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Welcome

to this special retrospective exhibit about one of Canada’s most influential playwrights, David French (1939 – 2010), produced by the National Arts Centre in association with Theatre Museum Canada.

Learn about David French’s life, his career, and why his work was so important to the development of English Canadian theatre. Watch the video of actor/director R.H. Thomson’s in-depth interview with David French.

With a particular focus on the five semi-autobiographical plays French wrote about the fictional Mercer family of Newfoundland, this online exhibit is a companion to the physical exhibit created to coincide with the NAC English Theatre’s production of Salt-Water Moon, directed by Micheline Chevrier, October 18 – November 5, 2011.

Message from Peter Herrndorf

Canada’s National Arts Centre (NAC) is proud to partner with Theatre Museum Canada to produce the exhibition David French: Writing Home.

As Canada’s national home for the performing arts and a centre for artistic creation, the NAC has consistently played a leading role in the development of artistic talent and the production of Canadian theatre. We are therefore delighted to have this unique opportunity to honour one of Canadian theatre’s most accomplished and influential playwrights, David French, and to present this exhibition in tandem with our production of Salt-Water Moon, David French’s classic work from the Mercer cycle of plays, featuring members of the NAC English Theatre Company under the dynamic leadership of NAC Artistic Director Peter Hinton.

This special retrospective exhibition, together with English Theatre’s bold new production of Salt-Water Moon, directed by Micheline Chevrier, is a fitting tribute to one of the greatest contributors to the Canadian theatre canon.

Peter A. Herrndorf
President and CEO, Canada’s National Arts Centre

Message from Michael Wallace

David French, one of our most popular playwrights, played a crucial role in the development of professional theatre in English-speaking Canada. His plays have been produced across this country, and have helped to create a place on our stages for Canadian drama. The recurring characters of his acclaimed Mercer plays share the Newfoundland experience with audiences across the land and have been rightly described as Canadian archetypes.

Producing this exhibition reminds us how important it is to preserve the archives of theatres and artists. These theatrical records and artifacts document the legacy of pioneers like David French, playing a vital role in our appreciation today of his work and influence.

It is with great pride that Theatre Museum Canada, dedicated to preserving and celebrating Canadian theatre history, has collaborated on the exhibition David French: Writing Home in partnership with the National Arts Centre.

We hope you enjoy it.

Michael Wallace
Executive Director, Theatre Museum Canada

A physical version of David French: Writing Home is available for touring to venues across Canada. For information please contact Judi Pearl: judi.pearl@nac-cna.ca