It’s the 1830s. Two travelling minstrels are passing north from London, Ontario, with their song and dance show on the local circuit. Having fallen afoul of the law and desperate for a night’s lodging, they stumble into the Wilberforce hotel, owned and operated by Austin Steward, the president of this stalwart black settlement.
Through turns highly comic, and deeply moving, the two musicians who have spent their showbiz careers painting their faces come to learn something life-changing about the actual black experience of early settlers in Middlesex Country at a time of exodus vs. jubilee.
Based on the autobiography of Austin Steward; The Wilberforce Hotel is the story of a brave man’s dreams , his love of family, and a threatened community’s perseverance.
News & Reviews
“Dixon’s plays tend to take audiences into a new and unexpected territory … an astute playwright with a voice of his own… ” —Toronto Star
About the Author
Sean Dixon is a playwright, novelist, and banjoist. His plays include Orphan Song, Jumbo, The Orange Dot, The Wilberforce Hotel, A God in Need of Help, FRANCE — or The Niqab, Right Robert & His Robber Bride, The Gift of the Coat, Lost Heir, The Girls Who Saw Everything, Aerwacol, Billy Nuthin’, The Epic Period, Sam’s Last Dance, The Painting, District of Centuries, and Falling Back Home. Sean lives in Toronto with his wife, the multi-award-winning documentary maker Katerina Cizek, and a six-year old daughter whose brilliant, funny, stubborn character permeates his current work.