Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall, 2014


Boiler Room Suite is receiving a new production by Waterloo's Lost and Found Theatre. I'll be doing a talkback after the performance on November 8.

November 5-15, 2014

at the Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre
9 Princess Street, Waterloo

Tuesday-Saturday @ 8pm
Saturday-Sunday @ 2pm

Director: Richard Quesnel
Cast: Kathleen Sheehy, George Joyce and Alan K. Sapp
Set Design:  Nicole Lee Quesnel
Lighting Design:  Kirsten Watt
Sound Design:  Terry Barna

“Ah, they will say of us – how brave, how adventuresome – to launch off on a brand new voyage of discovery at a time when most would have given up...” -- Sprugg

Aggie Rose, a former actress, and Sprugg, a failed poet, are two elderly tramps who climb into the boiler room of an abandoned hotel on the Prairies to seek refuge from winter and from the world.  Together in the shelter of their “suite,” they deflate the pompous and powerful, acting out their fantasies as they try to bring "a little warmth, a little human kindness to each other's lives" until the outside world interrupts their reverie with the arrival of a mysterious stranger.
Winner of the 1977 Canadian  Authors Association Award for Drama.


Rita's latest in print:

Rita Shelton Deverell’s chapter Vocal Scholaristry: Giving Voice to the Art, Craft, Effectiveness, and Excitement of Speech-making is included in the October 2014 just published book Performing Scholaristry, $39.95, Twenty authors reflect on issues, dilemmas, provocations and inspirations associated with imagining, designing, creating and performing non-traditional, innovative research projects.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Heading into the summer (2014)

Since the last posting, Rex has been continuing to work on "Time of Trouble" - the new opera with composer Elizabeth Raum.
Rita has been writing a screenplay based on Florence James, the subject of her play, McCarthy and the Old Lady. Florence's autobiography, Fist Upon a Star, was launched by University of Regina Press and has won the Saskatchewan book award. Rita has written an epilogue which reports on Florence's career in Canada following the Seattle trial.

Also you can see a brief article with pictures about Rita at home in Sugar Bush at the following link.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Rita Rehearses East Coast Drama

Danger, Courage & Love
March 5th- 8th, 2014 • 8 pm
Alderney Landing Theatre
An original play by: Juanita Peters
Arlene Duncan, Micha Cromwell
Rita Deverell ; Kirsten Olivia
Tickets: $25 Adults $20 Seniors/Students
with support
Alderney Landing Theatre
March 5th -8 th, 2014 • 8 pm
Marge Sparks is a black midwife with 4 daughters, a dead husband and an entire village of problems. She wants all her girls to get up out of here and make a life somewhere where people who look like them can have a real chance in the world. She doesn’t know where that is, but she knows it’s out there.
Minnie Sparks is 12 years old and full of ideas. Her life is all planned out. She is going to take those beautiful sweet berries her grandmother and great Aunt Jessy pick for pies; make preserves and sell them at the market. She’s going to buy a big chunk of land and a big house so her family can live off their own resources instead of doing backbreaking work and sweating all month just to pay the rent.
When Minnie is raped and becomes pregnant, it’s the last straw. The nurturer now becomes the murderer. Instead of retaliating with the many useful tools on the farm, the women get together and concoct an intricate plan of intervention, protection and justice through their secret group THE MOTHER CLUB.
Arlene Duncan
Micha Cromwell
Rita Deverell
Kirsten Olivia
with support
An original play by: Juanita Peters

Rex is working on a Libretto

Composer Elizabeth Raum and I are busy at work on a new opera about a 19 century battle between unlikely combatants - The Sisters of Charity of Halifax and their Archbishop.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Rex's latest. Come and see it if you're in T.O.

Old Age Ain't for Sissies

Tickets on Sale Now!
Now's your chance to buy tickets to Mixed Company Theatre's upcoming new play Old Age Ain't for Sissies, playing at the Tarragon Theatre's Extra Space (30 Bridgman Avenue) Nov 27th-Dec 1st 2013.

Show Dates & Times
Nov 27 @ 8:00 PM - $20 per ticket
Nov 28 @ 8:00 PM - $20 per ticket
Nov 29 @ 8:00 PM - $25 per ticket
Nov 30 @ 8:00 PM - $25 per ticket
Dec 1 @ 2:30 PM - $20 per ticket

You can also join us for the preview performance on Nov 26th @ 8:00PM ($10 tickets).

How to buy?
Phone: (416) 531-1827
In Person at the Tarragon Box Office: 30 Bridgman Ave, Toronto, ON, M5R 1X3

About the production
The Cline couple will experience all the pitfalls and frustrations which confront older adults in their retirement years. Will they negotiate the shoals and reefs successfully? Will their marriage survive? Will they survive?

