The world premiere of Deserter will be

May 17 – 27, 2018

at the Rachel Browne Theatre (in Winnipeg)

as part of the MayWorks Festival of Labour & the Arts


Deserter is a new play by award-winning playwright Daniel Thau-Eleff, inspired by the soldiers who deserted the Iraq war and came to Canada.

Deserter follows Curtis Colby, a fictional war-deserter who is detained for using a fake passport. Colby finds himself in a tug-of-war between a holding cell in the present-day, his time in Iraq, and a small town in Manitoba, where he and his wife Jessica are desperately trying to lead a normal life.

Deserter explores moral behaviour in a complex world, raising questions about the relationship between civilians and soldiers in countries with (supposedly) volunteer armies. When should a soldier say no? What morality can we hope for in war? And what is the role of ordinary citizens?

Advisory: strong language and mature subject matter.




Creative Team

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.

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).


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Deserter is made possible with support from:

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.