Miss Caledonia


Melody A. Johnson

About the book

How does a farm girl in 1950s Ontario escape the stall-cleaning, cow-milking, hay-baling drudgery of life on Rural Route 2? She becomes a movie star, of course! The quickest route to Hollywood for a plucky gal in the mid-twentieth century was to enter as many beauty pageants as possible and to sing, twirl and pivot her way into the hearts of judges. And so Peggy Ann Douglas did just that, as did so many other young women of her generation, hoping to follow in the footsteps of starlets like Debbie Reynolds.

This tour-de-force memory play looks back at one young, optimistic farm girl’s search for fame. Miss Caledonia is by turns hilarious and poignant as it paints a picture of one Ontario Scottish Protestant farm family and a vanished era.


“…A harlequin capable of breaking our hearts even as she splits our sides…(Johnson) really knows how to deliver the goods.”—Toronto Star

“(A) beautifully written, wonderfully performed show…simple, thoughtful and so effective.”—CIUT 89.5 FM

“Looks, charm, and no end of congeniality… Fans of The Vinyl Café and Wingfield will certainly enjoy the brand of storytelling here: little-town sketches filtered through a female perspective.”—The Globe & Mail

About the author

Melody A. Johnson has performed from Brantford to Singapore. Her favourite roles have included: Trout Stanley at Factory Theatre, I Think I Can at YPT/NAC, 7 Stories at Theatre Calgary/CanStage (Betty Mitchell nomination), Our Town at Two Planks and a Passion Theatre (Merritt Award nomination), Blithe Spirit at SoulPepper, In the Next Room at Tarragon/MTC, and It’s All True, Seven Lears, Swollen Tongues, and The Piper at Necessary Angel Theatre.

Melody is an alumnus of The Toronto Second City where she has directed main-stage revues We’ve Totally Probably Got This, 0% Down, and Second City for Mayor. Comedic turns include An Awkward Evening with Martin & Johnson with fellow alum Bob (The Drowsy Chaperone) Martin. Melody has received numerous Dora nominations over the years and a win for the title role of Mercy in Little Mercy’s First Murder at Tarragon/Shaw Festival. She was the co-creator of Mimi with Allen Cole & Rick Roberts for the Tarragon Theatre.

Melody resides in Toronto with her partner Allen Cole and their son Dashiell.

DRA013000 Drama/Canadian
58pp 5.5 x 8.5 in