Judith Robinson is a graduate of the Playwrights’ Workshop at the University of Iowa. Her plays have been produced in the USA and Canada.
Almost There chronicles the life and ministry of Canadian faith healer Aimee Semple McPherson. Her stormy life was the stuff of legend – two divorces – frequent fights with her mother – deserted by her daughter – financial and sexual scandals – thousands of medically documented healings - and death by an overdose of sleeping pills.
The full length flavor of Almost There is that of a gospel road show – with lots of singing – a little bit of healing – a hint of romance. It spans the length of Aimee’s public ministry until her death, in 1944. The cast includes Aimee’s mother, her doctor, and Charlie Chaplin.
The one act version of the play focuses solely on Aimee’s relationship with Charlie Chaplin. They were seen strolling arm in arm along the promenade for a week together in the south of France in the spring of 1931. In a state of great uncertainty, as silent pictures were becoming a thing of the past, atheist Chaplin encounters evangelical Aimee and finds out she is not as certain as she appears to be. Yet in her refreshing innocence and trust, Chaplin rediscovers his vulnerability, and in Chaplin, Aimee finds her humanity.
Walmer Centre Theatre – Brookstone Performing Arts - April 4 – May 11, 2003
Vision TV – Skylight - Excerpts from Almost There were broadcast as part of a mini-documentary on the life and work of Judith Robinson – September 16, 1999.
Alumnae Theatre – New Ideas Festival – March 31 – April 3, 1999
Roman Catholic priest, Boston Mayor, has been in love with a Jewish woman for over twenty years. The one act play begins when he leaves the church to try to rekindle the flame, with the woman he has not seen since university days.
Sky Field, his lost love, tries desperately to keep him out of her life. But she too, is in love with him. And that love leads her to do a desperate and compelling act..
Judith is in the process of writing the full length version of the script.
Street Theatre – Theatre & Company – May Playfest - May 18 –
Two teenage sisters run away from their alcoholic father on a raft, in northern Ontario
One is simple, elemental, and spiritual. The other is brazen, reckless, and angry. When the three reunite downstream, there is an explosion which results in a death, an epiphany, and a transformation.
Mother Huron won the Richard Maibaum award for playwriting at the University of Iowa in 1995.
It was also Judith’s thesis for her Master in Fine Arts in Theatre Arts/Playwriting from the U of I.
Studio Theatre – Staged Reading - Iowa Playwrights’ Festival – April 28, 1995.
Rubber Shoes tells the story of how condoms came to Canada in the 1930’s. A rubber footwear manufacturer, who could not sell shoes in the Depression, converts his factory into a condom factory in a desperate effort to make ends meet.
Alvin is overcome by obstacles. He can’t advertise his product. It’s illegal even to talk about it. There is not distributor – drug store – merchandiser will touch him. Suddenly he meets Elizabeth Bagshaw – the family doctor who will open Canada’s first birth control clinic. She agrees to front his wares.
He becomes a little more ambitious. People like his product. There is a great demand for it. So he sends out nurses as home visitors door to door with free samples. Then he gets arrested, and dragged through the courts. Eventually, a moral man who doesn’t like the idea of single people using his products, he returns to making shoes.
Rubber Shoes received funding from MCTV to develop a pilot for a dramatic television series in 1995.
Studio Theatre – Musical Cameo Production – Iowa Playwrights’ Festival – April 30, 1993
Living Faith chronicles Jimmy Carter’s journey from naval officer and nuclear engineer to emissary of peace. Set in his last year in the White House in 1979/80, the play follows Carter’s frustrations at the hostage taking at the American Embassy in Iran, the Russian invasion in Afghanistan, and the Iraqi invasion of Iran. Everything seemed to be going wrong during his administration. Inflation was rising. Mount Etna was erupting. The evangelicals – comprising 40% of the popular vote turned against him. His approval rating was lower than Nixon’s during Watergate. But in the midst of it all, Carter began to find a strength from within, and his true calling began to come forth.
While on retreat at Camp David, he is visited by the spirits of his mentors, Harry Truman, and Mahatma Gandhi, who compel him in opposite directions – move forward and take charge – or go inward and seek peace.
Carter is pulled back and forth by circumstances and events, until he finds a still point inside himself - a compass that will determine the peacemaker he is about to become.
Tranzac Club – First Draft Productions – Staged Reading – September 27, 2004
2004 @ Judith I. Robinson