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Ontario playwright to tackle wind power debate — looking for local input

Daniel R. Pearce — Simcoe Reformer — November 1, 2012

One of the hottest, most controversial, most divisive issues to hit rural Ontario in many years — wind turbines — will get its own play.

It’s a couple of years away from hitting the boards and for now is in the development stage.

But accomplished playwright Leanna Brodie is busy doing research across the province for the piece she will eventually write in a joint project among three rural summer theatres in Ontario, including Lighthouse Theatre in Port Dover, that are smack in the middle of this broiling controversy.

Brodie is in the process of interviewing everybody: pro-wind people, anti-wind people, wind industry people, people trying to rent their land out for turbines, people trying to stop turbines from going up next to them, politicians stuck in the middle of everything, and anyone with an opinion on the topic.

Brodie says she is engaging in what is called “documentary theatre.” It can take many forms, like the show American writer Anna Deavere Smith did about the Rodney King riots in which she interviewed more than 200 people and then played all the parts, including Charlton Heston and King’s aunt.

The form this play will take is undetermined at this point and will depend on what Brodie finds and how she can adapt it to the personality of the three theatres she is writing for. “You respond to the material in front of you as a sculptor responds to the stone in front of them,” Brodie explains.

So far, she has talked to people from all sides of this debate and while they have differing and conflicting points of view, they all have one thing in common: they are furiously angry and willing to express it.


Brodie, who is working under both a Canada Council and Arts Council of Ontario grants, was in Norfolk County in September and started talking to people then. She will be back in Port Dover next summer for about four months to do more research.

Brodie says she wants to talk to as many people as possible and welcomes anyone with any experience or opinion on the matter to contact her. She can be reached at: leannabrodie@gmail.com.

(To read full article with further details, click here)

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