Marjorie Thompson is a single mother working in the male-dominated radio industry of the 1960s and 70s. She has innate musical talent and uses that to rise from receptionist to music director at CKRT. In doing so, she becomes a pioneer in commercial radio and has a profound influence on the North American music scene.
The Girl With the Golden Ear has a knack for picking hits – even from obscure artists – and people clamour to get their songs played on her station. Other radio stations copy her playlists which are full of cross-over hits – songs that defy stereotypes and act as ambassadors between classes, cultures, and races. For her, music is a salve for the soul and she uses it to help ease tensions during a race riot in her city. As her successes pile up over the years, she develops a reputation as a trendsetter who bucks conventional wisdom, often proving just how unwise conventional wisdom can be. Things aren’t always smooth, though, as she is forced to deal with sexism, a changing industry, and government bureaucracy.
The Girl With the Golden Ear is inspired by a real person who has a remarkable talent and accomplished remarkable things, yet in retirement values her privacy and prefers not to be identified. In a blend of fact and fiction, The Girl With the Golden Ear offers a glimpse into a little-known but fascinating aspect of Canada’s history.
First reading at DaPoPo Live-In Festival in Halifax, N.S., October, 2013.
PARC Home Delivery dramaturgy by Ellen Peterson in fall 2016.
Debuted at Bedford Players in March 2017 and the run had 11 performances.