Sandra Dempsey
playwright

Sandra Dempsey | 

With a keen sense of drama and a formidable wit, Sandra Dempsey writes complex plays inhabited by articulate, richly drawn and emotional characters. Uncompromising and vital; powerful, compassionate and impassioned.

Her work is as poignant and instinctive as it is wide-ranging and authoritative in subject: Flying To Glory, a moving, life-affirming, all in the moment action drama about those who flew in WWII; Enigma, with its four women entangled by assisted suicide; Barbie & Ken, an acerbic satire; Armagideon's septuagenarian women navigating a disturbing future - Casualties, Rosa's Lament, Orders, Fat Cans, Legacy, A Wing And A Prayer, Air Apparent, But We All Have That Here, and her latest, Wings To Victory, dramatizing the amazing women flyers in WWII -- these and many more award-winning pieces comprise her theatrical legacy.

Sandra is also a popular, dynamic performance-reader of her works. (performance-reading reviews)


   
~ Latest News ~

published AIR APPARENT
Selected for publication in Playwrights Canada Press Canadian 10-minute play anthology, tba, 2016.

performance-reading D'ARCY

Performance-readings

for Canada's 150th anniversary in 2017 

 booking now!

 

ATA wings
WINGS TO VICTORY ~      
Canadian, British and American Women Fly
in the Air Transport Auxiliary in WW II

        
under development
 

 

PRODUCED/PUBLISHED SCRIPTS

ENIGMA
4 F
full length drama
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D'ARCY
1 M
full length drama
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FLYING TO GLORY
2 F, 8 M
full length drama
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ARMAGIDEON 2 F, 1 M
full-length/ one-act drama
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WINGS TO VICTORY
_ F, _ M
full length drama
under development
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BARBIE & KEN
1 F, 1 M
short comedy
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CASUALTIES
1 F
short drama
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PEE-PIPE
1 M
short comedy
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A WING AND A PRAYER
1 M
short drama
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BUT WE ALL HAVE THAT HERE
1 F, 1 M
short comedy
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FAT CANS
1 F, 1 M
short comedy
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INHUMANITARIANISM
1 F, 2M

short drama
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ROSA'S LAMENT
1 F
short drama
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ORDERS
1 M or 1 F
short drama
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OFFICER DRAG
1 F, 1 M
short comedy
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LEGACY
1 F
short drama
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PIERRE LÁ
1 M
short comedy
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BARBIE UND KEN
1 F, 1 M
short comedy
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AIR APPARENT
1F
short drama
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To order via mail, please contact the playwright here.

plays

Plays



award
Award
workshops & productions
Produced


published
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ATA wings

WINGS TO VICTORY ©

Canadian, British and American Women fly in the Air Transport Auxiliary in World War II

 

under development

 


 

Flying To Glory

FLYING TO GLORY©
Prairie boys take flight in the Royal Canadian Air Force in World War II

Full-length, drama/comedy, early 1942 - mid 1943
Cast size: Minimum: 2 F (1 20 years, 1 40 years), with doubling;8 M (18-46 years), with doubling
Maximum: unlimited F (20-40 years), unlimited M (18-46 years) (additional extras encouraged)

ISBN 0968786162

"Sandra Dempsey's poetic eloquence, wit and impressive knowledge of wartime history, aviation, and military idiom combine to make Flying To Glory a poignant, stirring, and life-affirming dramatic tribute to the men and women who helped Canada make a valiant contribution to Allied supremacy during the Second World War." Brian Brennan

rcafensignBoyhood pals embark on the adventure of a lifetime by enlisting in the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1942. FLYING TO GLORY follows their journeys, from learning to fly in Canada's wide open skies, through every phase of training, to crewing dangerous sorties in Halifax bombers over occupied Europe. Their loved ones on the home-front, their friendships, the dreams, the lonliness, the fears and hopes and sorrows are vividly brought to life in this deeply moving drama - the first play to chronical this amazing R.C.A.F. history with all in the momentaction and conflict (there's no "I remember whens"). The book is not only a great play, it's also a terrific read.

