Secrets: A One-Act Play


Maria Goretti and her sister Pauline grew up in 1950s franco-Alberta. They have not seen each other in 45 years. What kept them apart for so long? What has brought them together again? Old resentments bubble to the surface, as one by one the secrets that have torn the sisters apart are revealed. Secrets is a sequel of sorts to Dumas’s award-winning novel, Madeleine and the Angel. The script was developed with the support of the Alberta Playwrights’ Network and the 2013 Skirts Afire Peep Show.


Approximate running time

One hour



Living room of high-rise condo overlooking a city


Cast of Characters

(3 female, 2 male, all played by two actors)

Maria Goretti Gauthier – elder of two sisters who are in their 60s

Pauline Gauthier – younger of two sisters

Michel Gauthier – dead father of Maria and Pauline (played by Maria)

Madeleine Gauthier – Michel’s widow and dying mother of Maria and Pauline (played by Pauline)

Priest – (played by Maria)


Secrets enjoyed 8 performances at the 2013 Edmonton International Fringe Festival under the direction of Tracy Carroll and stage management of Dawn Friesen. Adèle Fontaine played Maria and Ruby Swekla played Pauline. 



The play received the following on-line reviews:


“… Riveting script and riveting performances-if you miss this play you will have missed one of the best of the fringe. Well done ladies!” -B. Bishop


“Our first play of Fringe 2013 and we hit a home run. What a moving, powerful performance with strong writing. It’s the kind of play that sticks in your mind long after leaving the theatre… Was captivated from beginning to end.” -J. Cunningham


“Secrets is a powerful play that packs an emotional wallop and leaves one pondering complex layers of morality and family dynamics. At times it is also genuinely funny. Well-produced and well worth seeing!” -Anne Marie Brose


 “A must-see…” -Eunice Scarfe


“… most powerful… the script has both a depth and polish unusual in a fringe play. Shouldn’t be missed.” -Caterina Edwards


“Go see this one. A haunting exploration of the imprisoning web of family relationships. But do not be daunted. There are unexpected humourous riffs which only underscore the sisters’ courage…” -Lida Somchynsky


“…Bravo for also including some humour and appropriate music.” -E.Royer


“A very powerful and moving play…” -P. Boisvert


“What a poignant, moving, story of depth and subtlety… what terrific acting. It was so riveting I had to remind myself to breathe, as I hung on every line. An incredible script… generating laughter, incredible sadness and much post-play reflection…” 

-M. Smith


“This play deals with issues that are timeless as well as universal… Not to be missed.” -L. Morin


“The play definitely keeps you spellbound from beginning to end. The flamboyant actors Adèle Fontaine and Ruby Swekla are superb in their multirole presentations. This very creatively written and suspense filled play is too special to be missed…” 

-R. Byer



The play is also available in French.


Secrets: Une pièce en un acte 

Auteure: Jacqueline Dumas

Version française: Jocelyne Verret