Stories are carried like cargo on trains from the Rocky Mountains to the East Coast in this cautionary tale of what happens when we’re haunted by the hunger for the ever-greater development and exploitation of natural resources. A nineteenth-century fur trader and his Métis guide are harrowingly pursued by an unseen monster on the Athabasca River. Two freshwater biologists in present-day Fort McMurray investigate pollution downstream from the oil sands, until one becomes obsessed with his discovery of a centuries-old skeleton. A young man comes to work in the Alberta oil sands, but is driven home after discovering the body of a missing co-worker. The residents of a small town unite in grief after an entirely preventable disaster. Stories intersect and echo, connecting the dots between voraciousness and victimhood, beasts without and beasts within, and ravaged landscapes and ruined souls.
“Weaving together strands of the past and present, the personal and the political and the mythic and the mundane, Falkenstein has created a cultural and ‘geographic’ tapestry of our Canadian landscape that is both terrifying and hopeful” —Iris Turcott, adjudicator, 2014 Ottawa Little Theatre's National One-Act Playwriting Competition
“This play is a necessity. ” – Karina Billesberger, Plank Magazine
“Lac/Athabasca will leave you breathless—truly . . . Len Falkenstein’s writing is vivid and arresting . . . what is there and how it is presented is stunning. ” —Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter
“Lac/Athabasca is a well-executed show that will leave you thinking once the lights go back on. ” – Gordon Kent, Edmonton Journal