Encyclopedia of the Great Plains

David J. Wishart, Editor

DEVERELL, REX (b. 1941)

Rex Deverell is a Canadian dramatist noted for his children's plays, his full-length plays, and his time as a writer in residence at the Globe Theatre, Regina, from 1975 to 1990. He was born July 17, 1941, in Toronto, raised in Orillia, Ontario, and received a bachelor's from McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, in 1963, a bachelor of divinity from Mc- Master in 1966, and a master of sacred theology from Union Theological Seminary in New York in 1967. He began writing plays in 1966 and has been a prolific writer ever since, with more than twenty children's plays, fifteen fulllength plays, and half a dozen plays commissioned by various groups. He has participated in five collective productions and has been an active playwright for CBC radio.

At the Globe Theatre he began as a children's playwright and wrote roughly one children's play a year. His first full-length play, Boiler Room Suite (1977), became his best known and most produced. He wrote a number of Saskatchewan-specific documentaries like Medicare! (1980), on the introduction of socialized medicine to Canada and the subsequent doctors strike, as well as Number 1 Hard (1978) and Black Powder: Estevan 1931 (1981). He has also written musicals, including Mandarin Oranges (1985/1990), and plays that explore religion, including Righteousness (1983), about Saint Augustine.

Plays produced in a single year, 1985, give a good cross section of Deverell's work. That year was the centenary of the North-West Rebellion, and Deverell composed both a fivehour radio drama for the cbc, The Riel Commission, and a play for the Globe, Beyond Batoche. He also wrote a musical, a children's play, and another radio drama and worked on a collective show in 1985.

Donald C. Kerr University of Saskatchewan

Wallace, Robert, and Cynthia Zimmerman, eds. The Works: Conversations with English Canadian Playwrights. Toronto: Coach House Press, 1982: 127–41.

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