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New Canadian Drama
New Canadian Drama Vol. 8: Speculative Drama: Roswell, Eden's Moon, Alien Bait

Edited by
Scott Kesi Duchesne
Written by
Bruce Barton, Michael Green, William R. Young, Blake Brooker

Cover of New Canadian Drama Vol. 8
202 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888872654
$19.95 CA

About the Book

This series, New Canadian Drama, under its initial General Editor Neil Carson, and now Alan Filewod, provides for the general public and student, plays from the contemporary Canadian stage, as selected by each Volume Editor. Volume 8, edited by Scott Duchesne, presents three "speculative dramas": "Roswell" by Bruce Barton, "Eden´s Moon" by William R. Young, and "Alien Bait" by Michael Green and Blake Brooker. As the editor details in his introduction, "New Canadian Drama - Volume 8, Speculative Drama," evolves from Romantic beginnings in the Science Fiction (SF) of the early 19th century to a mode for expressing the anxieties and aspirations of contemporary life in the Western World. Judith Merrill in the late 1960s coined the term for this new form whose base, rather than ´science´, is the act of asking "What if ...?" Each of these three plays taps into contemporary angst, synthesizing the strange and the familiar into something that might be seen as a new Canadian sensibility.

New Canadian Drama Vol. 7: Coast Comedies: Village of Idiots, St. George, Down for the Count

Edited by
Alan Filewod
Written by
Peter Eliot Weiss, John Lazarus, Ian Weir

Cover of New Canadian Drama Vol. 7
270 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888878526
$19.95 CA

About the Book

New Canadian Drama - Volume 7, West Coast Comedies, edited by Alan Filewod. Volume 7 contains three comedies from British Columbia. In Village of Idiots John Lazarus offers an anthology of comic folktales about the famous wise fools of Chelm; Ian Weir´s St. George is a gently ironic study of a naive academic whose life is framed by his devotion to English literature; and in Down for the Count Peter Eliot Weiss resituates Dracula to the eve of the First World War and exposes the sexual repression and desire that feed Bram Stoker´s famous novel. Each of these three plays taps into contemporary angst, synthesizing the strange and the familiar into something that might be seen as a new Canadian sensibility.

New Canadian Drama Vol. 6: Feminist Drama: Hooligans, Pope Joan

Edited by
Rita Much
Written by
Mary Helen Vingoe, Jan Kudelka, Banuta Rubess

Cover of New Canadian Drama Vol. 6
173 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888870957
$19.95 CA

About the Book

New Canadian Drama - Volume 6, Feminist Drama, edited by Rita Much. The two plays selected for this anthology represent some of the chief formal and thematic concerns of feminist drama produced by Canada´s foremost feminist theatre, Nightwood, in the 1980s. By nurturing an entire generation of women theatre artists for the past thirteen years - writers, designers, directors, actors - and by emphasizing a non-naturalistic style, Nightwood Theatre has made a permanent impression on the nature and scope of contemporary Canadian theatre, its politics and its aesthetic, as well as the conditions in which this theatre is created. The inspiration for Jan Kudelka and Mary Vingoe´s Hooligans produced in 1982, was the extraordinary life of American dancer Isadora Duncan, whose lyrical abstract movement was hailed by the artistic community of Europe and Russia as the pure and free expression of the creative spirit. Rather than simply tell Duncan´s story the playwrights opted to place her work and the passions that fueled it in the context of ideas, the people and the prejudices of her era. In Nightwood´s 1984 production of Banuta Rubess´s Pope Joan the outside is an intelligent, learned girl of great faith who aspires to become the head of the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Joan is another example of Rubess´s continuing interest in both creating good stage roles for women and re-visioning history, recovering and reclaiming lost heroines from whose point of view the story is told.

