Read about some of my produced plays:   Wolfman Crossing   Pacific Time   A Health Unto Her Majesty  

also visit  Linda Mitchelmore, British Novelist  and to reach me go to Contact  


DAVID HAAS
PLAYWRIGHT

Playwrights Guild of Canada
Alberta Playwrights Network
Writers Guild of Alberta


MY UPCOMING PLAY
CRAZY TRAIN
At the 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival
August 17 - 27, 2017

An official investigation into an undoubted case of severe child abuse quickly goes awry.

The story begins after a rookie police officer encounters a nearly four year old boy wandering lost, and discovers fading bruises over much of the child's body – obviously from a severe beating.

On returning the boy to his home, the officer encounters a hostile, abrasive mother whose explanation he instinctively doubts.

Both parents are plausible suspects in the subsequent investigation: an infantry sergeant-major father with three harrowing combat tours in Afghanistan behind him; a nurse mother burned out by long years at a major hospital emergency ward.

But when police and child protection workers off-handedly dismiss the parents’ explanation that a roving gang of youths attacked their child, are the authorities too eager to lock into a seemingly obvious solution?

An experienced police detective works patiently to find her way through a complex mesh of evasions, half-truths, and lies – some of which may flow from causes other than guilt. And she is hampered not only by the hostility of the parents, but by pressing factors in her own life which cut close to some of the issues she must deal with in the investigation.

DIRECTOR

AMBER JONES

STAGE MANAGER

PAIGE BRENNEIS

Crazy Train will be directed for the Fringe by Amber Jones, a veteran of Morinville’s Caviar Players. Since 2005 she has appeared onstage in A Bad Year for Tomatoes ; Aspirin and Elephants ; Almost, Maine ; Play On! ; Hamlette ; and most recently in the poignant drama Where Have All The Lightning Bugs Gone?  She directed Caviar’s production of White Sheep of the Family. Amber honed her innate talent for theatre by spending a year in the Rosebud Theatrical School programme.

Another Caviar Players veteran, Paige has both acted and directed. Her first Caviar role came in 2011 as Maid Marion in Hoodwinked. In 2012 she played an abrasive but romantically inclined seamstress in David's play A Health Unto Her Majesty. The next year Paige played several roles including Ophelia in the comedic Hamelette - "That's Princess of Denmark!" In 2015 she directed Caviar's production of the poignant love story Where Have All The Lightning Bus Gone?"

THE CAST
CHRISTINE GOLD
as
SERGEANT KOSTIUK
a seasoned police detective
GLENN BALOMBIN
as
TRAFFORD
the child's father
a battle hardened soldier
YANIT TEREFE
as
SHERRI
the child's mother
an experienced nurse
BERKLEY ABBOTT
as
CONRAD
an earnest child protection worker
SOME BACKGROUND TO THE PLAY
In a shorter version, Crazy Train was originally written in 2009 as part of my public response to a judge declining to imprison a physically abusive military father because he was suffering from PTSD when attacking his two young sons. If you are interested in reading this story, and some follow-up clarification, click on PTSD gets probation

In writing an initial published newspaper column denouncing that decision, and then in writing the play, I drew on the experiences and observations of a lifetime in and around the Canadian Army — I was born into and grew up in a military family, then spent about thirty years soldiering as a regular and reservist. In a civilian career as a lawyer I spent nearly three decades heavily involved with criminal defence work in Canada's court system. If you are interested in reading this column click on PTSD no excuse This was the first of five columns I had published up to early 2012 dealing with PTSD and its handling by Canada's military and veterans ministry.

Within a few weeks after the initial column appeared I spotted a one-act plays competition for the 2009 St. Albert Festival of the Arts, and wrote Crazy Train. The play was a winning entry and was read aloud to an audience at the festival by a team of actors.

THINK IT CAN'T HAPPEN HERE?
When I wrote Crazy Train in 2009 the potential for investigator tunnel vision was an integral theme.

In early 2016 I began an overhaul of the play with a view to entering it in the 2017 Fringe.

Not long into this revision I had the disquieting experience of opening a newspaper one day and spotting an account of a recent actual Edmonton court case.

Charges had been dropped against a couple of parents who had been ground through the legal mill for TWO YEARS in a prosecution for harming their infant son.

Their defence counsel raked the investigators for tunnel vision.

THE PLAY SO HOT THE FIRE DEPARTMENT SHUT IT DOWN!

The play was to have been read out before an audience at an Edmonton Script Salon on October 2, 2016. The play readers were Michelle Flieger, Doug Mertz, Liana Shannon and Luc Tellier.

Unfortunately the reading had to be terminated after only a third of the work had been read.

A respiratory system attacking substance entered the building. The audience, the cast, and the organizers broke out in compulsive coughing. The building was evacuated after the fire department was called. The intrusive agent was never definitely identified, though pepper spray was suspected, but fortunately appears to have had no lasting impact.

The play was read through to its conclusion at a special Script Salon on November 20. Sharla Matkin replaced Liana Shannon, and Andy Northrup replaced Doug Mertz.