The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin

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Equal Opportunity Institution. 24+ hours advance notice is appreciated for accommodations.

By Elaine Avila

In 1917, Ginger Goodwin, a coal miner, led a strike. There was no eight-hour day, no compensation for getting injured on the job, and safety standards were so low that you could die at work.

By 1918, Ginger Goodwin was hunted down and killed. Ever since, politicians and newspapers have been fighting to erase his powerful story.

With a cast of ten (playing everyone from a radical socialist to an Italian laundress to a scientific industrialist), The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin is about the dreams of immigrants, coal and smelter workers in Canada and the Pacific Northwest, and the battle for worker’s rights.

Featuring music of the period, including a new ballad by composer/activist Earle Peach.

The play regards the events surrounding the death of Albert "Ginger" Goodwin, who, through a strike at a Canadian zinc smelter in Trail, B.C. Canada, brought the WWI British war machine to a halt.

The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin will be directed by Kathleen Weiss, currently on sabbatical from her position as Chair of Theatre at the University of Alberta.

The playwright

Elaine Avila’s writing is described as “bold, intelligent, forthright, spirited, compassionate…inviting, wide-ranging” (Caridad Svich), “open, generous” (Erik Ehn) and “a wonderful writer, tremendously gifted, and innovative.” (Suzan-Lori Parks). Her plays have premiered in Panama; Lisbon; New York City; Vancouver; Edmonton; Toronto; Seattle; Los Angeles; and London, England.  They include: Jane Austen, Action Figure, Quality: the Shoe Play, Lieutenant Nun, Burn Gloom, Kitimat, Lost in Fado. Selected awards: Victoria Critic's Circle for Best New Play, Best Drama, Audience Favorite Victoria, BC (for Lieutenant Nun) Audience Favorite, Festival de Cocos, Panama City; Disquiet Dzanc Books International Literary Program’s Short Play Prize, Lisbon, Portugal; BC Arts Council and Canada Council. An Associate at the Playwrights Theatre Centre, she has taught in universities from British Columbia to Tasmania, China to Panama. Publications: Jane Austen Action Figure and other Plays; in 24 Gun Control Plays; Monologues for Latino/a Actors; Innovation in Five Acts; Howlround, Canadian Theatre Review, American Theater, Contemporary Theatre Review, Lusitania.  She is distinguished as a descendentes notáveis (Notable Descendant) for her theatre work by the Government of the Azores, Portugal. More at