Category: 2008-09 Season

The Drawer Boy

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Press Release

The Belleville Theatre Guild
256 Pinnacle Street, Belleville
(613) 967-1442
The Drawer Boy

Luke Brownson, Bill Petch and Robert Lloyd

Belleville: Imagine two ageing bachelors living in a farm house in rural Ontario. Now envision a young actor from Toronto who lives with them for a Summer, while he “researches” farm life for a new play.

The Belleville Theatre Guild is proud to present The Drawer Boy by Michael Healey. This phenomenon, a play that absolutely everybody loves at first sight, and which wins every prize around, including the Governor General’s Award, is part of their 57th season.

The “roots” of The Drawer Boy lie in an historical chapter of Canadian theatre history. In 1972, a group of young actors, working with Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille, were sent to stay with farmers in Clinton, Ontario to collect stories from the people they encountered. The Farm Show was born and was a celebrated piece of theatre. Many years later, The Blyth Festival commissioned Michael Healy to write a play about the experiences of the actors and The Drawer Boy, a fictitious tale, was born.

Director Esther Parry has been with the Belleville Theatre Guild since 1979 working as Stage Manager. She began acting in 1996 and directed her first one act play in 2001, winning the Eastern Ontario Drama League’s New Director Award. In 2007, she was nominated for an Acting Award for her solo work as an 80 year old woman. This is Parry’s first full production.

Parry said, "I love this play. : I have seen it twice and each time , I have been taken with it on a number of levels, not the least being that it is set in rural Ontario, with two old farmers, who have been through the second world war together. My father was both a farmer and a World War II veteran, and in 1972, I was 20, nearly the same age as Miles in the play. Even without coming from Toronto, my father and I experienced "contradictions". This play has such marvelous understatement both comically and tragically that: I couldn't help but want to direct it”.

Parry cast two of the BTG's most talented and versatile actors, Bill Petch and Robert Lloyd in the roles of Angus and Morgan, as well as new face, Luke Brownson. Luke, a St. Theresa’s graduate has completed one year at Sheridan College’s Performing Arts Programme, plays Miles who arrives at the doorstep of their home and is assigned “vital” duties such as scrubbing gravel with a vegetable brush, shuffling eggs in order to alleviate anxiety among hens and straining gutters with a kitchen fork. His presence initiates the rural/urban clash, which results in the exposure of forgotten truths and lies, secrets and tragedies, ultimately leaving them all changed forever."

Don’t miss The Drawer Boy, January 28 to February 14, as Parry explores the balance between feeling and comedy. Tickets are just $18.00 and are available by contacting the box office at (613) 967-1442 or visit

Submitted by Debra Tosh