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Audiences loving A Splinter in the Heart – matinee date added

A matinee performance has been added to the schedule – for Saturday, Aug. 20 at 1:30 p.m.!


“What a perfect play! Wonderful! You must see it!”

“Excellent show. I highly recommend it.”

“Absolutely amazing. Not to be missed.”

“It’s like this perfect gem of a show. This…perfect moment. So great.”

“Lovely play, lovely production, lovely actors.
And wine before and during the interval. What’s not to love?”

“Really enjoyed seeing the opening of Splinter in the Heart by Dave Carley at the Festival Players in Prince Edward County last night. So much fun to see John Jarvis and Stuart Clow reunited on the stage. Lovely direction by Sarah Phillips.”

Beverly Cooper, playwright, Toronto

Festival Players’ final production of its 10th anniversary season is the world premiere of Dave Carley’s A Splinter in the Heart, adapted from the novel by Al Purdy.

It’s a funny and poignant piece, at once intensely local, (set in Trenton, 1918) and with epic and universal themes that will resonate with audiences from near and far.

Iconic Canadian poet Al Purdy, spent decades living and writing in the famous A-Frame cottage he built with his wife Eurithe on the shores of Roblin Lake in Prince Edward County. His love of the people and the geography of the area shines through in his poetry, and the same can be said of the novel. It’s like a love-letter to the region.

At its core, A Splinter in the Heart, is a story about a young boy, coming-of-age during the First World War. Patrick, like teenagers since time in memoriam, is struggling to find his place in the world, frustrated by the adults in his life, and marking time in school, but when a new girl arrives in class things get turned a wee bit upside down. Patrick’s journey is set against the real-life disaster, a little-known piece of Canadian war-time history. In Trenton on Thanksgiving Day 1918 the British Chemical plant, a 200 acre installation on the Trent River employing over 5000 people, blew up. It was a near Halifax-sized explosion that changed the town, and this boy’s life, forever.

“It’s a fascinating piece. There are so many layers. And it’s just so much fun,” says Artistic Director Sarah Phillips. “We’ve got the layer of the novel, of Purdy’s initial story, which has been adapted for the stage by Dave Carley. And then the play itself is set in a recording studio where actors are putting on a radio drama version of the novel. The edges blur and we exist in this suspended sort of realm. Andrew Penner, our composer, has created a beautiful score, executed by the musician and the actors in the cast. The actors are voicing all of these different characters in the story and they’re doing live sound effects in the scenes, playing music in and around moments. It’s captivating. This recording studio comes alive and then we kind of transcend its walls. There’s almost this mystical or magical quality to it.”

The cast features John Jarvis (Soulpepper, Tarragon Theatre, CanStage), Stuart Clow (Factory Theatre, CanStage, Theatre Passe Muraille), Caitlin Driscoll (Theatre Passe Muraille, 4th Line Theatre, Lighthouse Festival Theatre), Darcy Gerhart (Theatre Centre, Shaw Festival, Hart House Theatre), Ben Chiasson (Victoria Playhouse, Charlottetown Festival, Toronto Fringe) and musician Tom Keenan (Manitoba Theatre Centre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, Theatre Calgary). The show is directed by Festival Players Artistic Director Sarah Phillips with music director Andrew Penner (Soulpepper, Stratford, CanStage). Costume Design by Anne Redish (4th Line Theatre, 1000 Islands Playhouse, Theatre Kingston) and Set Design by John Thompson (Manitoba Theatre Centre, CanStage, Soulpepper).

Audiences can enjoy a pre-show meal from the Picnic food truck and/or a glass of wine under the Grand Tent at Rosehall Run. The outdoor show has long been a favourite of Festival Players audiences and this will be no exception. It’s a funny, sweeping, moving play, sure to be a hit!

Single tickets on sale now!
Regular Tickets – $29.90 +HST and fees
Youth, Senior, Student and Group Tickets available

A Splinter in the Heart
Aug 3 – 21, Rosehall Run Vineyards, Wellington
Wed – Sat @ 6:30PM, Fri & Sun @ 1:30PM
Festival Players 2016

Tickets available online at and at the box office at Books & Company


Festival-SplinterA Splinter in the Heart
Aug 3 – 21, Rosehall Run Vineyards, Wellington

August will feature the world-premiere of David Carley’s stage adaptation of A Splinter in the Heart, based on the novel originally penned by local poet Al Purdy. Performed under the Grand Tent at Rosehall Run, A Splinter in the Heart runs Aug 3 – 21. A little-known piece of Canadian wartime history, brought vividly to life.

Festival-Sounding-GroundThroughout the season you can experience Sounding Ground, a series of five audio plays that will have you embarking on a walking journey around town. It’s Picton as you’ve never seen (heard) it before. Visit the box office at Books & Company for details.

Visit the Box Office at Books & Co,
call 613.476.1991 / 1.866.584.1991
or online at

Visit the Festival Players website for more details and tickets!


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