Jake’s Gift Development History

Jake’s Gift sprang initially from the fertile soil of a character development workshop led by Ron Reed, Artistic Director of  Pacific Theatre (Vancouver, BC) in 2002.

Mercy Wild, the play that ultimately came out of the process, featured a funny old guy named Jake, a character created by Julia Mackey. She knew immediately she wanted to develop another piece around the character.

In June 2004, Julia travelled to Normandy, France,  for the 60th Anniversary of D-Day. She attended many ceremonies, walked the coastline and interviewed dozens of veterans who had returned for the occasion. The experiences of the veterans, her own discoveries and a life long interest in remembrance day  led to the development of the play, which received its first workshop performance at the Sunset Theatre’s Exploration Series in Wells, BC in August 2006.

In the summer of 2007 Jake’s Gift appeared at Intrepid Theatre’s UNO Festival in Victoria BC, The Toronto Fringe and the Victoria Fringe. In 2007* and 2008 the production received four awards at The Victoria Fringe including, Best Drama, Best Solo Show, Best Female Performer and Best New Play.* Jake’s Gift was also named Best of Fest at The 2008 Edmonton Fringe and at the 2009 Winnipeg Fringe, where it sold out its entire run.

Since 2007, Jake’s Gift has played at festivals and theatres across the country, and the production continues to garner rave reviews and standing ovations.  In 2010, Juno Productions surpassed its 300th performance of Jake’s Gift. The 2010/11 season will take them across the country as well as up north for the first time as they venture to Yukon and NWT.


about the play

photo © julia mackey