by Daniel Thau-Eleff


Mark your calendars! Deserter is going to premiere

May 17 – 27, 2018

at the Rachel Browne Theatre (in Winnipeg)

as part of the MayWorks Festival of Labour & the Arts

Curtis Colby, an American war-deserter in Canada, is caught with a fake passport. While they try to decide what to do with him, Colby is pulled between a holding cell in the present-day, his time in Iraq, and a small town in Manitoba, Canada, where he and his wife Jessica are desperately trying to lead a normal life.

Caught in a tug-of-war between his past and the present, Colby has to find his way out of the holding cell, get out of Iraq and find a way to stay in present-day Canada, pushing his way through bureaucracy as the traumas of war come to a head.

Inspired by actual events, Deserter explores moral behaviour in a complex world, mixing human struggles with political events, and raises questions about the relationship between civilians and soldiers in countries with (supposedly) volunteer armies.


Creative Team for 2018 World Premiere

Director: Arne MacPherson

Dramaturg: Chris Gerrard-Pinker

Video and Lighting Design: Jaymez

Sound Design: Emma Hendrix

Set and Costume Design: Jamie Plummer


Jeff Strome as Curtis Colby

Charlene Van Buekenhout as Jessica Wiebe

Andrew Cecon as Staff Sargent Yeo

Majdi Bou-Matar as Abdallah

Ray Strachan as Dr Zipkin


Stay tuned for details as they emerge, read our blog posts and click here  to sign up for email updates!

The 2018 World Premiere of Deserter is made possible by support from the Manitoba Arts Council, and Winnipeg Arts Council. We expect to have more partnerships to announce soon.



The video trailer above was made by Chris MacDonald of Abraxas Studios, using footage and interviews from our 2016 script development workshop. Below are photos from the 2016 workshop by Solmund MacPherson (unless otherwise noted).

High res versions of these photos are available on request: MovingTargetTheatreCompany (at)


The development of Deserter was supported by the Manitoba Arts Council, Manitoba Association of Playwrights, Winnipeg Arts CouncilRoyal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Joseph Zuken Memorial Association, and we did staged readings at Prairie Theatre Exchange‘s Carol Shields Festival of New Works (May, 2015) and MT Space‘s Impact! Festival, (Sept, 2015) supported by the Playwrights Guild of Canada and Canada Council for the Arts readings program, Manitoba Association of Playwrights and Pat the Dog Theatre Creation.

The development of this script would not have been possible without input and guidance from Joshua Key, Alexina Key, Amir Al-Azraki, Chris Gerrard-Pinker, Brad Fraser, Amar Khoday, Michael Eleff, Rory Runnells and Linsea Allen.

A big thanks to the actors who have been involved in Deserter’s development: Jeff Strome, Charlene Van Buekenhout, Andrew Cecon, Majdi Bou Matar, Steven Ratzlaff, Arne MacPherson, Michael Lawrenchuk, Karl Thordarson, Kevin Anderson, Ray Strachan, Nick Cumming, Pam Patel, Brad Cook, and Matt White and a big thanks to our many friends and supporters who attended the readings and gave valuable feedback.