France, 1917. Four wounded Canadian soldiers recover in a field hospital in the wake of the battle for Vimy Ridge, waiting to find out where they’ll be sent next: back home or back to the front. Along with a young nurse from Nova Scotia, they share their stories, reasons for fighting, and treasured memories. In Vimy, Governor General’s Literary Award–winner Vern Thiessen brings us a classic play that is not about war, but a reflection of the everyday lives of soldiers—their hopes and their dreams—and how actions can define individuals and nations.
In the brand-new piece Bluebirds, Thiessen brings to light the stories of three Canadian nurses who crossed oceans to take care of others in the war. Bonding over their duties and patients, the nurses keep up a positive atmosphere, even as the front line draws closer to their field hospital.
Vern Thiessen is one of Canada’s most produced playwrights. His work has been seen across Canada, the United States, and Europe. Vern is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award for Outstanding New Play, the City of Edmonton Arts Achievement Award, and the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Vern received his BA from the University of Winnipeg and an M.F.A. from the University of Alberta. He currently lives in Edmonton, where he is the artistic director of Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre.
“This play cuts through the accrued nationalist mythos, offering a gritty, personal and complex look at the soldiers and nurses who were forever changed by this event.” —Jordan Bimm, NOW Magazine
"A victory of a play." —Globe and Mail
"A powerful and moving piece of theatre." —Edmonton Sun