Spriet Stage


Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell

"A TRIUMPH for director Peter Hinton and his team of designers who've brought Davies' words and silence to life." - London Free Press

"A flawless interpretation of Mabel's mind... you are within it listening, watching, and feeling the vibrations of sound around you." - Stratford Festival Reviews



Mabel and Alexander Graham Bell

By Trina Davies
Directed by Peter Hinton
Featuring Tara Rosling and Graham Cuthbertson

January 16 to February 3, 2018
Spriet Stage

It only takes one spark of love, genius, or inspiration to change the world forever. SILENCE uncovers the life of the remarkable woman often overshadowed by one of Canada’s most important historic figures, Alexander Graham Bell. This beautiful (and true) story follows Mabel Gardiner Hubbard, who was Deaf, as she meets and falls in love with the future inventor of the telephone. This new play by Trina Davies is written from Mabel's perspective, immersing the audience into her experience. Director Peter Hinton, a team of leading theatre artists, and a cast featuring actors from the Deaf and hard of hearing community, bring an untold Canadian story to life on stage.

“Silence had me in tears the first time I read it. Playwright Trina Davies uses a powerful staging device – silence – in a way that will leave you breathless. How lucky we are to see it first.” – DENNIS GARNHUM, Artistic Director

Silence is the inaugural production of the COMPASS New Play Development Program. Originally commissioned and developed through FUSE: The Enbridge New Play Development Program at Theatre Calgary.

ASL interpreted performances Wednesday, Jan. 24 at 11:00am and Sunday, Jan. 28 at 2:00pm.  Learn more »

Open Caption performances Friday, Jan. 19 at 8:00pm and Saturday, Jan. 20 at 2:00pm.  Learn more »


Audience Reaction


Post-show Artist Talks
Tuesday, January 23
Tuesday, January 30

Pre-show Theatre Talk with James Stewart Reaney
Wednesday, January 31 at 12pm

Want more? Check out our Panel Discussion Series.  Learn more »

Director's Notes

Silence is a love story, but like many love stories it is a ghost story too; haunted by its own power, its own mythologies, and the formidable obstacles that in the lovers’ time, still, despite technological advances and cultural awakenings, continue today. We can look at this play and ask ourselves “what has changed?” We can follow this love story and ask ourselves “what did love overcome, and what was this love unable to endure?”

Like many love stories, it is also a story about loss. Somehow, the measure of love is always loss. When Mabel Hubbard gained her Deafness, she discovered in herself untapped resources and skills, and a creativity and power that many women of her social class and standing never would. Perhaps it was this genius that Alec fell in love with. However, what was lost was this elusive spark, this sometime madness/sometime genius which clearly Mabel saw in Alec and he too in her. Theirs was a love that was/is constantly surprising and unexpected. Society has a tendency to focus on disability rather than ability, and this is a story of all that human beings are capable. Love by its nature makes its own rules.

In Trina Davies’ telling it is something more than biography; Bell is neither a hero nor a villain, Mabel neither vanguard nor victim; both are terribly awkward and vulnerable, flawed and human. Silence chronicles a history that is beautiful and painful and immerses the audience in the imagined experience of what Mabel heard and saw in her lover and her time.

Peter Hinton


The Cast

Suzanne Bennett
Gertrude Mercer McCurdy Hubbard
Graham Cuthbertson
Alexander Graham Bell
Catherine Joell Mackinnon
Eliza Bell
Madelyn Narod
Berta (Roberta) Hubbard
Tara Rosling
Mabel Gardiner Hubbard (Bell)
Michael Spencer-Davis
Gardiner Greene Hubbard

Production Team

Peter Hinton
Michael Gianfrancesco
Set and Costume Designer
Beth Kates
Lighting and Projection Designer
Jeff Pybus
Lighting and Projection Assistant
Richard Feren
Composer and Sound Designer
Howard J. Davis
Directing and Design Intern
Michael Hart
Stage Manager
Sandi Becker
Assistant Stage Manager
Kelly Boudreau
Apprentice Stage Manager
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