PADDLESONG - The Playwright's Musings

The Playwrights’ Musings   outline the visceral appeal  of our unique and remarkably self sufficient circa 1880  turn of the century woman for  ‘Paddle Song’  author,  Dinah Christie.

A  strong and forthright personality.

A woman not the least afraid to wear denim …

… nor the sequined gown for the Royal Ball.


my  thirteen – year – old days when I first studied the writings of E. Pauline Johnson I felt the need to proclaim her as my everlasting friend.

She had her own river. I canoed every chance I got.
She wrote about animals, bullrushes and love.
I drew horses, bullrushes and costumes.
She  toured the countries of Canada, the U.S.A. and England.
I was born in England and toured Canada, the U.S.A and Mexico.
It was a loving relationship right from the start.
As a child she recited for the worldly-wise guests who treasured her father’s invitations to soirees at their home estate of ‘Chiefswood’.

Her reputation spilled outside the Reserve and she was soon a feted and admired Canadian performer on tour across the nation.

She wrote for Canadian and U.S. papers and magazines of the trials of her people and of their love and understanding of the balance of nature and humanity.

Her successful performances in London, England  enabled her book of poems, ‘The White Wampum’ ,  to be published. This raised her profile considerably.

I discovered the open-hearted, effulgent poetry of Pauline Johnson’s
“The Iroquois Princess” in junior Highschool. I wasn’t the only one touched by her energy, her love of nature and her pride in her cross-heritage.
Her mother was born in England and living in the U.S. when her father met her.
He was a gregarious Mohawk Chief of The Six Nations Reserve in Canada.

I first wrote ‘Paddle Song’  for The Smile Theatre Company in 2000. This led to a complete re-write for The Woodland Cultural Centre in Brantford, Ontario to accompany Tom Hill’s exquisite presentation – “Faithfully Yours, E. Pauline Johnson” , a display of the Poet’s’ memoirs, artifacts and costumes.

‘Paddle Song’, this  little gem, has legs of its own and  is ready to be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

All of us – Cheri Maracle, star; Tom Hill and Dinah Christie, co-producers, want that future for ‘PaddleSong’ too.
Dinah Christie

Playwright, Black Shadow Creek Farm ON. September 2010