Remember Always

"Flying To Glory is one of the liveliest and most pertinent historical plays
ever written in and about Canada."
John Murrell

wings

As a living legacy, the playwright desires that a percentage of gross box office revenues from productions of FLYING TO GLORY will be donated to the Royal Canadian Air Force Benevolent Fund, or similar air veteran's organization, or to the 57rescuecanada.com Halifax recovery and restoration charity.

Dedication:
for those who served, those who flew
those who touched shed angels' wings ©

Distinguished Flying Cross


"A fine piece of work and a well written story. Scenes are bang on."
John Neal, R.C.A.F. (ret'd)

Flying To Glory
FLYING TO GLORY
$23.00 (shipping included)
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To order via mail, please contact the playwright here.

workshops & productions First presented in Alberta, Canada, 2006.

award Finalist, Stage-Play Category, Moondance International Film Festival, USA, 2007.
award Finalist, North American Actors Association Festival, London, UK, 2007.

publishedBUT WE ALL HAVE THAT HERE © 10-minute comic two-hander (1F, 1M in WWII) - published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 160003117X, USA, 2004.
You're one of the chosen. You're training hard to earn your wings. And when your mom comes to the base, you're red-faced as it is - but she thinks WHAT?! An incredibly funny family confusion.

publishedA WING AND A PRAYER© 10-minute dramatic monologue (1M in WWII) - published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1600030521, USA, 2004.
A bad aircraft fire has left your face horribly disfigured, and the air force thinks the very sight of you would be bad for morale. And just when you're at your lowest, a remarkable chance encounter rekindles your heart. An embittered soul finds hope.

FAT CANS ©10-minute comedy (1 F, 1 M in WWII) - published by Heuer Publishing, USA, 2011
An Aussie in the snows of Canada's winter: you're thousands of miles from your home Down Under, trying your best to learn to fly in the war effort. But right now, it's the battle of two cultures as you try to get a handle on the local lingo and explain yourself!

awardpublished WINGS AND A PRAYER © short story (M), First Prize Winner, Aero Space Museum Silver Jubilee National Writing Competition, published in FLY PAST Magazine, January, 2002.

"Judges commented that WINGS AND A PRAYER was poignant and touching,
and it was the unanimous choice to win this competition."
Aero Space Museum

published CASUALTIES © 10-minute dramatic monologue (F), published in Even More Monologues for Women by Heinemann Books, New Hampshire, USA, 2001.

"Still More Monologues for Women: 57 selections that collectively represent the freshest and most vibrant assemblage of monologues for women by women now available in the contemporary, fringe, alternative, and international theater (the inclusion of playwrights outside the United States is new)"
Barry X. Miller, Editorial Reviews, Library Journal


published published in Avenue Magazine, November, Calgary, AB, Canada, 2000.
awardpublished published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1930961839, Texas, USA, 1998, 2000.

publishedPEE-PIPE © 10-minute comic monologue (M), published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1930961812, Texas, USA, 2000.

publishedPEE-PIPE© - published in Audition Monologues for Young Actors II, edited by Roger Ellis, published by Meriwether Publishers, Michigan, USA, 2001.

performance-reading Performance-readings presented at Remembrance Day and VE-Day anniversary celebrations.

performance-reading Performance-reading at the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter Benefit, Calgary, Alberta.Harvard 474


"A fine piece of work and a well written story. Scenes are bang on." John A. Neal, R.C.A.F. (ret'd)

"Vivid scenes drew us into each character's hopes and fears as well as joining in the exhilaration of Jimmy's first flight ...I found myself transported to Alberta of the '40's" Sherring Amsden

 



    ARMAGIDEON ©

Short full-length/long one-act, drama/black comedy, 2 women (early 70's) & 1 man (early 20's)

All-consuming war is the new normal, and our worst fears become us ~ a cautionary tale.

Two eccentric 70-year-olds shelter themselves and their 9-year-old ward from the torturous world outside, and try to hide him from his mandatory war mongering duties. Nephew soldier Nathan arrives, on the run and spoiling for a fight, and unwittingly uncovers terrible truths. A vivid yet almost haphazard awareness of death and destruction and the confounding of all reason makes Armagideon a cautionary tale, with the flavour of a Lorca.

