Posted on Feb 27, 2012
Creators: Jennifer Overton, Scott Burke, Rejean Cournoyer, Denyse Karn, Michael Doherty and Bruce MacLennan
Nominator: Claudia Buckley
Seconders: Linda Moore, Bruce Klinger
God’s Middle Name presents a fast-paced series of vignettes that unflinchingly explore a mother’s multiple challenges of living with an autistic child and her intense emotional journey from denial to acceptance. Based on Jennifer Overton’s book Snapshots of Autism, this brave production is the result of six talented and experienced theatre artists working very effectively together. Frank and unsentimental, informative without being didactic, deeply moving yet often playful and funny, the work tackles personal, serious subject-matter in a bold, creative manner. Drawing on a range of theatrical genres, from vaudeville through Jeopardy-style TV programs to crime thrillers, the economical staging blends lighting, music, costumes and set into a seamless, engaging and affirmative production.
Brief bio: The six artists—Jennifer Overton: playwright and actor; Scott Burke: director, dramaturge; Rejean Cournoyer: actor; Denyse Karn: set, costume design and producer; Michael Doherty: original music, sound design; Bruce MacLennan, lighting design—make up the collective In Good Company that was responsible for the production of this play. They are all established theatre professionals at the height of their careers, with strong reputations in the community (several also teach in Dalhousie University’s Theatre Department) and each has an extensive body of work. The play’s first presentation was in Halifax in 2006; it has since toured regionally and nationally, most recently in Newfoundland (2009).