BY ADRIC CLUFF
May 2: 5 PM BackSpace (Artist Talkback)
The Nickel Notes of Thomas Alva Edison is a historical epic chronicling a decade in the life of Thomas Edison, the Wizard of Menlo Park. Centered on the events during and following Mr. Edison’s visit to Sudbury, a few years after the turn of the century. What begins as a mining and exploration venture to discover nickel for use in his revolutionary battery process, transforms into a complex and well concealed operation to develop the first electric car, in total secrecy with an old friend turned confidant and ally, Henry Ford.
A host of colourful characters populate a rich and vivid backdrop of post-industrial Sudbury, including Andrew Ryan, the Mayor of what was practically a pioneer town, Samuel Ritche, the mind behind the Canadian Copper Company, and several local Sudburians who, from time to time, offer testimonials of the Wizard himself.Witness an unlikely and rarely discussed side of Thomas Edison in his private moments with his beloved wife, Mina Miller Edison and see a masterful manipulator use and schmooze the people of the city of Sudbury in an effort to create a brighter and more vibrant future for the world.
Progress is not easily won, and as Edison and Ford move forward with their scheme, Edison is visited by a series of private and personal disasters. As time ticks down and the duo struggle to bring the Electric Carriage to the masses, tensions raise and enemies lurk just out of sight. Industrial espionage and international intrigue collide with Edison’s manufactured media frenzy and everything comes to a head with a challenge from Edison to a most unlikely and unexpected, irrepressible and nearly invincible adversary: The First Billionaire in American history. The fallout from these events linger over the proceedings leading to an unconventional, bitter-sweet ending that cuts to the essential truth of who Thomas Edison always was: a man, a monster, a myth and a maker.
Adric Cluff is proud to present his latest original play, a historical fiction set at the turn of the century, centered on the events related to the astonishing true story of a visit to Sudbury by none other than Thomas Alva Edison. This is the fourth original play he has had an opportunity to showcase and, as a historical epic spanning nearly a decade, is without a doubt the most ambitious play he has written to date. and he is thrilled to be part of this years PlaySmelter, having been a member of the Producer’s Unit the year prior. His work has frequently examined themes of perception, deception and misdirection with a focus on how these machinations inform the human condition and, with this most recent work, it’s relation to the historical experience.
Cluff has also been a presence both in front of the camera: as a background actor on many movies and TV shows shot in Sudbury (including the sensational hit Letterkenny), and behind the camera: as a producer of the psychedelic, romantic horror-comedy THC Positive (coming soon). Adric has been hard at work on a documentary series about the development of the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and is the owner and sole proprietor of Cloud Surfer Studios and the owner and operator of PennyLess Productions Inc, a not for profit corporation dedicated to the development of more high quality documentaries.
With this latest work, he has challenged himself to write in an unfamiliar genre, with a dialect from centuries ago and weave a complex narrative into real moments of history to tell the almost impossible story of Edison’s visit to Sudbury, the discovery of Falconbridge, the founding of I.N.C.O and the development of the Edison Electric Carriage. He hopes that you enjoy this look back at a time not too unlike the present, where titans of industry fought in secret for control of the future of locomotion and energy.