The Wilberforce Hotel


Sean Dixon

About the Book

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.


“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, a novelist, actor and banjo player. His plays have been produced all over Canada, the United States, Australia, and England. Most recently they include The Notorious Right Robert and his Robber Bride (Caravan Farm Theatre, 2012), A God in Need of Help (Tarragon, 2015, Governor General’s Award Shortlist, Dora Nomination Best New Play), and the upcoming (Blyth, 2015). Sean’s first novel, The Girls Who Saw Everything (2007) has been published all over the English speaking world and translated into Romanian. with his second novel, The Many Revenges of Kip Flynn (2011), he has been called “the true inheritor of [Gwendolyn] MacEwan’s mythopoeic legacy.” He is also the author of two books for young readers, The Feathered Cloak, and The Winter Drey, both set in 10th-century Norway.

DRA0130000 Drama/Canadian
96pp 5.5 x 8.5 in
1F/4M, doubling