Old Age Ain't for Sissies was written by Chalmers Award winner Rex Deverell and created in consultation with over 150 seniors across Toronto and the GTA. The play begins with a retirement party. For some the party heralds a glorious new era of freedom and adventure. For others it sounds a peal of doom. The drama is punctuated with songs resonating with the determination of seniors who want neither to be dismissed nor forgotten. The skillful facilitators of Mixed Company Theatre will engage with the audience to bring hope and light into what could otherwise be a crisis of despair.

The production stars older actors with an array of backgrounds and experiences. If you've never experienced a piece of forum theatre, this is your chance to see how it works. This interactive play invites the audience to come on stage, take on the role of one of the characters and explore possible options to the issues presented.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our senior programming, please call
(416) 515-8080 or email You can also check us out online at

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Reading of Rita’s new script at FemFest 2013, Winnipeg
Check out the whole schedule, Sept. 14-21:
Sisters Inc
Sat. Sept. 21, 2:30, Asper Centre for Theatre and Film, University of Winnipeg
Written by Rita Shelton Deverell
Directed by Kayla Gordon
Featuring: Nan Fewchuk, Jennifer Freeman and Alix Sobler

Sisters Inc. is a girls road trip, only the girls, one Jewish, one Christian, one black Muslim, are all in their 60’s. The girls revisit some tense moments they experienced throughout the course of their long-time friendships.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Canadian Theatre Museum Posts Interviews with Rex Deverell

I had great fun chatting with playwright/actor Andrew Moody a few weeks ago.It was a real honour to have been included in this significant record of Canadian Theatre.. Of course you want to watch this, right? Well you can check it out at. 

As of this week there are three parts of my interview on line.

While you're at it, go to the menu of interviews. You'll get to hear in depth conversations with some of your favorite theatre and screen artists - directors, actors and playwrights - fascinating.


Monday, May 06, 2013

Rita's Current Projects:

“Women, Contemporary Aboriginal Issues, and Resistance” best practices kit - 

for which Rita is the Principal Investigator

Kit to be released June 2013, Mount Saint Vincent University and will be available for groups and for educational programs.

*Rita is an Actor in….. 

The Hush Baby
A play about mothers, magic lost and found
by Dawna J. Wightman; directed by Winnie W. Wong

2013 Spring Works Festival, Stratford, Ontario

May 12 @ noon
May 14 @ 6 PM
May 15 @ 8

Get your tickets now! Opens on Mothers Day 2013

Book - coming:

Fists Upon a Star, a memoir of Florence Bean James
Co-author Jean Freeman
Epilogue by Rita
To be published fall 2013 by University of Regina Press 

Jean Freeman of Regina describes this project:
The New University of Regina Press Pioneers World’s First Reality Publishing Show
It is not every day that Margaret Atwood and Alice Munro congratulate a university on the launch of its university press, but then, it is a rare occasion when a new university press comes into being. Jumping to the head of the class on the good wishes of these literary titans, on June 1, 2013, University of Regina Press (U of R Press) officially launched the World's First Reality Publishing Show online!
Beginning June 1st/13 viewers to will meet the people (including new U of R Press Director Bruce Walsh) who stick-handle a book from manuscript form through to finished-and-launched product.
I'm extremely fortunate to be involved (as co-author) in the first book to be published under the new Press' imprint -- "Fists Upon a Star: A Memoir of Love, Theatre, and Escape from McCarthyism" -- which will be followed on the Reality Publishing site from its inception back in the 1960s when North American Theatre Pioneer Florence Bean James set out to write the story of the life which she and her husband dedicated to Theatre Of the People, By the People, and For the People. At the time, Mrs. James was traveling throughout the province for the Saskatchewan Arts Board when we met and became close friends. I was honoured, in the years that followed, when she asked me to help her with her book ... first, to help organize some of the material, then to do some editing. I did, and she suggested that I might rewrite some things here and there, and finally, if I would write some portions of the book and pull it all together.
I was glad to help, honoured by her friendship and trust, and her confidence in my ability, and we worked on the manuscript regularly over the following years, until shortly before her death in 1988. The manuscript sat in limbo until a few years ago, when actress and admirer Rita Deverell, who had known Mrs. James at Globe Theatre, and had done a one-woman play about her life, told the U of R Press (then the Canadian Plains Research Centre) about this remarkable woman whose actions and accomplishments had had such a profound impact on the development of so many facets of theatre and culture in Saskatchewan, Canada and the U.S.A.
One thing led to another: the book is now deep in development, and the remarkable crew at U of R Press is aiming for an early fall launch! (That's Early Fall 2013!! Remarkable!)
So if you're interested in seeing how this truly awesome process progresses, take a look at the trailer now on, and keep visiting the site in the days and weeks ahead to follow the action! I know I'll be out here and there introducing and signing "Fists" so I'll try to keep you posted!
Best regards (and please forgive the Shameless Self Promotion!!) I think you'll enjoy the book!


Upcoming: "The Time of Trouble" 
An Opera with Composer Elizabeth Raum

Watch this blog for more news