About the Book
God’s Middle Name is the compelling tale of one mother’s journey through the uncharted territory of raising an autistic child.
Jennifer, is the mother of the child with autism. The play, in a series of episodic scenes, follows Jennifer’s family over the course of 10 years: from confusion to a life-altering diagnosis, through stages of denial, anger, depression, bargaining and finally acceptance. Along the way are flights of fancy and a great deal of humour, found both in Jennifer’s own approach to the challenge, and in Nic’s perception of the world around him.
Written with sensitivity and lightness of touch, the play does not flinch from describing the grief involved in parenting an autistic child, yet the dominant emotion is one of joy in Nicholas’ accomplishments.
God’s Middle Name premiered at the On The Waterfront Festival at Eastern Front Theatre in 2006. The play earned Jennifer the 2007 Robert G. Merritt Award for Best New Play, and In Good Company the award for Best Production. The production went on to the prestigious Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Ottawa and then had a very successful provincial and Canadian national tour. The play was also shortlisted for the coveted Lieutenant Governor’s Masterworks Award in 2008 and 2009.
News & Reviews
“An absolutely unique experience. She turned a burning glass on all of us as parents… a standard of excellence I feel I haven’t seen for ages… Thank you for reminding me of the connection between personal storytelling and good theatre. I hope that this play will be seen over and over again, so people across the country can be affected as I was.” —Halifax Chronicle-Herald
About the Author
Born and raised in Ancaster, Ontario, Jennifer Overton is an actor, educator and writer living in Halifax. Her professional acting credits span twenty-five years with major roles in theatre, television, and film. Jennifer also directs, and recently served as Acting Artistic Director at Festival Antigonish. She teaches in the Theatre Department at Dalhousie University.
Jennifer’s writing career, a newer form of creative endeavor for her, has had enormous success. Her initial writings about life with her autistic son aired to great acclaim on CBC Radio’s First Person Singular series. The success of these reflections has brought her publication in magazines and journals as well as her first book, Snapshots of Autism: a family album (Jessica Kingsley Pub.)
Jennifer is currently working on a new play about autism for young audiences, titled Spelling 2-5-5. She is the proud recipient of the 2007 Nova Scotia Provincial Autism Centre Sobey’s Green Jacket Award for her contribution to the autism community.