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In 2000, the Anti-Violence Program of The 519, Toronto's LGBTTIQQ community centre, wanted to address the issue of same-sex violence in an innovative way. The program commissioned the creation of a play, with a small group of actors, a director, and myself as actor/writer.
In development workshops the troupe arrived at the notion of using nursery rhymes as a starting place to address violence. Nursery rhymes evoke childhood innocence yet are often violent little tales themselves. We found that just by changing some of the words we came up with chilling depictions of abusive situations. The title of the play comes from an old English folk song about the idyllic promises of love.
The play is structured in 10 scenes each portraying a different aspect of violence or abuse, from relationships themselves to the responses of social service workers. The scene "Three Fine Tykes" is included in the recently published anthology from Playwrights Canada Press, Outspoken: A Canadian Collection of Lesbian Scenes and Monologues. An educational video was made of the play and is available through the 519 Community Centre.
Development of Lavender's Blue was supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and by the Lesbian and Gay Community Appeal, now known as the Community One Foundation.
"What's that sound? Is something else breaking? Yes, I think I hear the fairytale cracking!"