After two long years the St. Mary’s University Drama program is back with two dramatic plays, Off a Broken Road and the first-year collective play Community Affair.

Presented by the senior drama students, Off a Broken Road is a moving, compelling, fast-paced episodic play that takes place in the aftermath of a war where the victors and the losers must work through their resentments to find unity.

Community Affair, written and performed by first-year St. Mary’s drama students is a funny and moving story set in a community centre highlighting how the denizens of the centre deal with both personal and professional relationship issues.

For St. Mary’s University drama director Joe Norman Shaw, seeing the hard work of everyone come together for these productions is truly rewarding.

“These productions are the culmination of our year’s work and I’m always proud of the passion, dedication and execution of our drama students. Mounting any production takes a lot of hard work, but the hard work pays off when we are able to move an audience or make them laugh, it’s a feeling of shared accomplishment and a job well done.”

In fall classes Shaw works with his first-year students on acting technique and delivering an authentic performance while fostering a creative and collaborative environment to encourage creativity.

“With the collaborative production, it gives [the students] a chance to voice their thoughts and feelings about the world around them. To touch on issues important to them,” said Shaw. “I want them to learn to work together as creative collaborators and give voice to their deeper thoughts and feelings.”

“Ultimately we are teaching them to think creatively and find the individual and collective creative voices.”
Shaw has forged a close relationship with his senior drama students and is excited about the students finally getting a chance to perform live.

“Many of these students I’ve spent a long time getting to know and working together, they are such a talented group,” said Shaw. “It’s been a long time since these actors have been able to perform live. There’s some powerful and accomplished performances and it’s so rewarding to see their learning and experience put to the test in a full production – and succeed. Their hard work and dedication is inspiring!”

Audiences can expect to be entertained by two meaningful pieces of theatre presented by some talented and dedicated student actors. Off a Broken Road opens Friday, April 1 with a show at 7p.m. and two shows on Saturday at 2p.m. and 7p.m. with Community Affair opening April 8 at 7p.m. and two shows on April 9 at 2p.m. and 7p.m.

For tickets and more information visit