As a Living Legacy the playwright desires that a percentage of gross box office revenue from productions of ARMAGIDEON will be donated to the International Red Cross Landmine Survivors Fund.

ARMAGIDEON playscript $15.00

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workshops & productions Presented by Dyland Days Festival (directed by Michael Ricci) Minnesota, USA, 2010.
Presented in NY, NY, USA, 2000.
First presented in Alberta, Canada, 1997.

awardGrand Prize Winner, Dylan Days Festival, Minnesota, USA, 2010.
award Selected, First Draft Theatre Company, Toronto, 2009.
awardWinner, Becket Playwrights Festival, MA, USA, 2005.
awardSelected Finalist, Edward Albee Theatre Conference Play Lab, Valdez, Alaska, USA, 2002.
awardFinalist, Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwrighting Excellence, 2002.
awardWinner, PlayWorks 2001, ATHE, Chicago, USA, 2001.
awardQuarter-Finalist, New Century Writer Awards, USA, 2001.
award Finalist, Uni Theatre 2nd Playwriting Contest, Ontario, Canada, 2001.
award Finalist, George R. Kernodle Playwriting Contest, Fayetteville, AR, USA, 2000/2001.
award Quarter-Finalist stageplay, Moondance International Film Festival, Boulder, CO, USA, 2000/2001.
award Grand Prize Winner, New Play Search 1999, Burlington, Vermont.
awardFinalist, Crossing Borders: Approaching Millennium International Playwriting Contest, Wharf Rat Productions, Boston, Mass.
award Honorable Mention, Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, Dayton, Ohio.
award Finalist, Women's Playwriting Festival, Perishable Theatre, Providence, Rhode Island.
award Honourable Mention, 9th Canadian National Playwriting Competition, Victoria, BC.
award Winner, 29th Alberta Playwriting Competition, Calgary, AB.

published - published by Playwrights Guild of Canada, ISBN

978-1-55435-240-1, Toronto, 2012.

Short Spells:
Scenes & Monologues of the Prairies $17.95
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published- published in Short Spells: Scenes and Monologues of the Prairies anthology, by Playwrights Canada Press.

published - published in Best Men's Monologues of 1998 by Smith & Kraus.

published - published in Best Stage Scenes of 1998 by Smith & Kraus.

"Invigorating and revelatory.
Provoking in the most powerful and positive sense."
John Murrell

"It's a very strong and striking piece, which creates and sustains a world
very much beyond our experience and does so with conviction and horror."
Urjo Kareda

"The storyline, the characters, their situation draws you into the play. The situation is delicious and it keeps you off balance. It is strange, violent and nutty. Intriguing." Sharon Pollock


  ENIGMA ©

Full-length, drama, 4 women (2 patients: 50's & 70's; 1 Registered Nurse, 20's; and 1 Practical Nursing Assistant, 30's)/P>

A despondent hospital patient ~ the roommate from hell ~ the cold immigrant nursing assistant ~ and the young, compassionate, malleable RN caregiver. ENIGMA is a gripping and powerful drama examining the moral dilemmas and personal consequences of assisted suicide. Jessie is a chronically ill, manipulative and embittered woman who first seduces nurse Emily and then desperately orchestrates her own death while wreaking chaos and destruction on those around her .

 
 
Dedication:
for Lily
dear Mary Elizabeth


{short description of image}
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ENIGMA paperback $15.00
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{short description of image}First presented in Toronto, Canada.

 

publishedPublished in ICWP mother-daughter monologues scene anthology, USA, 2009.

 

published Published as ENIGMA, by Touchwood Press, ISBN 0968786146, Canada, 2003.

 

awardFinalist, Moondance International Film Festival, Boulder, CO, 2003.

 

award Finalist, PlayWorks 2002, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, 2002.

 

award Honourable Mention, Crossing Borders International Playwriting Contest, Wharf Rat Productions, Boston, Mass.

 

award Finalist, Broadcloth International Playwriting Competition, Theatre-At-the-Foot-of-the-Mountain, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

performance-readingPerformance-reading broadcast, Radio Pirate Woman FM-106, Galway, Ireland.

