"To the Power of Five:
1993 PEI Women in Politics" Performance
The award winning stage performance, To the Power of Five: 1993 PEI Women in Politics, through story and song, records the one and only time in Canadian history that women held all of the leadership roles of a provincial government. In November of 2018, Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc. staged the one time production at the Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside to mark the 25th anniversary of the national achievement by Island female politicians.
The play was enthusiastically received by the audience with a call for it to reach a wider audience. Fortunately the gripping performance that told of the political journeys of Catherine Callbeck, Marion Reid, Pat Mella, Nancy Guptill, and Libby Hubley was recorded. Permission has been obtained from ACTRA for it to be shown online.
In 1993 Catherine Callbeck was serving as the first elected female premier of PEI and in Canada. Pat Mella was serving as the leader of the official opposition. Nancy Guptill was Speaker of the House with Libby Hubley as Deputy Speaker. Marion Reid was serving as the Lieutenant Governor. In the moment none of the women saw themselves as making history.
To The Power of Five: 1993 PEI Women in Politics was written by Marlene Campbell of Culture Summerside, and directed by Sherri-Lee Pike. Actresses Catherine O’Brien, Laura Bird, Catherine Dickson, Melissa Mullen, and Sandra Sheridan portrayed the politicians who were seated in the front row of the theatre for the performance. Talented costume designer Liisa Carbone provided her skill in creating detailed costumes representing each woman. Perry Neatby selected the performance music from the works of Island female singer/songwriters, Catherine MacLellan, Rachel Beck, Ashley Condon, Tara MacLean, and Meaghan Blanchard who graciously permitted their songs to empower the production. An amazing women’s choir conducted by Christine Schultz, and accompanied by Neatby, Jim Dickson and Courtney Hogan Chandler, performed the music. Funding for the performance was provided by the province, Innovation PEI, City of Summerside, and Go Girl Fashions.
Lori Ellis of Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc. is excited to have To The Power of Five: 1993 PEI Women in Politics online. “It is a work that deserves a much bigger audience than the one theatre performance could give. Not only does it celebrate the journey of the five women who made history, but it is a work of inspiration to encourage other Canadian women, who make up 51 percent of the population, to enter the political arena and take their place in the running of our country. I especially encourage young women to watch the video and start the discussion on how to repeat the 1993 experience.”