I was doing research on the Winnipeg General Strike for the purposes of writing a play about it, and I came across the excellent book When the State Trembled by authors Kramer and Mitchell, who both work at Brandon University. I found their research impeccable and quite frankly overwhelming as I was having difficulty determining the “story” I wanted to focus on. As a means to give myself a break and distract myself, I explored what other books they had written because I really liked their work. I was intrigued about their other collaboration: Walk Towards The Gallows: The Tragedy of Emily Hilda Blake - Hanged 1899. I ordered it from UofT Press and devoured it in no less than a week. I immediately knew this was the story I wanted to write and share with a theatrical audience. As the authors excellently pointed out in their account, Hilda’s story must be seen in the broader light of sex and class roles of the period, Canadian notions of White civility, 19th century notions of Fate and Duty, xenophobia, political expediency, the plight of Home Children in Canada, attitudes toward working poor children, Women’s Emancipation, and Canadian Western expansion. I was familiar with a lot of that material but immersed myself in a year of more research. However, at the heart of the story is a domestic tragedy — and most likely a love triangle. That’s where the use of imagination must come into play. I have attempted to blend the historical record of this tragedy with speculative fiction to show how our private and public worlds collide. I am not trying to suggest what really happened. That’s not the job of the playwright. I provide what I hope is an interesting "What if?" scenario as a means to explore what happens to us, to find the universal within the particular, and ultimately to tell an exciting and riveting story. Enjoy!