism
Friendship
Prison
War
World War II

Length:

120 min.

Year Written:

2018

Synopsis:

Love, Mona is closely based on the true story of Mona Parsons, the only known female Canadian civilian sentenced to hard labour in Nazi Germany for her resistance work in the Netherlands. Although Mona was from Nova Scotia, she was living in Holland when Germany invaded in 1940. After joining the resistance, she was arrested, condemned to death, and ultimately served almost four years of hard labour in several German prisons. In the last, she formed a strong friendship with Wendelien, a young Dutch woman, and the two of them escaped in spring 1945 and walked through the Front, home to Holland.

The play begins with Wendelien recounting her story of meeting Mona in a German prison. As Wendy, Wendelien’s younger self, gets to know Mona, we see how Mona has been able to survive through her memories of life before the war as well as a strength of will and character that inspires Wendy as well. The two women seize their chance to escape during a bombing raid and make their way towards home through a Germany in ruins, begging for food and shelter. Mona uses her acting skills to pretend to be mentally traumatized and unable to talk in order to hide her English accent. Mona and Wendy are separated close to the Dutch border, and after the Front rages overhead one night, Mona flees and crosses into Holland, where some of the first Allied soldiers she meets, through an extraordinary coincidence, are from her home province of Nova Scotia – the North Nova Scotia Highlanders.

Love, Mona tells the story of a true Canadian heroine and explores the experiences of women in wartime.

“a powerful, deeply affecting play about the resilience of the human spirit” –Elissa Barnard, NS Reviews

Characters:

Mona, a talented dancer and actress, a nurse, and a resistance member with a bright spirit and a stubborn determination to survive. 40-44 years old.
Wendelien, a Dutch baroness, a survivor of World War II prisons and a friend of Mona. 75 years old.
Wendy, Wendelien as a young woman, tough, guarded and resourceful. 22 years old.
Interviewer, a woman in search of Mona’s story. Persistent and keen. No specific age.
Female Guard, a German woman working in the prison. She enjoys the power she has over her prisoners. No specific age.
Anda, a pregnant Indonesian woman living in Holland. She is kind, clever and brave. No specific age.
Nika, a young Dutch spy for the Germans. She will do anything for money.Late teens/early 20s.
Gesena, a German farmwife who gives Mona shelter. She hates the war and the Nazis. No specific age.
Billy, Mona’s Dutch husband. He is wealthy and romantic, and passionate about aiding his country (this is a dream version of Billy that Mona relies on to survive). Early 40’s.
Nazi Official, a German officer tasked with interrogating Mona. No specific age.
Police Officer, a German man encountered after Mona and Wendy escape from prison. No specific age.
Clarence, a Nova Scotian soldier whom Mona meets after returning to Holland. No specific age.

First Produced:

LunaSea Theatre & SarAndipity Theatre, September 2018.

Resources:

To obtain a copy of the script for Love, Mona, contact the playwrights via email:
sarah_jane_blenkhorn@yahoo.com and andriahill@yahoo.ca.

Love, Mona can also be accessed at the Canadian Play Outlet.

Notes:

This play can be double-cast; it was performed with only six actors in September 2018.

The characters sometimes speak in German or Dutch.

In the first production, the Interviewer’s lines were recorded.

Read about Mona Parsons on the Canadian Encyclopedia website here.

Warnings:

There is a small amount of physical violence.

Gallery: