SFU SCA theatre professor Ker Wells and alumna create community pageant in New Glasgow PEI
By Ian Bryce
In 2016, Simon Fraser University School of Contemporary Arts theatre professor Ker Wells and Master of Fine Arts alumna, Megan Stewart, were inspired to return to their home province of Prince Edward Island to put on a community-created ensemble theatre production.
They arrived in New Glasgow and spoke with community members who expressed concerns about the health of the nearby River Clyde. Due to farming and industry practices over the years, the river would become clogged with silt and experience sea lettuce blooms that would drive away local wildlife and create unpleasant odour as it rotted.
Basing the pageant’s story around the state of the river, Wells and Stewart brought different groups in the town together to write, perform, and create props and costumes for the pageant.
The first River Clyde pageant was so well-received by the community that Wells and Stewart returned this summer to create and stage another pageant.
Wells and Stewart attribute their success to the strength of the New Glasgow community in wanting to create a meaningful story centered on a local issue and featuring local talent.
The community is now putting the finishing touches together for the sold-out River Clyde Pageant running from Jul. 29-30 and Aug. 4-6.