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High and Splendid Braveries

High and Splendid Braveries

Full length 2 Act


Finalist – Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama, Writers Guild of Alberta 2023


The drug addicted of Canada were first championed by Emily Murphy who researched and wrote the first ever book on the subject, became the world’s first female magistrate, and turned women into legal persons in order to get to the senate to change the laws in the battle of drugs over people.

Winner: Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama

2023 Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama WinnerJury Remarks: Caroline Russell-King’s High and Splendid Braveries, is a spirited and soaring production. Russell-King’s writing is essential and sharp, her shaping of vital Albertan female historical figures masterful. “High and Splendid Braveries” breathes life into provincial feminist social and political histories of women’s suffrage. The legal challenges these women faced and the social issues they worked to address remain current and unfolding narratives in Alberta today. The expansive emotional range and tight pace capture and reflect vividly the human condition and paradoxical nature of life. Russell-King, through her innovative writing, has given audiences and theatrical companies alike a riveting narrative gift.


You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes…


Legalization, safe injection sites and the first Canadian drug battles began 100 years ago with this warrior woman.


“A remarkable woman like Emily Murphy deserves a remarkable play like Caroline Russell-King’s High and Splendid Braveries. It is a historical drama laced with irony, sarcasm, wit and humour so it is as entertaining as it is enlightening and insightful. It’s 100 rapid-fire minutes of pure theatre.

Like John Murrell’s landmark drama, Waiting For the Parade, Russell-King has written a play that puts its female characters and actors in a spotlight they don’t often get, at the same time giving audiences a crackerjack evening of theatre.”

– Critic Louis B Hobson, The Calgary Herald

“High and Splendid Braveries is a play filled with wonderful moments – funny, tragic, heartbreaking, and triumphant all brought to life by a powerful script and a terrific cast of five actors playing multiple roles.”

– James Hutchinson, Calgary Theatre Reviewer

“It's a stellar drama.”

– Stephen Hunt, Globe and Mail/CTV Critic

How To Get a Copy


For community and academic performance rights: The Playwrights Guild of Canada
For professional production rights: Catherine Knights, Catalyst TCM

Past Productions

Development History

High and Splendid Braveries was workshopped by Bob White at The Banff Playwrights Lab and Trever Rueger at Alberta Playwrights Network.

  • Elizabeth Stepkowski-Tarhan
    Urban Stories Theatre/Drama on a Dime (Calgary, AB)