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Domino Theatre
Now playing

Ten Lost Years

Bill Morrow, Michael Doggett, Donald Mitchell, Thomas Cherney

L-R: Bill Morrow, Michael Doggett, Donald Mitchell, Thomas Cherney

by Cedric Smith, George Luscombe and Jack Winter
directed by Martha Bailey
April 25,26,27, May 2,3,4,9,10 7:30 p.m.
May 11, 2:00 p.m.
The Davies Foundation Auditorium
52 Church St., Kingston, ON

A portrait of the Great Depression and its effect upon this country, Ten Lost Years suggests a variety of scenes “from farmyards to highways, from kitchens to boxcars, from shop floors to hobo jungles, from spiritual deserts to centres of government” as it views the economic catastrophe on personal and national scales.

"Onstage, Ten Lost Years was a complex collage of storytelling and music, and the words spoken by the 10 actors came directly from the pages of the book. Luscombe was a pioneer of this kind of documentary drama that told stories about the Canadian working class. Critic Jack Kapica wrote in the Montreal Gazette that Ten Lost Years 'packs an emotional wallop long unmatched in the annals of Canadian theatre.' Over a two-year period, more than 66,000 Canadians saw the play in the course of 42 weeks of touring in all 10 provinces."

Andrea Van Slyke and Martha Reid

Andrea Van Slyke (left) and Martha Reid

The play is based on the 1973 book of the same name by Barry Broadfoot, who travelled all over Canada interviewing ordinary people and compiled their stories and memories of the Great Depression. Their words, exactly as told to Broadfoot, are the text of the play.

They tell of failed farms and businesses, of riding the rails back and forth across the country in a mostly fruitless search for work, of rising unemployment, falling wages and the shame of taking government relief.

Grant Buckler, Craig Norton, Anne-Marie Bergman and Thomas Cherney

L-R: Grant Buckler, Craig Norton, Anne-Marie Bergman and Thomas Cherney

First staged in 1974 by Toronto Workshop Productions, Ten Lost Years was an example of the collaborative production techniques pioneered by TWP founder and director George Luscombe. It was later produced on CBC Television. named it as one of 14 plays that changed Canadian theatre.

Lynn Kerr, Michael Doggett, Andrea Van Slyke, Bill Morrow, Anne-Marie Bergman and Serena Ferzli

L-R: Lynn Kerr, Michael Doggett, Andrea Van Slyke, Bill Morrow, Anne-Marie Bergman and Serena Ferzli

Program | Cast and Crew | Seat Map

We would like to acknowledge that this production takes place on the traditional lands of the Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe peoples. We honour and give thanks to the land, its inhabitants and their enduring cultures.

Cedric Smith

Cedric Smith

Born in Bournemouth, England, Cedric Smith came to Canada aged 10, dropped out of school to become a folksinger and later took up acting. He won a Gemini award for his role in the TV series Road to Avonlea.

George Luscombe

George Luscombe

George Luscombe grew up in Toronto, studied theatre in England, and in 1958 founded what became Toronto Workshop Productions, of which he was director until 1986. He favoured collaborative productions and adaptations of non-theatrical material.

Jack Winter

Jack Winter

Born in Moose Jaw and educated in Montreal and Toronto, Jack Winter wrote plays, films, TV scripts, fiction and nonfiction, and taught theatre and creative writing at several universities in Canada and the U.K.

Barry Broadfoot

Barry Broadfoot

Barry Broadfoot was born in Winnipeg in 1921 and started work as a reporter at the age of 17. He worked as a journalist and oral historian, travelling across Canada to interview many ordinary people for books about the Great Depression, World War II and other topics.

Admission $20 (plus Grand Theatre surcharge). Tickets available through Kingston Grand Box Office, 613-530-2050 and online, until 2 p.m. on day of performance, and at the door (cash, debit, Visa, MasterCard, Apple Pay or Android Pay) on performance nights when available. Seniors and members $16 at the door on Thursdays only. Children and students $10.


CBC: The 14 Plays That Changed Everything for Canadian Theatre

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia: Ten Lost Years

Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia: Toronto Workshop Productions

Wikipedia: Great Depression in Canada