Castle in the Sky by Castlereigh Theatre Project April 23-29, 2016. A review.

Janice Lacouvee /

It’s the tenth anniversary year of a horrific triple murder of father, mother and son that rocked the small Alberta city of Medicine Hat—the accused the 12 year-old daughter J.R., and her 23 year-old boyfriend Jeremy Steinke. In the carefully constructed Castle in the Sky, writers Francesca Albright and Jude Thaddeus Allen, of Castlereigh Theatre Project, bring to light a town under extreme duress and in the national spotlight. Venturing to The Gas City in the year following the murder, they were granted unprecedented access to family and friends of the victims and the accused, as well as townspeople, politicians and media. From hundreds of hours of material, the researchers have culled and woven a mesmerizing docu-drama told with great detail, and—above all—compassion and restraint.

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Castle in the Sky - Charming Stranger Review

Caitlin Baird / The Marble

Castle in the Sky is an excellent example of verbatim theatre, meaning that the actual words of the community were carefully adapted for the stage. Over the year following the slayings, members of Castlereigh Theatre Project interviewed family and friends of the accused and the victims, journalists, and city residents. These intimate revelations are woven together in a rumination on grief, loyalty, and violence. Castle in the Sky is about a community in crisis in a case where blame is difficult to assign.

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Verbatim play about Medicine Hat murders based on real interviews

Adrian Chamberlain / Times Colonist

Exactly 10 years to the day after the crimes were committed, a play about a notorious triple murder in Medicine Hat opens at the Belfry Theatre.

Castle in the Sky investigates the aftermath of the killings of a Medicine Hat couple and their eight-year-old son on April 23, 2006.

The slayings, which made international headlines, were carried out by the couple’s 12-year-old daughter and her then-boyfriend, 23-year-old Jeremy Steinke.

Each was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder.

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Castle in the Sky: Healing from a true crime story

Jenn Martin / Megaphone Magazine

In April 2006, a 12-year-old girl and her 23-year-old boyfriend fatally stabbed her parents and eight-year-old brother in Medicine Hat, Alberta. It made her the youngest person in Canadian history to have been convicted of multiple first degree murder charges. Now, 10 years later, the controversial play about these murders, Castle in the Sky by the Castlereigh Theatre Project, comes to Victoria to offer a new perspective on crime stories and encourage people to search for truth in different ways

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Documentary play revisits Medicine Hat murders

Pamela Roth / Victoria News

It was a crime that sent shock waves across the nation and left a southern Alberta community in unbearable grief.

In April 2006, a 12-year-old girl and her 23-year-old boyfriend, Jeremy Steinke fatally stabbed her mother, father and six-year-old brother in their Medicine Hat home after the girl’s parents forbid her from seeing him. The youth was handed a 10-year sentence for first-degree murder while Steinke was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 25 years.

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