Thin Ice

Winner of the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Theatre for Young People. 
Winner of the Chalmer's Children's Play Award. 

Thin Ice is a play about the sexual stereotypes and myths which can lead to date rape.

One day a friend working at a rape crisis centre suggested that drama might be a way to prevent sexual violence. She told me about this concept called ‘date rape;’ it was brand new at the time.I thought it was a great idea for a play and pitched it to Theatre Direct, a company interested in relevant theatre for young people. The artistic producer Susan Serran welcomed me with open arms. I invited Beverley Cooper to be my co-writer and we ran several workshops in high schools to research the material for the play. Thin Ice  is a fast-paced look at sexual mores — gripping enough to keep all teenagers on the edge of their seats. It whipped up a lot of feelings, and Theatre Direct ran special discussions with students after the shows. The play was edgy enough to scare the people in charge; there was one (Catholic) school where the vice-principal climbed on stage and stopped the performance because the two boy-characters were reading porn magazines and we all know boys never do that. 

The most demanding spectator in the theatre is a child or a teenager. Boredom is a crime. The premiere production of Thin Ice enjoyed tremendous success in 1987 and helped establish Theatre Direct as a leader in the field of drama for young audiences. Directed by Maureen White, the show toured high schools across Canada over a period of three years. It has also been produced by Magnus Theatre, Thunder Bay; Quest Theatre, Calgary;  Geordie Productions, Montreal;  Green Thumb, Vancouver;  The Solo Company, St. John's. 

I directed a version for the Edmonton Fringe. 

The 2002 version directed by Juris Rijnieks for the Liepaja Theatre in Latvia won the award for Best Production for a Young Audience.

The show lasts 50 minutes and generates lively discussions among its adolescent audiences.

Published in the collection Wanna Play?, Playwrights Canada Press, Toronto, 1994. Excerpts in Two for the Show, Playwrights Canada Press, Toronto, 1999. Excerpts in Acting Out, published by Playwrights Canada Press and Theatre Direct, Toronto, 2006.  The full script of Thin Ice is available through Playwrights Canada.