Legislating Love: The Everett Klippert Story by Natalie Meisner
Legislating Love was inspired by the life of Mr. Everett Klippert: beloved Calgary Busdriver.
Son, Uncle, baseball player, hardworking Albertan… and the last person to remain in jail for homosexuality after legalization in 1969. His case was one of those responsible for overturning an unjust law and opening the door to equality for LGBTIQA+ people and yet after this momentous event he lived a quiet life and was nearly forgotten.
This is a history play and a truth based play. Historical research, community consultations with queer elders and personal interviews with Mr. Klippert’s family have all contributed to it's making. Much credit goes to the Calgary Gay History Project, Third Street Theatre, Loft 112 and members of the Queer Community, and the family of Mr. Klippert for their contributions. Everett Klippert and William Wuttunee are real people we have worked to stay true to what we learned of their lives. The other characters characters were invented, emerging out of the meeting of research and imagination. The play takes place in the present as Maxine, an aspiring historian works to illuminate Mr. Klippert’s place in Canadian LGBTQIA+ history. It also takes place in the past, imaging Mr. Klippert’s life as a young man and during his incarceration.
Keywords: LGBTIQA+ Gay History, Queer History, Social Justice play
Produced by Sage Theatre, 2018, including at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival, 2022.
Also produced as an audio play by Alberta Queer Calendar/Cardiac Theatre, 2022
Genre: Queer History play
Run time: 90 minutes
Suitable for students 16+
Content note: Contains references to violence (both government sponsored and societal) towards LGBTIQA+ people.
Cast size: 4-6 actors
Male roles: 2
Female roles: 2
Trans/Non-Binary/Gender Non-Conforming roles: 2
William Wuttanee and Tonya are Indigenous and Metis characters
Tonya and Maxine are contemporary/ queer / can be gender fluid
Everett Klippert and Handsome are gay men of their historical period
The play can be staged with four actors with the use of cross castings as follows: MAX/CONSTABLE HANDSOME/ARMSTRONG WUTTUNEE/TONYA
"...a poignant examination of queer love through different generations."
- Paula E. Kirman, Prairie Books Now
"Legislating Love reveals a new brand of historical drama"
- Stephen Hunt, The Globe and Mail
Poster design by Scott Sharp