Bruce is a member of the Canadian Playwrights Guild of Canada
Beyond Eden premiered at The Vancouver Playhouse January 2010 in collaboration with the 2010 Cultural Olympiad/The Vancouver Playhouse and Theatre Calgary. The show had two highly successful runs in Vancouver and Calgary. Beyond Eden was originally directed by Dennis Garnhum.
Here is a brief synopsis:
In 1957 a group of anthropologists and archaeologists traveled to a cluster of remote islands in the North Pacific Ocean to remove the last remaining ancient totem poles from the deserted Haida village known as Ninstints or Sqa’ngwai to the Haida. The expedition was organized and led by the young genius archaeologist/anthropologist Wilson Duff and his Haida friend, Bill Reid. What they encountered on this expedition changed them all, forever.
Beyond Eden is a fictional account of their experience. A story of struggle, loss, redemption and transformation all triggered by the harsh clash of European cultures and the ancient arts and culture of the Haida Nation.
Beyond Eden has received the full endorsement of the Council of the Haida Nation and from the Chiefs and Elders of Haida Gwaii.
Beyond Eden is written and composed by Bruce Ruddell. Bill Henderson, of Chilliwack fame, has collaborated on the songs. Haida Artist, Gwaii Edenshaw has created the Haida visuals and will continue to ensure that the correct protocols are followed as this intensely vigorous and very special collaboration continues beyond Vancouver and Calgary.
Please contact me if you wish to read the latest draft of Beyond Eden.
Beyond Eden-John Mann vocals, Bill Sample, piano, Bill Henderson, guitars,
Mystery: John Mann, vocals, Bill Sample piano, Bill Henderson guitars
A charming new musical from Victoria’s Bruce Ruddell and Salt Spring Island’s Bill Henderson, Let Me Call You Sweetheart fuses nostalgic tunes with new songs that swing, sway and syncopate.
In a seaside hotel, 85 year-old Nora sings beside a baby grand, and dances with her aging beau. Outside, her world is starting to crumble. Increasingly in need of extended care, and told she must leave her home in the seniors’ residence, Nora resolves to follow her heart and find a solution to her dilemma.
I Heard Angels
Sun Sinkin’ Low
EVEREST-A love story
Here is Director, Kim Collier’s endorsement of EVEREST. ( AD-Electric Company-Assoc. AD- Can Stage.)
What I love about Bruce’s current draft is its bursting theatricality and incredible life force. I am a Big Mountain climber and the story of Everest resonates for me to my bones; I also am driven by a core feeling that true love is possible. The idea of helping to create an uncorrupted love story inspires me. The idea of a story built from the frontier of mountaineering inspires me. The theme of religious faith as it relates to patriotism and our natural environment is engaging. The historical mystery and Canadian content inside the piece are perfect.
It would be wonderful to push this draft of Everest forward. To tackle the relationship pushes and pulls of Mallory and Ruth and their arc through the piece. To explore how much is needed from the back-story of the Chaplin at his childhood school. To explore how to stage mountaineering scenes conceptually. To find a way to continue to infuse the piece with Mallory’s exceptional character and personality. To continue to clarify what the story is at the core and how the glorious banter between the characters can continue to refine in detail and expression in relationship to that understanding. And to challenge when exposition is needed or not within the story. And most importantly support Bruce in taking his project to the next step on its journey.
I think the piece has enormous potential to be a fantastic night at the theatre.
Here is Mr. Michael Shamata’s endorsement of EVEREST: (AD-The Belfry Theatre)
I have great respect for Bruce and his writing. He dreams BIG. When I first read Everest I found the story fascinating and mysterious, but I also thought it was impossible to put onstage.
Once Kim Collier expressed interest in the piece, I became extremely excited by the staging challenges – knowing that they would be solved by one of the most creative and theatrical directors in the country.
This season, the Belfry is producing the premiere of Bruce’s musical Let Me Call You Sweetheart. While I know that the Belfry is not the venue for a play on the scale of Everest (we have no wings and no flies!), I am committed to working with Bruce and with Kim on the shaping of this script.
It is a thrilling, vibrant, huge, Canadian play! It is a project that deserves support from those companies in the country with the resources to produce something of this size. The combination of Bruce’s take on Mallory and his story and Kim’s theatrical vision should make for a stunning and gripping evening of theatre.
Here is Executive Director-Arena Stage, Edgar Dobie’s endorsement of EVEREST
I read EVEREST and was immediately drawn to the potency of the storytelling. The imagery is epic and poetic and yet the domestic part of the story is as compelling as any classic story passed down through the ages. When I heard that Kim and Michael shared a vision for the piece I thought wow, what a gift for any Artistic Director to contemplate. In my experience a work of this magnitude will require the resources of more than one resident theatre, but it already has so much going for it that I cannot imagine it will not find an audience in first instance amongst artistic directors who still believe that legacy works like this deserve a home.
1969-a magical, musical, mystery
1969 takes place in the present. It tells the story of a young singer songwriter named Adam Stillwell who is becoming something of a star interpreting the songs of Byron Kurtz. Byron Kurtz was a sixties rocker who created a hit album in 1969 and then disappeared. After a concert Adam is visited by an older woman who unsuccessfully tries to convince him to find Kurtz. However the next day a record label owner approaches Adam with a deal if he can find Kurtz. Adam sets out on a mysterious and frightening journey that challenges his personal life and his beliefs. Throughout the story Adam and Kurtz’s granddaughter, Holly, in fits of magical realism that eventually ends in their meeting, sing duets of Kurtz’s music.
No One Gets Away
Give Me Love
THE FINCH’S BEAK-
A music theatre work in two acts
In 1858 Charles Darwin is preparing to publish his work; On The Origin Of The Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. His contemporary-Alfred Wallace- who has stolen many of his ideas, is about to publish a similar theory before Darwin is able to publish his. Emma, Darwin’s wife and a deeply religious woman is torn between her beliefs and her determination to stop Wallace.
In 1996 on the banks of the Columbia River in Kennewick Washington, USA in the middle of Coast Salish territory a 9300 year old skull has been found. Other remains are unearthed. It is quickly determined that the fossilized bones are that of a Caucasoid male. A white man. Billy, a Lusootseed elder, living close to the dig believes the bones were deliberately planted.
In 2025 at the International Space Station experiments with plants are showing an incredible rate of evolution in the weightless environment. Leonard, an African American and the evolutionary astronaut in charge of the experiments is shocked by his findings and deeply moved by his ‘Space’ experience. Gillian Chu the ISS ground commander and his lover is having serious trouble bringing him back to Earth.
Here are a few demo recordings of the music:
The Finch’s Beak Sep25
Breaking Down Sept 30
You Make Me Feel So Weak Nov 11
We Say Goodbye