ADVENTURE STORIES FOR (BIG) GIRLS

When I was a kid, I grew up in Germany. It's how I came to read the many works of Karl May. I devoured them. I wanted a full set. Even if Karly May is now in ill repute, as a young girl I thrilled to his adventures, set in exotic locales. There were hair-raising escapes and a lot of derring-do. However, even then I noticed the absence of women. Why couldn’t there be someone like me riding a horse through the dark forest? 

Many years later Bill Lane at CBC Radio Drama invited me to create a series of half-hour radio plays, and instantly the concept of ADVENTURE STORIES FOR (BIG) GIRLS was born. I wrote two of the scripts and commissioned other female writers to choose their own stories, while I directed them all. The writers included Monique Mojica, Carol Bolt, Linda Griffiths, Peggy Thompson, and Beverley Cooper. We had two seasons; we could have easily continued.

My own scripts were about difficult women who rebelled against society: Ulrike Meinhof (1934-1976) and Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904). 

Meinhof was a German left-wing journalist who joined a violent terrorist group, the Red Army Faction, and was found hanged in prison. In No, the ghost of Ulrike Meinhof harasses a hapless female sound engineer as she fights to set the record straight about her choices. 

Oblivion is the story of the Swiss adventurer and writer Isabelle Eberhardt and her hashish-infused search for oblivion. Eberhardt was always an outsider; she converted to Islam and dressed as a man, wanting to blend in with the desert communities of North Africa. 

The plays were broadcast on radio and published in ed. Ann Jansen, Adventures for (Big) Girls, Blizzard Publishing, Winnipeg,1993.

Isabelle Eberhardt, 1895

Ulrike Meinhof 1934-1976