New Canadian Drama Vol. 5: Political Drama: Learning to Live with Personal Growth, A Jungle Out There, Straight Stitching, No' Xya'

Edited by
Alan Filewod

Cover of New Canadian Drama Vol. 5
200 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888870988
$19.95 CA

200 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780888870964
$32.95 CA

About the Book

New Canadian Drama - Volume 5, Political Drama, edited by Alan Filewod. "The plays in this anthology represent some of the main formal and thematic tendencies of political theatre in English-speaking Canada in the 1980s." Taken together, the plays in this anthology express the contemporary dialectic of political and popular theatre. Two them, Arthur Milner´s Learning to Live with Personal Growth and Michael Riordan´s A Jungle Out There, follow in the tradition of socially aware political dramaturgy developed by the Great Canadian Theatre Company, an Ottawa theatre that has from its inception in the mid-1970s successfully combined the exigencies of surviving as a professional company with a committed left-wing political mandate. "In Learning to Live with Personal Growth ... biting analysis of the disintegration of moral values in avowedly socially committed yuppies, Milner shows that satire and cool minimalism can be appropriate ideological tools." Michael Riordon´s A Jungle Out There" ... is a catalogue of topical issues that objectifies the author´s struggle to clear his way through a jungle of issues: post-AIDS gay affirmation; women´s emancipation; American colonization of Canada; Nicaragua and fascism." "Straight Stitching is an excellent example of the most common model of popular theatre in Canada. The dramaturgy relies on simple narrative and realistic scenes, designed to be accessible to audiences for whom English may be a second language. The play´s success with working class audiences, and its enthusiastic reception by the professional theatre community in Toronto, suggest that Canadian theatre is finally beginning to come to terms with the rapidly changing multicultural nature of our society." Headlines Theatre´s No´ Xya´, by David Diamond, ... "rests on the premise that the white colonizer can participate in and learn from Native traditional culture. The narration in the play is supported by non-verbal action derived from traditional dance, using authentic regalia, and songs passed on from community elders."

New Canadian Drama Vol. 4: Manitoba Dramatists: Climate of the Times, Caffe, In Dreams

Written by
Alfred Silver
Edited by
Douglas Arrell
Written by
Bruce McManus, Alan Williams

Cover of New Canadian Drama Vol. 4
167 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888879141
$19.95 CA

167 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780888879127
$32.95 CA

About the Book

New Canadian Drama - Volume 4, Manitoba Dramatists, edited by Douglas Arrell. The plays in this anthology provide a sampling of the "first wave" of new Winnipeg playwrighting. "Alf Silver was the most significant figure in the early stages of Winnipeg´s modest playwrighting boom. His three plays at the Warehouse - Thimblerig (1982), Climate of the Times (1983), and Clearances (1984) - had a confident professionalism and ambition which proved Silver´s immunity to the usual Winnipeg habit of self-abnegation. Climate of the Times aroused the most controversy of the three, both over its theme and over its merits as a play. Its apparent aim is to indentify a Fascist tendency in the feminist movement, particularly in the alliance of some members of that movement with right-wing groups concerned with banning pornography. In fact, the play is also a dissection of the character of its heroine, Lorna, seeming to suggest that her fanaticism and political opportunism are linked to defects in her personality and personal relationships." "Bruce McManus´s ... Caffé is a lighter but more successful work; it was commissioned by the University of Winnipeg for its fourth-year acting class, a fact which explains its large, mainly-female cast. McManus seems fascinated by the attitudes manifested by the new artistic avante-garde precisely because they represent a reversal of the usual Winnipeg pattern; instead of using art as a means of expressing and fostering social committment, the New Wave uses everything - including social committment - as a means of creating art ... But the play is far from being an attack or even a satire on the New Wave; McManus seems rather to cherish every nuance of the new generation´s rejection of the traditional left-wing attitude to art, and to relish the discomfiture of the "serious" writer, Norman, who in many respects is his own alter-ego." "Alan Williams´s In Dreams ...was presented by the Hull Truck Theatre in England in 1981, long before Williams even came to Canada. Yet Williams belongs in a volume of Winnipeg plays, not only because of his great popularity and influence here - he had four productions on Winnipeg stages during the 1985-86 season - but because of his clear affinity to the Winnipeg playwrighting mode ... The dissection of the urban-folk-singer mentality exemplified by Ralph in In Dreams is very much in the Winnipeg mode. But William´s work also has many qualities which bespeak his origins in a richer theatrical environment."

