Written and Directed by Michael Hollingsworth
The History of the Village of the Small Huts, 1867
DORA MAVOR MOORE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY AND OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
Confederation premiered April-May 2003 at the Cameron House.
Confederation launched a newly-devised portion of The History of the Village of the Small Huts, inspired by the scripts for 1988's Confederation & Riel, and 1991's Laurier (originally Parts IV & V of the play cycle). Michael's re-writes resulted in five new plays which chronicle Canada's Victorian age: Confederation (Part IV), The Red River Rebellion (Part V), Canadian Pacific Scandal (Part VI), The Saskatchewan Rebellion (Part VII) and Laurier (Part VIII).
Confederation is a comic melodrama about the deal-makers behind the fireworks on July 1, 1867, whose dreams of economic expansion and nightmares of American annexation overcome all resistance. The play follows the action as John A. Macdonald and leading power brokers, thereafter known as the Fathers of Confederation, prepare to transcend parochial greed in the interest of national greed and to run British North America as a private company - thereafter known as The Dominion of Canada,
Macdonald bestrides the play with a bottle in one hand and a country in the other, beguiling, persuading, promising and trading with Canadian legends such George Brown, Georges-Etienne Cartier, Charles Tupper, Leonard Tilly, Josepth Howe and D'Arcy McGee.
The story also introduces two young Montreal Law students who will take centre-stage in the plays-to-come: Wilfrid Laurier, who joins the ardent anti-Confederationists of the Parti Rouge and begins his rise to power; and Louis Riel who prepares for the role of "public enemy" by being a Western Canada Metis, educated by priests and free thinkers.