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Stages and Pages: Gracie


Gracie, by Joan MacLeod is a sensitive and compassionate coming of age story, offering a glimpse into the secretive world of a polygamous religious community through the eyes of a child. The one-woman show introduces the engaging Gracie as an eight-year-old, driving with her mother and siblings to Canada, where her mother will marry a man they have never met and they will all join his family. Gracie is thrilled by the prospect of new friendships and the gift of her first doll, but she is also confused and worried by some aspects of her new environment. We return to her at 12, and again at 15, as her awareness of the strictures of her community grows and becomes unbearable. This is a nuanced depiction of a world many Canadians find fascinating, focussing on the human lives and love that exist beyond the headlines.

Get to know Gracie at the Great Canadian Theatre Company from April 24th-May 13th, 2018. For more insight into life in a secretive religious community—polygamous and otherwise—see the resources below.


GCTC 2017-2018: Gracieby allison_library

As part of the Ottawa Public Library's “Stages and Pages” partnership with the Great Canadian Theatre Company, we have compiled this list to accompany the production of Gracie which opens at the GCTC on April 24, 2018.

  • Image: Hanna Who Fell From the Sky

    Hanna Who Fell From the Sky

    A Novel
    By Meades, Christopher
    A young woman coming of age in a strictly patriarchal, polygamous community must decide whether to follow the path set out for her or break free; a thread of magical realism sets this story apart.
  • Image: Amity & Sorrow

    Amity & Sorrow

    A Novel
    By Riley, Peggy
    A woman fleeing a Doomsday cult with her two daughters crashes her car in a farmer’s field and refuses to leave. Past and present narratives explore the damage sustained by women and children in polygamous cults.
  • Image: A Complicated Kindness

    A Complicated Kindness

    A Novel
    By Toews, Miriam
    This modern Canadian classic follows a bright, rebellious young woman coming of age in a conservative Mennonite community.
  • Image: The Secret Lives of Saints

    The Secret Lives of Saints

    Child Brides and Lost Boys in Canada's Polygamous Mormon Sect
    By Bramham, Daphne
    A Vancouver Sun journalist, Bramham exposes the history of Canada’s most notorious polygamous community in Bountiful, British Columbia.
  • Image: Under the Banner of Heaven

    Under the Banner of Heaven

    A Story of Violent Faith
    By Krakauer, Jon
    Krakauer uses the terrifying story of two fanatical, murderous brothers as a focal point to explore the history of the FLDS and mainstream Mormon religions and the differences between the two.
  • Image: The Witness Wore Red

    The Witness Wore Red

    The 19th Wife Who Brought Polygamous Cult Leaders to Justice
    By Musser, Rebecca
    A memoir of life in, and escape from, in the most well-known polygamous Mormon sect in North America, the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
  • Image: Sons of Perdition

    Sons of Perdition

    [the Story of Polygamy's Exiled Youth]
    This moving documentary follows three teenage boys exiled from their polygamous community and the barriers they face as they try to integrate into the secular world.
  • Image: In the Days of Rain

    In the Days of Rain

    A Daughter, A Father, A Cult
    By Stott, Rebecca
    Based on an unfinished memoir left by her father, Stott tells the story of her family’s involvement in a patriarchal, fundamentalist Christian sect over several generations.
  • Image: The Sound of Gravel

    The Sound of Gravel

    A Memoir
    By Wariner, Ruth
    A powerful account of childhood in a polygamous Mormon sect, the author survived the murder of her father, child abuse and poverty before breaking free.
  • Image: Stolen Innocence

    Stolen Innocence

    My Story of Growing up in A Polygamous Sect, Becoming A Teenage Bride, and Breaking Free of Warren Jeffs
    By Wall, Elissa
    Another compelling memoir of childhood and adolescence in the FLDS sect.