After suffering an injury during a military tour of Afghanistan, Michael, a young soldier, is recovering in the rehabilitation wing of a hospital. The last thing he wants is to spend time with a twelve-year-old girl, but Halley, a spirited Pathfinder and self-described “reading fiend,” is eager to earn her community service badge. The pair is at odds from the start, but they find a shared interest in The Red Badge of Courage, the classic American Civil War novel, which spurs them to reveal their own stories. As their friendship grows, uncomfortable truths are exposed and questioned, redefining the meaning of courage and heroism.
About the author
Colleen Murphy is a playwright, filmmaker and librettist, born in 1954 in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, raised in Northern Ontario, and now based in Toronto. Her play Pig Girl won the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama as well as the 2014 Carol Bolt Award. The December Man / L'homme de decembre won the 2007 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama, the CAA/Carol Bolt Award and the Enbridge Playwrights Award. Other plays include The Society for the Destitute Presents Titus Bouffonius, The Breathing Hole (shortlisted for the Susan Blackburn Prize, U.S. and the Carol Bolt Award), Bright Burning, Armstrong's War, The Goodnight Bird, Beating Heart Cadaver (shortlisted for the 1999 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama) The Piper and Down in Adoration Falling. Libretti include Oksana G., (c. Aaron Gervais) for Tapestry Opera (nominated for seven Dora Mavor Moore Awards), Bring Me The Head Of The President and My Mouth On Your Heart, (c. August Murphy-King) for Tapestry and Toy Piano Composers and Bicycle Opera, respectively. Colleen twice won prizes in the CBC Literary Competition. She is also an award-winning filmmaker and her distinct films have played in festivals around the world.
Colleen has been Writer-in-Residence at four theatres and six Canadian universities and Canadian Playwright-in-Residence at Finborough Theatre in London UK. In 2017, Colleen was awarded a Canada Council New Chapter Grant to write a six-hour play, Geography of Fire / La Furie et sa geographie.
Upcoming: libretto for Fantasma (c. Ian Cusson) for the Canadian Opera Company, Fall 2021; screenplay for Armstrong's War, produced by Solo Productions (Mary-Young Leckie), Fall 2021.
"Framed in surprising plot reversals, a nuanced discussion of hope emerges." —Colin Thomas, Georgia Straight
"A script built to last." —Mark Leiren-Young, Vancouver Sun
"[Armstrong's War] sidesteps any obvious melodramatic moments with a quick joke or a surprising sharp turn and it provides warm and thoughtful moments..." —David C. Jones, Charlebois Post