THUNDERSTICK by Ken Williams, April 16 to May 5 at Theatre Passe Muraille. See openings.
Not many directors have Paul Thompson's blend of grassroots and titled pedigrees. Former artistic director of Theatre Passe Muraille and later director general of the National Theatre School, Thompson was instrumental in the creation of such Canadian classics as The Farm Show, Maggie And Pierre and Elizabeth Rex. His latest project is native writer Ken Williams's Thunderstick, in which a pair of journalist cousins (Ian Ferguson and Tim Hill) stumble upon a career-making story. Maybe because Williams himself is a journalist, Thunderstick presents a different kind of native tale. "It looks at first like a guys' adventure piece, but then it goes somewhere else," says Thompson. "That movement between Butch and Sundance territory and deeper emotional terrain, between quick, self-put-down humour and a discussion of painful and meaningful things, fascinates me about Ken's writing."