Fall On Your Knees
A woman holds herself in a field overlooking the ocean, birds flying in the background.

Fall On Your Knees

A National Arts Centre, Vita Brevis Arts, Canadian Stage, Neptune Theatre, Grand Theatre production

Co-created and Written by Hannah Moscovitch
Co-created and Directed by Alisa Palmer 
Production Dramaturgy by Mel Hague
Based on the Novel by Ann-Marie MacDonald 

Five theatre companies partner to bring production based on Ann-Marie MacDonald’s internationally acclaimed novel to four cities

In 1996, Fall On Your Knees, written by the internationally acclaimed Canadian writer Ann-Marie MacDonald, was released – a sweeping novel that chronicles three generations of Cape Breton Island’s Piper family. The story moves from the battlefields of the First World War to the emerging jazz scene in Harlem, NY, and into the lives of four unforgettable sisters.


“Seeing Fall On Your Knees brought to fruition as a piece of theatre is the fulfillment of a process that began long ago when I first started writing what would become the novel.  Fall On Your Knees began, in my mind, as a play.  This makes sense because I was, and am, a playwright. I ended up bringing the story to light as a novel, but I’ve always cherished the vision of it as a three-dimensional experience for a live audience.  I am so grateful to all the incredibly talented artists, especially Hannah Moscovitch and Alisa Palmer, for boldly and beautifully bringing it to life.

– Ann-Marie MacDonald, Author, Fall On Your Knees


Now in 2022, the National Arts Centre English Theatre, Vita Brevis Arts and Canadian Stage, Grand Theatre, and Neptune Theatre have announced an unprecedented partnership that will bring the world premiere stage adaptation of the Canadian classic to four cities – Toronto, London, Ottawa and Halifax – beginning in 2023.

Fall On Your Knees will be presented in two parts, allowing audiences to savour the experience over two extraordinary evenings:

Fall On Your Knees Part One: Family Tree
Fall On Your Knees Part Two: The Diary


Read more


Lead donors Margaret Fountain, C.M., DFA (h) & David Fountain, C.M.

Developed with support from the National Arts Centre’s National Creation Fund

National Arts Centre
Vita Brevis

We acknowledge the support of The Canada Council for the Arts

Canada Council for the Arts

Produced with the support of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.

Toronto Arts Council

Adaptation for the Stage by

  • Alisa Palmer
  • Hannah Moscovitch

Co-created and Written by

  • Hannah Moscovitch

Co-created and Directed by

  • Alisa Palmer

Production Dramaturgy by

  • Mel Hague

Based on the Novel by

  • Ann-Marie MacDonald

Also Playing at Canadian Stage

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