"The writing is as brave as it is beautiful." Laney Roberts, Artistic Director, Wharf Rat Productions

"Powerful ...unusual compassion and understanding
...in the class of a Beckett."
The Standard

"Powerful and intriguing." Broadcloth Competition Jury

"Intriguing, engaging and enigmatic." Springrites New Play Festival


D'arcyD'ARCY ©

Full-length, drama, 1 man (ages from early 20's to 43)

A passionate dramatization of the life of Thomas D'arcy McGee - Irish patriot and Canadian statesman. After the failed rebellion to avenge Black '47, D'arcy fled to America only to become disillusioned once more. He finally found his calling in the land to the north and became the "silver-tongued orator" champion of Canadian Confederation. Less than one year after the birth of the nation, D'arcy was assassinated in Ottawa at the hands of Irish-American Fenians.

The invitational presentation of D'ARCY at the International Women Playwrights Conference in Galway, Ireland, in June, 1997 was a critical highlight - and Dempsey's was one of just 18 plays by women playwrights from around the world, and the only Canadian play featured as a full evening presentation at this prestigious world event.

Thomas D'arcy McGee
Dedication:
Peace in the North
and
Preservation of Grosse Île

As a living legacy,the playwright desires that a percentage of performance royalties and box office revenue from productions of D'ARCY will be donated to the preservation and restoration of Grosse Île.

{short description of image}First presented at the Toronto Theatre Festival.
{short description of image}National tour & invitational presentation before the Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Carlingford, County Louth, Ireland.
award Finalist, Playwrights' Showcase Competition, Toronto, Canada. D'ARCY

published Published in softcover as D'ARCY, by The Dundurn Group, Simon & Pierre Publishing Company, ISBN 0889241147.

 

published Anthologized in POPULAR PERFORMANCE PLAYS OF CANADA VOLUME 2 by The Dundurn Group, Simon & Pierre Publishing Company.

 

published Published excerpt scene in THE PERFECT PIECE, by Playwrights Canada Press, ISBN 0887544983.

D'ARCY playscript $15.00
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published Published excerpt study scenes in BEHIND THE SCENES, ISBN 0889241945, and ACTING SKILLS FOR LIFE, ISBN 0889241953, by The Dundurn Group, Simon & Pierre Publishing Company.

performance-reading - performance-reading, World Theatre Day, at the James Joyce Pub, Calgary, March 27, 2001.
- invitational performance-reading for The Celtic Connection, Vancouver, BC, November, 2000.
- invitational performance-reading for the Canadian Association for Irish Studies National Conference, Edmonton, May 27, 2000.
- performance-readings for the Capital Region Ottawa Irish Society, on Parliament Hill,Ottawa, ON.
- performance-readings for The Capital Commission of Prince Edward Island, Confederation Lecture Series, Charlottetown, PEI.
- featured performance-reading at the University of Calgary Department of History 50th Anniversary, Calgary, AB.
- performance-readings for the University of Calgary Department of History, Calgary, AB.
- invitational performance-reading presented at the 4th International Women Playwrights Conference in Galway, Ireland.

 performance-reading Performance-reading broadcast, Radio Pirate Woman FM-106, Galway, Ireland.

Thomas D'arcy McGee

 

"Virtuoso role in a remarkable play."Herbert Whittaker

"A marvellous, smashing piece." Gordon Pinsent

"Very lively history. Chilling, still relevant to modern day." Globe & Mail"Outstanding. D'ARCY is as strong and important a play as any of the old masters." The Standard

 D'arcy

 

 


Short Plays    

Plays have received multiple productions ~ some listings include noteable productions/events

 

INHUMANITARIANISM ©

10-minute drama (1F, 2M)
award Finalist, ReOrient Festival 2012, Golden Thread Productions, San Francisco, CA, 2012
awardA heart-wrenching encounter between a NATO soldier, an Afghani woman and her dying baby, and the Afghani doctor trying in vain to save the tiny girl's life.

