Portuguese American Journal

Book | The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin & Kitimat: Two Plays | By Elaine Ávila – Editor’s Note

Two epic labor plays, based on true events, by the acclaimed author of Fado: The Saddest Music in the World. In The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin, discover how Canada got the eight-hour day – and in Kitimat, visit the fastest declining town in Canada, whose residents are suddenly offered a deal by Big Oil.

The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin, with a cast playing everyone from a radical socialist to an Italian laundress to a scientist-industrialist, is about the dreams of immigrants, coal and smelter workers in Canada and the Pacific Northwest, and the battle for workers’ rights. Featuring music of the period, including a new ballad by composer/activist Earle Peach, the play recreates the events surrounding the mysterious death of Albert “Ginger” Goodwin, who, through a strike at a Canadian zinc smelter in Trail, BC, brought the WWI British war machine to a halt.

Kitimat, British Columbia: an industry town in glorious wilderness finds itself the center of international controversy when the town is asked to vote no or yes on an upcoming oil pipeline project. As election day approaches, the residents of Kitimat struggle to decide between economic prosperity or the protection of the natural world.

Ávila’s plays, performed in Portugal, Central America, the United States, Canada, and Australia, are the recipients of many awards, including the Mellon Foundation Environment Arts Commission, and Best New Play, Audience Favourite, Best Production Awards from the Victoria Fringe and Victoria Critics Circle. Her most recent play, Fado, won the award for Favourite Musical in Victoria, BC, Canada.


The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin: “It’s been nearly a century since Albert ‘Ginger’ Goodwin was shot and killed in the Cumberland bush on Canada’s Vancouver Island, but thanks to people such as playwright Elaine Avila, the legacy of the workers’ rights activist won’t soon be forgotten.”–Cascadia Weekly

Kitimat: “It’s a story as familiar to people in the US as in Canada – a large corporation comes to a town where they want to develop or deliver resources and they promise work and money, a boom if the citizens will let the corporation have its way.”―National Observer


About the Author

Elaine Ávila has served as the playwright-in-residence at Pomona College in Los Angeles, Quest University Canada, and Western Washington University; as the Endowed Chair and Head of the M.F.A. Program in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico; and founder of the LEAP Playwriting Program at the Arts Club Theater in Vancouver.

She has taught in universities from Portugal to Tasmania, China to Panamá, and is the co-founder of the International Climate Change Theatre Action, involving fifty playwrights, two hundred venues, and twelve thousand audience members worldwide.

Ávila’s plays are produced in Central America, Europe, the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Her Best New Play Awards include Jane Austen, Action Figure (Festival de los Cocos, Panamá City), Lieutenant Nun (Victoria Critics Circle), and Café a Brasileira (Disquiet International Literary Program in Lisbon). Her most recent play, Fado, won the award for Favourite Musical in Victoria, BC.

As the 2019 Fulbright Scholar at the University of the Azores, Ávila lives in New Westminster, British Columbia, with her musician-teacher husband and her sixteen-year-old, a core leader of Sustainabiliteens.

Related Post

Elaine Ávila: Portuguese Canadian playwright debuts new play – Interview


Book Details

Title: The Ballad of Ginger Goodwin & Kitimat: Two Plays

Author: Elaine Ávila

Publisher‏: Talonbooks

Publication Date: September 27, 2023

Language‏: ‎English

Paperback‏:‎ 176pp

Available @ Amazon.com


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