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.