About the Saga of JD McArthur and the Winnipeg River Princess

The Saga of JD McArthur and the Winnipeg River Princess is a story a primarily untold story about an early Western Canadian industrialist who in his time was considered a big man even by his American peers, such as the Rockefellers, the Duponts, and The Railroad Baron Hill. This story, in part, explains his impact not only on the Eastern Manitoba area but well beyond during the time of the great intercontinental land rush ‘Farms for the Millions’.

Told in a mythic voice, this story explains the fallout due to a meeting between JD, the industrialists extraordinaire, and a Wendigo, the greed spirit of the North. A controversial story, this play brings to life not only JD but re-characterizes the spirit and times of one of Canada’s most significant Nation Builders and those he encountered. Presented in Lac du Bonnet MB, as part of The Rural Municipality of Lac du Bonnet’s 100th Anniversary Celebrations. The tentative performance dates are August 18 – 20, 2017.

A variety of Professional (non-union), semi-professional and amateur acting and musician positions to be filled.

JD McArthur and the Winnipeg River Princess
Written by Sheldon Sveinson.Music by Composer Jesse Krause. Stage design and Direction by Sean McMullen.

For additional information please call: Sheldon Sveinson 1-204-345-1909

Characters Open for the Casting Call

Character: Siggy Sveinson -Main Character

Personal characteristics: Larger than life person, hints of them being an immortal ancient. Good sized, way above average height. Personable, with a very old and sensitive sole. A natural storyteller, Siggy always questions. Introverted and thoughtful, yet capable of exploding in personality while telling a story.

Ethnicity: Icelandic descent

Sex: Male

Age: 25 to 45

Body type: Way above average height, stocky – can work with shorter Long hair and beard preferable, but not necessary.

Specific Skills: Some singing chops required.


Character: JD McArthur (John Duncan McArthur) Primary Subject of Play

Personal characteristics: Very confident industrialist. Self-made billionaire A larger than life person. His peers include the Rockefellers, the Duponts, and Hills – the early American rail baron. One of the richest and most powerful self-made men in North American in his time. Personally driven, he doesn’t see obstacles – only opportunity for more profit. A man who knows supply and demand. A monopolist. He has a thing for betting on anything, usually doing well as he knows more than most.

Ethnicity: Scottish Irish Descent

Sex: Male

Age: 25 to 50. Needs to be aged for the end of play.

Body type: Average height, stocky

Specific Skills: Some singing chops required.


Character: History Teacher

Personal characteristics: Larger than life person, patient. A natural storyteller, Enjoys local history. Is passionate about teaching Likes to tease in a positive friendly manner, and is more than a little mischievous.

Ethnicity: Wide open

Sex: Female

Age: 30 to 60

Body type: Pretty wide open here. Depends on which teacher we model after.

Specific Skills: Enjoys reading and story-telling. A positive and engaging teacher.


Character: Winnipeg River Princess A Personification of the Winnipeg River

Personal characteristics: Strong minded, intelligent, yet innocent like, soft and approachable, yet fierce. A mother protecting her own. A gardener. Disturbed at the actions of the industrialist and his minions, the princess is shocked at the destruction brought about by the industrialist and his shortsighted vision of how this nation needs to be developed. Beaten, yes, she is far from defeated.

Ethnicity: First Nations, or Metis

Sex: Female

Age: 20 to 50

Body type: Average to above average height, slender but strong.

Specific Skills: Some singing required.


Character: Wendigo – In this case, a giant body puppet

Role: A giant monstrous being who personifies greed. The more they consume, the more they have to consume.

Sex: Open to both.

Ages: 15 – whatever.

Body type: Looking for stronger fit person capable of effectually operating a large body puppet


Character Name: Schamus

Personal characteristics: A villain married to chief’s daughter. Helps swindle reserve property away from reservation control. Highly educated Charlatan Church elder. Banished from Europe, he had a good university education. Only was prone to drinking, gambling, etc.

Ethnicity: English, Scottish-Irish descent, could be central European even First Nations.

Sex: Open to both.

Ages: 30 – 65

Body type: Looking for good character actor

Specific Skills: singing and rhythm chops required.


Role: Surveyors x 3 spots

Personal characteristics: Happy, yet serious people who fall in love with the river and its surroundings. These are rough and tumble hard working people well used to being out on the land. They aren’t so comfortable around other people. These guys fell in love with the region whilst doing their surveying. They are particularly enamored with the Winnipeg River Princess.

Ethnicity: English, Scottish-Irish descent, could be central European, Maybe Metis

Sex: Male, would consider one woman

Ages: 25 to 45.

Body type: Looking for good character actors

Specific Skills: Some singing chops required for one surveyor. Comedic. Guitar and fiddle abilities would be fantastic as well, not necessary


Role: Firepit Musicians x 2 spots – One could double as shadow puppeteer

Personal characteristics: Friendly and personable. These guys fell in love with the region whilst doing their surveying. They are particularly enamored with the Winnipeg River Princess.

Ethnicity: English, Scottish-Irish descent, could be central European, Maybe Metis

Sex: Male, would consider one woman if the teacher is women.

Ages: 25 to 35.

Body type: Looking for good character actors

Specific Skills: Some singing chops required for one. Comedic. Guitar and or fiddle abilities would be fantastic as well, not necessary. Maybe beat box.


Role: High Masons of the Legislative Assembly

Personal characteristics: Ultra Capitalists. Three extremely well off high Masons who sit in a high office at the legislative assembly. The Surveyors come to present their findings relative to the Winnipeg River Valley. The Masons receive the surveyors and then decide on how the new found resources will be exploited.

Ethnicity: English, Scottish-Irish descent, could be central European.

Sex: Males.

Ages: 25 to 65

Body type: Looking for good character actors

Specific Skills: Real singing and musician chops required for one, some for others.


Role: Prostitutes

Personal characteristics: Temptresses.

Ethnicity: English, Scottish-Irish descent, could be central European even First Nations

Sex: Female or whoever presents well. Not afraid of being a little controversial.

Ages: 18 – whatever.

Body type: Looking for good character actors

Specific Skills: Real singing chops required for one, some for others.


Role: Railroad Bulls – Gang Foreman

Ethnicity: English, Scottish-Irish descent, could be central European even First Nations, could also include more recent immigrant groups such as Syrians and Seeks, etc..

Sex: Open to both.

Ages: 20 – whatever.

Body type: Looking for good character actors

Specific Skills: some singing and rhythm chops required.


Role: Railroad Chain Gang and Foreman

Ethnicity: English, Scottish-Irish descent, could be central European even First Nations, could also include more recent immigrant groups such as Syrians and East Indians, Filipinos etc..

Sex: Open to both.

Ages: 14 – whatever.

Body type: Looking for good character actors

Specific Skills: some singing and rhythm chops required.


JD McArthur and the Winnipeg River Princess
Written by Sheldon Sveinson.Music by Composer Jesse Krause. Stage design and Direction by Sean McMullen.

For additional information please call: Sheldon Sveinson 1-204-345-1909