New Canadian Drama Vol. 3: Albertan Dramatists: Down for the Weekend, Checkin's Out, Swipe

Edited by
Denis William Salter
Written by
Frank Moher, Kelly-Jean Rebar, Gordon D. Pengilly

Cover of New Canadian Drama Vol. 3
179 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888878809
$19.95 CA

179 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780888878786
$32.95 CA

About the Book

New Canadian Drama - Volume 3, Albertan Dramatists, edited by Denis W. Salter. Douglas Flint, in Frank Moher´s Down for the Weekend, " ... sensibly recognizes that he cannot follow the traditional values and modern way of life. He is not a farmer. He is a modern, alienated man who is restless, dissatisfied, frustrated, and destructive. For him, the fertility of both the land and the spirit lies frozen beneath the dead of winter; spring is as distant and elusive a goal as Vancouver." "However, for Lindsay Andruchuk in Checkin´ Out, Albert is by no means a dead-end place: it is still a land of promise. in the traditional search to know oneself, she learns that the only limitations to personal freedom are her own lack of courage and her own lack of imagination." Rooster, in Swipe, shares with Lindsay Andruchuk and Dougie Flint the desire to take responsibility for the deliberate, almost self-conscious, re-creation of his own character. He is guided by a quixotic vision of what is false and what is truthful."

New Canadian Drama Vol. 2: Mirage, Pogie, The Dollar Woman

Edited by
Patrick B. O'Neill
Written by
Gwen Pharis Ringwood, Christopher Heide, Al MacDonald, Alden Nowlan, Walter Learning

Cover of New Canadian Drama Vol. 2
165 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888870728
$19.95 CA

167 pages, Hardcover
ISBN: 9780888870704
$32.95 CA

About the Book

New Canadian Drama - Volume 2, edited by Patrick B. O´Neill. "Through a skillful combination of comedy and pathos, mime and music, poetry and prose, Mirage chronicles seventy-five years of Saskatchewan life. The three generations of Rylands experience two World Wars, drought and Depression, Tommy Douglas and John Diefenbaker against the continuing claim of their ancestral farm." "Pogie has none of the bitterness one might expect to find in a look at the breakdown of family life wrought by chronic unemployment. Heide has captured the flavour of Maritime humour and mounted it in a cabaret display case." "The Dollar Woman carries us further back in time to the late nineteenth century, but the disturbing ulcer on our history which it reveals forces the audience to reconsider its current attitudes to social welfare in general ... the masterful characterization, the rich and vigorous dialogue, and the sustained theatrical awareness of Nowlan and Learning´s script make The Dollar Woman come alive on stage."

New Canadian Drama Vol. 1: Westmount, Stargazing, Pushkin

Edited by
Neil Carson
Written by
Richard Ouzounian, Tom Cone, George Jonas

Cover of New Canadian Drama Vol. 1
119 pages, Paperback
ISBN: 9780888870568
$19.95 CA

About the Book

New Canadian Drama - Volume 1, edited by Neil Carson. Westmount - "The original version of the play was called British Properties after the exclusive residential area in West Vancouver where it was set. Essentially it is a light farce in the tradition that goes back, via Gilbert and Sullivan, to Roman Comedy. Into his venerable dramatic bottle, however, Ouzounian has poured a few drops of new satiric wine." In Stargazing "Cone´s technical innovations are used to reinforce one of his central themes which is the isolation of individuals. Each of the stargazers in the play, like an early navigator, sets the course of his life by a distant light. The star each person follows gives meaning and direction to his life, but it also separates him from other voyagers. Cone is a challenging playwright whose more difficult work may not win a quick and easy popularity, but many theatre lovers, like drama critic Jamie Portman, consider Cone one of this country´s most original dramatists." "George Jonas´s Pushkin is innovative in a different way from either of the other two plays in this volume. Conventional in form, the piece attempts what is still relatively rare in this country - the recreation of a European milieu." "The idea for Pushkin developed when Marion Andre, Artistic Director of Theatre Plus, approached Jonas to write a play for Harry Belafonte. In the course of their discussion of black historical characters, the two men discovered a mutual interest in the great Russian poet and radical."
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