Blanche - The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame

A Theatrical, Poetic Song Cycle

Written and perfomed by Onalea Gilbertson with music by Onalea Gilbertson, Jonathan Lewis and Morag Northey
Directed by Rachel Avery

BLANCHE is set in the far corner of a 93-year-old woman’s mind. The songs are poetic family movies inspired by the indomitable spirit of a woman who survived the Great Depression, WW II and tragic lost love. Told through the eyes of her Granddaughter, BLANCHE is a mash up of folk, torch, jazz and chamber music; featuring piano, violin, cello and guitar.  Blanche's recorded voice is artfully woven in the soundscape. This exquisitely poignant theatrical song cycle reminds us- If we don’t tell their stories all will be forgotten…


Onalea Gilbertson   Vocals/Piano
Jeff Gladstone         Guitar/back-up vocals
Jonathan Lewis        Violin/Clarinet
Brian Sanders         Cello
Joseph Walls           Lighting Design           


BLANCHE was originally commissioned by the Banff Centre, was workshopped at the Sunset Theatre and recently had it's New York premiere at the 47th Street Theatre as a special event of the New York Musical Theatre Festival in the fall of 2011. BLANCHE played the Capital Fringe in Washington DC (July 2012), FringeNYC (August 2012) and Lunchbox Theatre as a part of the High Performance Rodeo (January 2013).


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Video Promo

Blanche performed at Lunchbox theatre as a part of the High Performance Rodeo January 2013

Photos by Ben Laird