Book cover image for: Flight Risk

Flight Risk

Play by Meg Braem, Directors Notes by Samantha Macdonald, Essays by William John Pratt and David B. Hogan & Philip D. St. John

$38.99 HC / $28.99 PB (T)

120 pages, 3 b&W images

6 x 9 inches

978-1-77385-471-7 (Hardback)

978-1-77385-472-4 (Paperback)

978-1-77385-473-1 (Institutional PDF)

978-1-77385-474-8 (ePub)

October 2023

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About the Book

This humorous and honest play is a tale of true connection between generations and of the power found when we face grief, illness, and death together.

Second World War veteran Hank Dunfield is about to turn one hundred years old. The staff at Ponderosa Pine Lodge have recruited Sarah, a young nursing student, to keep Hank safe, comfortable, and in the building while they plan a grand centenarian celebration. There’s one problem: Hank doesn’t want to live that long.

Seemingly opposites, Hank and Sarah kindle a deep friendship. Sarah fears the future with multiple sclerosis will be even more isolated, difficult, and painful than the isolated, difficult, and painful present. Hank, a tail gunner during the War, opens his heart to share the deep knowledge of fear, luck, and flying into battle he learned over his combat missions. Sarah and Hank find strength in each other as they face their deepest fears.

Based on interviews with veterans in Alberta seniors’ homes and the skilled nurses who care for them, Flight Risk is the story of finding exactly who you need when you least expect it. An empathetic exploration of grief, friendship, and hope, this play asks what we lose when we ignore the knowledge of our elderly, challenges the way that we think about aging and death, and inspires a brighter, more compassionate future.

About the Authors

Meg Braem is an Alberta-based playwright and dramaturg. Her plays have been nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award and have won the Alberta Literary Award for Drama, and the Alberta Playwriting Competition.

Samantha Macdonald has spent over thirty years in professional theatre and fifteen running theatre companies. She was the artistic producer of Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary, Alberta between 2017-19.

David B. Hogan, MD, FRCPC, is professor and academic leader at the Brenda Strafford Centre on Aging, O’Brien Institute of Public Health, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary.

Philip D. St. John, MD, FRCPC, is professor, Section of Geriatric Medicine, Max Rady College of Medicine, Centre on Aging, University of Manitoba.

William John Pratt is an historian with Parks Canada.

Praise for Flight Risk

A frank and thoughtful work that deserves to be both read and staged widely.

—The Literary Review of Canada

Just an all-round winner

—Ann Connors, High Performance Rodeo

A lovely story takes flight

—Jenna Shummoogum,

Offers chuckles and insights in abundance

—Louis B. Hobson, Calgary Herald

Meg has an ingenious ability to blend humour with sadness. A wonderful play to see.

—R. Douglas Francis, University of Calgary