“The Good Society” The Irondale Ensemble Project, Nova Scotia, Canada
This one act play tells the story of the Antigonish Movement’s two founders, Father Moses Coady and Father Jimmy Tompkins. Both were radical priests who early this century insisted that democracy meant that everyone had an obligation, and a right, to take part in all aspects of daily life, beginning with cooperative economic decision-making. The pair also had many fundamental differences: Coady’s vision was one of large groups of people working together, which required management and strategic planning. Tompkins, in contrast, despised anything that was institutional or “top-down,” and argued that “organization leads to domination.” The play uses drama and music to present these two figures at key moments in the development of both the Antigonish Movement and their own lives and thought processes.