TIDLER, Charles

Author Tags: Music, Theatre

Charles Tidler was born in Ohio in 1946. He studied literature and philosophy at Purdue University. His two connected one-act plays, Straight Ahead and Blind Dancer, premiered in Vancouver and were later published, as was his next play in 1983, Farewell Heart. His collaboration on Make Me Laugh for the Edmonton Fringe Festival was followed by The Butcher's Apron for Theatre Passe Muraille in 1990, the same year he adapted Jack Hodgins' Spit Delaney's Island in Victoria. Previous poetry titles include North of Indianapolis, published in Indiana, and Flight, The Last American Poem.

Tidler came to B.C. in 1969. In 1977 he began a long stint teaching playwriting at UVic. Red Mango: a blues (Anvil, 2001) is a monologue about Charlie who follows the ‘large carrot’ between his legs. That carrot goes anywhere there’s music, sweat, and the possibility of getting laid. His novel about a jazz trumpeter entitled Going to New Orleans (Anvil 2004) has been described as a post-Beat neo-bebop gumbo. This first person narrative and sexual odyssey is about the music, history and literature of New Orleans--and a murder.

Tortoise Boy (Anvil 2008) is a concert of four monologues from disparate people brought together in the emergency ward of a hospital after a teenager has undergone a psychiatric crisis.

Hard Hed: The Hoosier Chapman Papers (Anvil 2011), is described as a 'contemporary retelling of the Johnny Appleseed story', and follows an apple orchardist - also a historian - who has just been released from an Ohio jail after serving two years for planting wild apple trees in a city park.

Theatre Inconnu in Victoria on Fernwood Street, across from the Belfry Theatre, produced Charles Tidler's adaptation of a short story by Jack Hodgins for Spit Delaney's Island in 2015, directed by Karen Lee Pickett. Spit Delaney is a steam locomotive operator at a pulp mill. After decades of rising at 4 am to fire up his beloved steam engine, Spit finds himself without this job when the pulp mill replaces “Old Number One” with a modern diesel engine. Spit declares that he is: “Not sure of where or how I belong.” Spit’s relationship with his family and the world around him is thrown in turmoil as he doggedly tries to hang onto an identity that is no longer relevant. This is the stuff of comedy, and yet it is also the stuff of the human condition. As we laugh at Spit’s misguided struggle to stay the same, we empathize with his loneliness at being left behind while others move on – more readily adapting to a changing world. But there are magical forces at work here, guiding Spit – kicking and screaming – towards a deeper understanding of himself and an unexpected outcome.


Hard Hed: The Hoosier Chapman Papers (Anvil 2011) 978-1-897535-69-1 $20
Tortoise Boy: A Chamber Play (Anvil, 2008) - play
Going to New Orleans (Anvil, 2001) - novel
Red Mango: a blues (Anvil, 2001)
The Sex Change Artist, Intrepid Theatre. Playwrights Union of Canada.
Fabulous Yellow Roman Candle. Playwrights Union of Canada.
The Butcher's Apron. Playwrights Union of Canada.
Spit Delaney's Island, Adaptation of two stories by Jack Hodgins. Playwrights Union of Canada.
The Farewell Heart. Playwrights Union of Canada.
Straight Ahead. Playwrights Union of Canada.
Blind Dancers. Playwrights Union of Canada.
Dinosaurs. Powell River: Ramseed House Press, 1982.
Straight Ahead & Blind Dancers. PLCN, 1981; CTR No. 34, Spring 1982.
Broken Branches. Vancouver: Orphan Press, 1977.
Anonymous Stone. Pulp Press, 1977.
Flight: The Last American Poem. Pulp Press, 1976.
Whetstone Almanac. Pulp Press, 1975.
Straw Things. New York: The Crossing Press, 1972.
North of Indianapolis. Indiana: Aesop's Feast Press, 1969.

[BCBW 2008] "Theatre" "Music"

Red Mango: a blues (Anvil $11.95)

This monologue follows Charlie who follows the ‘large carrot’ between his legs. That carrot goes anywhere there’s music, sweat, and the possibility of getting laid. 1-895636-38-8

[BCBW Autumn 2001]