Edmonds Stories

Family Photo, 1904

A Father’s Impossible Dreams, A Mother’s Uncompromising Love: An Immigration Story

Jonas embraces all that is new and American. Johanna refuses to learn English. Their four daughters are caught between his fantastic dreams and her crippling fears. Johanna wants her children to get ahead but realizes she may have to lose them to a foreign culture in order for them to do so. These family stories of high hopes and unfulfilled dreams are the stories of many immigrants and reflect much about life in the west at the turn of the last century.

“Is this our Sacrifice to the new land? Our love for each other?” – Jonas, Act II

“Douglass’ play is a well crafted, interesting piece of work that manages some light, even raucous moments (like a food fight!) within the pervasive black-cloud atmosphere created by Johanna, self-described as ‘always the nay-sayer, the sour one.’ Writing the play must have been an exorcism of sorts for Douglass, a way of coming to terms with the memory of her great-grandmother; a barbed, iron-willed woman like Johanna would take some dealing with generation after generation.”

– Wayne Johnson, The Seattle Times

“Theatre Company of Lafayette brings on stage Nora Douglass’ poignant and affecting tale of an immigrant couple from Sweden who settled and raised their daughters in Edmonds, WA. Douglass also wrote Shorn, staged by TLC which similarly dealt with issues of family relationships, sacrifices, and of being a stranger in your own land. Edmonds Stories is a grand production set in an intimate stage. It requires the viewer to lean in, get close, be an eavesdropper to understand the nuance of language, inference, back stories, and personal struggles…It is not a play you just watch. It is a play you listen to, observe, and feel. Because understanding the immigrant’s story requires you to understand the choices and sacrifices she makes, especially if loving is an even more painful choice than letting go.”

 – Richard Tagle, Independent Reviewer

Theater Company of Lafayette, Lafayette, Colorado, 2023

University of Washington Mainstage Production, 1989

University of Washington Studio Production

with Guest Artist Lori Larsen, 1988

ACTF Regional Festival, Western WA University, 1990

Driftwood Players, Edmonds, Washington, 1990 – Selected as part of the City of Edmonds Centennial

Kennedy Center ACTF Regional Playwriting Award

 Winner of the National David Library Award for Best Play About the American Experience

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