All but the most rabid of Canadian sports trivia buffs will have heard of the Preston Rivulettes. That is about to change though as Tracey Power’s Glory gets set to play at both West Vancouver’s Kay Meek Centre and Richmond’s Gateway Theatre.
Set in 1933, Glory is the true story of four friends who were members of the Rivulettes, the Ontario women’s hockey team who would go on to win over 95% of their games and take home four trophies at the Dominion Championships and ten Ontario titles over its ten-year history.
To help tell the story, Power has also choreographed her play and included an original score inspired by swing music from the time period.
In this Q&A with the playwright we find out why she decided to tackle this piece of Canadian history, and the research and challenges in creating Glory.
This interview has been edited.
How would you describe Glory?
Glory is inspired by the incredible story of the hockey team The Preston Rivulettes. It’s a story of friendship, determination and passion, full of comedy, drama and athletic swing dance hockey. It takes place in 1930’s Canada and is not just a story of a team, but also a country and the challenges present at that time.
What inspired you to write this story?
Firstly, the passion that these women had to build this team, and fight to succeed both on the ice and off. And secondly, the fact that I had no idea that this was a part of our history. There are so many incredible stories in this country that have not been documented or shared. As artists we are so proud and honoured to be able to share this story across the country.
What research did you do to prepare for writing Glory?
Newspapers from the time were a huge resource, as well as the work of two scholars who had documented their research on the team. There is hardly any personal information on the team, so researching other personal stories of women in the 30’s was hugely helpful as well as the depression and the conflicts in Canada leading up to the Second World War.
What was your biggest challenge in creating this piece?
Building the choreography and sound design with Steve Charles. We were starting with nothing but ideas, so figuring out what came first, the music or the choreography or the play by play announcer was tricky. It was a constant back and forth process and one we are very proud of. The number of hours we spent on it is insane, but totally worth it.
What has it been like watching the actors bring your words to life?
Amazing. As well as watching them tackle the choreography. So athletic, so fierce. I love watching the sport come to life on stage and the adrenaline that naturally fills the scenes after a game.
What do you hope the audience experience will be?
Much like going to watch your favourite team play, they should feel all the emotions. The ecstasy of a great win, the emptiness of a disappointing loss, the passion and determination to go after what you want in life, and the joy of being a part of an incredible team of friends.
Glory plays the Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver March 29 & 30. Visit kaymeek.com for tickets and information. Glory then moves to Gateway Theatre in Richmond April 4-13. Visit gatewaytheatre.com for tickets and information.