Diplomacy [2006]

Written by Tim Carlson Directed by Richard Wolfe

A “well-argued blast of political outrage” — The Globe & Mail

Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Nov. 4-11, 2006

Diplomacy delves into the heart of the most fractious debate facing the country: Are we a nation of peacekeepers or a nation of warriors? Is there a middle ground? International politics infuse the personal politics between four Canadians whose lives were defined by the Vietnam War and now struggle to position themselves in the present. Diplomacy charts the psychological disintegration of Roy (Keith Martin Gordey), a deserter turned historian specializing in Canadian diplomacy. Roy’s Vietnamese-born wife, Thu Van, has flashbacks to the war she experienced in childhood while her daughter, An (Khaira Ledeyo), serves as a Canadian diplomat in Damascus amid war in the Middle East.

“The Vietnam-era draft dodger or army deserter is a quintessentially Canadian character — as influential in the evolution of national identity as any other category of immigrant,” says playwright Tim Carlson. “They are in many respects the embodiment of how the nation saw itself in relation to the United States during the Vietnam conflict: They opted out of a war their government lied about, we welcomed them and they have made a great contribution to the country.”

A stellar design team included David Roberts (winner outstanding set design Jessie ’06, A Skull in Connemara), Alan Brodie (nominated outstanding lighting design, A Skull in Connemara), videographer Flick Harrison (nominated special achievement for video design Jessie ’05, Omniscience), composer and sound designer Chris Hind (Skull, Omniscience, Closer) and, joining Conspiracy for the first time, costume designer Sheila White.