AIR APPARENT ©

published10-minute drama (1F, post 9/11)
publishedSelected for publication in Playwrights Canada Press Canadian 10-minute play anthology, tba, 2016.
awardTop Ten Finalist, American Science Theatre, 9/11 Playwriting Competition, Los Angeles, CA, 2011
award Semi-finalist, Eileen Heckart Drama Competition, 2009
award Finalist, Rogue Valley 10-minute Plays Festival, Ashland, OR, 2008

One of the forgotten, Aisling is losing her grasp on the periphery of society as she struggles with the after-effects of "that day." Her health is destroyed by the gray dust, she can't even keep up with her meagre dog-walking, and she is left as one of the thousands with terrible, insidious internal injury, struggling for every breath.

BUT WE ALL HAVE THAT HERE ©

published 10-minute comedy (1F, 1M in WWII) - published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 160003117X, USA, 2004.

You're one of the chosen. You're training hard to earn your wings. And when your mom comes to the base, you're red-faced as it is - but she thinks WHAT?! An incredibly funny family confusion.

A WING AND A PRAYER ©

published 10- minute drama (1M in WWII) - published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1600030521, USA, 2004.

A bad aircraft fire has left your face horribly disfigured, and the air force thinks the very sight of you would be bad for morale. And just when you're at your lowest, a remarkable chance encounter rekindles your heart. An embittered soul finds hope.

FAT CANS ©

10-minute comedy (1 F, 1 M in WWII)
An Aussie in the snows of Canada's winter: you're thousands of miles from your home Down Under, trying your best to learn to fly in the war effort. But right now, it's the battle of two cultures as you try to get a handle on the local lingo and explain yourself!

ORDERS ©

10-minute drama (1 M or 1 F in Rwanda)
Sent to keep the peace where none exists. The locale is one of those forgotten, politically unappealing places. The order is surely to be horrific - but is it worse to give it or to follow it? One soldier's dilemma.
published- published in You're Making A Scene, Second Editionanthology by Playwrights Canada Press, 2006.
published- published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1600030513, USA, 2004.

BARBIE & KEN ©

10-minute comedy (1F, 1M)
Pass the cigars! The world's cutest anotomically incorrect couple are proud parents! But wait -- something is amiss in parental paradise! Barbie's just back from the delivery room and Ken's in for the shock of his plastic life! An outrageous comedy.

{short description of image} Produced by Drama West, Los Angeles, 2000.
published Published in Book of Estrogenius 2001 by manhattantheatresource, New York City, 2001.

publishedPublished in 2000% CRACKED WHEAT, by Coteau Books, ISBN 1550501666, 2001.

published Published in TWO FOR THE SHOW: SCENES FOR STUDENT ACTORS , Playwrights Canada Press.
publishedaward Published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1930961057, Texas, 2000.

"Clever social satire! Fast paced, funny."
Juror, Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE)

"This is a very funny piece. Sandra Dempsey, writer of numerous award-winning plays, has taken everyone's favourite dolls, Barbie and Ken, and given them a baby. But Barbie has another little surprise for Ken..." Brian Kennedy, Editor, Two for the Show

BARBIE UND KEN ©

10-minute black comedy (1F, 1M)
Hold the cigars! The world's cutest anotomically incorrect couple are parents alright, but who's the father? And as for Mama, maybe her questionable heritage is more worriesome than Ken ever realized.

CASUALTIES ©

10-minute drama (F)

They're training the boys to fight for their country. Every mothers' sons, learning to fly, learning to die. Your boy is one of them. And if his name isn't on the list of the dead in the newspaper, you can breathe easily for one more day. Multi-award-winner, Sandra Dempsey, shows one mother's touching way of coping with this stressful horror.

published Published in Avenue Magazine, November, Calgary, AB, Canada, 2000.
published Published in Even More Monologues for Women by Heinemann Books, New Hampshire, USA, 2000.
awardpublished Published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1930961839, Texas, USA, 2000.

OFFICER DRAG ©

10-minute comedy (1F, 1M)

Muggings are up in the city, and they need someone to go undercover and stop the recent rash of petty crimes. But when a policeman, undercover as a lady, meets up with gorgeous Melanie, the results are outrageous!
published Published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1930961405, Texas, 2000.

