Martensville resident Todd Devonshire has already achieved much success in life. As a teacher, Devonshire spends most days molding the minds of eager students; however, in his spare time, Devonshire has been working hard to accomplish other dreams that he had set in place.
In 2012, Devonshire’s dream of being a published author came to light with his book ‘Rink Burgers’, a memoir set in Big River, SK that shares with readers the many levels of hockey and how impactful it can be on one’s life.
More recently, Devonshire is excited to unite his love of music and sports in the play ‘Monday Night’, a story about December 8, 1980 – the night that John Lennon was killed. The play will feature nine characters and three intertwining stories about a reporter that was at the hospital that night, musicians that emulate The Beatles and about Howard Cosell and Frank Gifford; the Monday Night Football announcers who shared the news will millions of viewers. “Music and sports for me are the one-two punch, which is what really attracted me to this piece. You have these two worlds of football and music colliding for one of the most dramatic moments in our history,” Devonshire explains.
‘Monday Night’ was created by Devonshire during a playwriting competition in which those participating had 24 hours to write a play. Having created a portion of the play during the competition, Devonshire was awarded with third place and inspired by the success, decided to continue working on his creation. Last year, Devonshire’s play was chosen by Live Five Independent Theatre in Saskatoon for a spot reserved for Saskatchewan playwrights.
“I have always said that there are dates in history where we just remember where we were at the time we heard the news; whether it be 9/11, when JFK was assassinated, or when Sidney Crosby scored the golden goal. I think a lot of people remember where they were, watching Monday Night Football, when they announced the unspeakable tragedy that John Lennon had been killed in New York City,” Devonshire said.
With that in mind, Devonshire wanted to tell the story of how that historical announcement came to be. From 1980 to the current day, the method and speed in which information is passed along has changed immensely. Then, the news took hours to spread, whereas nowadays, it takes minutes. “There is an aspect of history to the play; but it is also a very human element story. The Beatles and Lennon were instrumental to changes that took place in the world and that night we lost something powerful. I wanted to do a historical piece that shows that one person can really change the world and when we lose hope of that, we all lose. I think what I really want people to come away with, is that no matter how insignificant you might seem, or how small one action may seem, one person can really change the world and Lennon did that for millions.”
Performances of ‘Monday Night’ will take place January 10th-13th and January 17th-20th at Live Five Theatre in Saskatoon. For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.livefive.ca.
Photo caption: Todd Devonshire