Playwright Marcien Ferland is one of the people that see a play as an opportunity to get a really important message out to the general public. He is now awaiting the production of his play The Third Way. However, it’s not your typical run-of- the-mill musical or love story. It’s about evil, selfishness and abortion.
“It seemed to be such a social evil and I didn’t know of any plays about the subject (abortion) and felt I should because it’s such an evil today,” Ferland told The Interim.
It is a story about a woman, Eve, who is torn between Luko, her boyfriend, and the love of her child-to-be. Luko wants her to get an abortion since the child would interfere with his career plans. Eve is unsure she wants to have an abortion, so Luko threatens to leave her.
Luko acts the way he does, says Ferland, because he’s “selfish” and that’s the “main trait of the character, put to the extreme.”
Upon discovering she has rubella, a disease that could cause birth defects, Eve decides to have an abortion. However, the abortion provider is vague when explaining the possible hazards, so Eve confides in a friend and counsellor who has had an abortion and suffered from post-abortion syndrome. Eve then returns home disturbed by what she has been told and goes to bed. She is visited by the devil in her dreams and he confronts her with a situation where she can save the health of her child if she commits murder. Although she does not commit the murder, she realizes once she awakens, that in a real-life situation, she would have murdered for the well-being of her unborn. On a later visit to her doctor, she’s told that she is cured of rubella and it doesn’t look like it infected her child. So she decides against the abortion.
In an attempt to ignite the once luminous flame between her and Luko, Eve learns that he has since found a new relationship. He says he does not want anything to do with her and their unborn child.
Ferland mentioned that the purpose of the play is to show that there is evil inside us all. “I try to show that any human being can be brought to commit murder if placed under certain circumstances.”
In the final scene, Eve eventually gives her child to a pair of adoptive parents. Good has triumphed over evil.
Ferland eschews the pro-life slogans and in-depth studies about abortion. The play is pro-life, but it requires you to look much deeper, in terms of realizing what the evil of abortion can drive people to do.
“It’s not a propaganda tool,” said Ferland. “It’s primarily a study of evil. This is the main theme of the play and many evils are evoked, egotism and genocide among others.”
Ferland was born and raised in St. Bonnifice, Man., where he wrote several other plays. He wrote a trilogy on the history of Manitoba, which took him from 1980 to 1987, and a half-dozen musicals and dramas for religious events. Ferland graduated from the University of Manitoba, where he majored in French. He teaches full-time and he and his wife Brenda own a farm.The first showing of the play will be in French at the Manitoba Cultural Centre for two weeks. Ferland is not exactly sure when it will begin, but he knows for sure that they must complete performances by Nov. 15. There will also be another showing, this one in English, in March 2003.