PEE-PIPE ©

10-minute comedy (1 M)

You're learning to fly, training to fight for your country. But at 1,000 feet, ya gotta go! What's a flyboy to do? Bail out? Make a cumulus pit stop? Nope. They never dealt with this problem in flight school. Look out below! A hilarious dilemma in the sky.

published Published in Audition Monologues for Young Actors II, edited by Roger Ellis, published by Meriwether Publishers, Michigan, USA, 2001.
published Published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1930961812, Texas, USA, 2000.

PIERRE LÁ ©

10-minute comedy (1 M)

He's a looker, he's a smooth, suave talker. And he's French!? Oo-la-la! How the women will flock to him! He'll sweep them off their feet; he'll drive them all wild! And what is the secret to his success? But of course... a great accent! A real tour de farce!

published Published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1930961820, Texas, 2000.

ROSA'S LAMENT ©

award10-minute drama (1 F)

Rosa has endured a lifetime of abuse and hatred at the hands of her husband. Her soul is gentle and her heart is kind, and the tale of her sad life's journey leaves an emotional lump in the throat of her audience. A powerful and touching drama.

published ROSA'S LAMENT © , 10-minute dramatic monologue, (F) published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1930961790, Texas, 2000.

published Published excerpt scene in TAKING THE STAGE: SELECTIONS FROM PLAYS BY CANADIAN WOMEN, by Playwrights Canada Press, ISBN 0887545300, 2000.

WINGS in Taking the Stage

 

Taking the Stage:
Selections from Plays by Canadian Women $19.95
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performance-reading Performance-reading at the Calgary Women's Emergency Shelter Benefit, Calgary, AB.

performance-reading Performance-reading broadcast, Radio Pirate

Woman FM-106, Galway, Ireland.

performance-reading Various public and school performance-reading engagements.

"...an emotional and passionate story... left the audience with lumps in their throats"
Stevyn A. Marsh, Viscount Bennett newspaper

LEGACY©

10-minute drama (1 F)

Award-winning playwright Sandra Dempsey introduces us to a family controlled by an overbearing alcoholic. Plunge into the dark world of a young lady forever altered by a father on-the-edge, a mother lacking in the courage to "fight back." A sober and unforgettable drama.

published-published by Brooklyn Publishers, ISBN 1931805504, 2002.

{short description of image} Produced at University of North Dakota International Centre, 2002.


Other Produced Plays

 
playscripts $15.00 each: please email for info

Other Writing


Selected Awards awards


Selected Engagements


plays


playwright

Sandra Dempsey is an accredited Canada Council Literary Readings author, a PGC Canada Council Readings playwright; a member of the International Centre for Women Playwrights, and the Playwrights Guild of Canada.

photo of/by Sandra Dempsey

For further information on:

  • performance rightsplay performance rights & royalty rates
    (Full-length amateur production royalty: $70 first performance, $50 per subsequent performances. One-act amateur production royalty: $50 first performance, $30 subsequent performances. Professional production royalty rates available on request.)
  •  
  • NOTE: All plays subject to royalty and are fully protected under the copyright laws of Canada. All rights, including but not limited to professional, amateur, film, radio, and all other media (including use on the worldwide web) and the rights of translation into foreign languages are strictly reserved; and any unauthorized use of the material may subject the user to any and all applicable civil and criminal penalties. Words contained in the dialogue, the sex of the characters, in any play may not be changed without the express written consent of the playwright.
           

  • books and scriptsbook purchases & playscript purchases
    (All plays & books available directly from the playwright)

    SD Samurai
  • performance-readingperformance-readings bookings
    (Canadian, US and international rates on request)

  • workshopsplaywriting & performance workshops, and adjudications
    (Canadian, US and international rates on request)

  • public speakingpublic speaking engagement bookings
    (Canadian, US and international rates on request)

  • SLD wordsmithingcorporate scriptwriting & PR consultancies
    (Canadian, US and international rates on request)
  • contact:


    email
    Sandra Dempsey

    sd@SandraDempsey.com
    Toronto, Canada

    The name Dempsey in Ireland is derived from the Gaelic O'Diomasaigh Sept, taken from a Gaelic word meaning 'proud'.



     2016 Sandra Dempsey