Synopses & Reviews
I dont see how a play can be Canadian. I dont think there are any plays that you could call strictly Canadian
What does that phrase mean?”
Now, thirty-three years after Canadian directors spoke their minds, or rather shrugged their shoulders at the seeming hopelessness of de-colonizing Canadian theatre, this fourth edition of the classic” Modern Canadian Plays sets out for us an even broader range of plays than previous editions, outlining a Canadian drama-scene that is far from colonial, inert, middle-class, or middle-aged. Spanning the years from 1967 to 1997, this anthology will likely continue to be the standard anthology for Canadian dramaand not without good reason.
Edited by Jerry Wassermanprofessor at the University of British Columbia, theatre critic for CBC, and one of Vancouvers most recurring (and memorable) faces on television Volume I still contains plays such as George Rygas seminal and highly political The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (first performed in 1967, it was described as a cicatrice” of Canadian society that showed the bleeding flesh beneath”), as well as Michel Tremblays Les Belles-Soeurs (one of the most critically acclaimed plays in Canada, translated from the original, controversial, joual). But more to the point, this edition of Volume I carries with it an even more distinct flavour of adventurousness in its juxtaposition of plays that are strikingly, even wildly, variousplays that can only be said to cohere around the difficulty of amorphous notions such as social justice, cultural belonging, and the existence of a collective past.
The plays in this fourth edition of Modern Canadian Plays: Volume I date from 1967 to 1986.
This fourth edition contains The Ecstasy of Rita Joe, Fortune and Mens Eyes, Les Belle Soeurs, Leaving Home and others.
About the Author
Professor of English and Theatre at the University of British Columbia, Jerry Wasserman has written and lectured widely on Canadian theatre, modern fiction, dramatic literature, theatre history and blues music; edited the two-volume anthology Modern Canadian Plays, a standard course text now in its fourth edition; made over two hundred appearances on stage, film and television; and served for over fifteen years as a drama critic on CBC Radio. He is currently the editor of Vancouverplays.com, an informative Web site that provides up-to-date listings and reviews of local theatre performances.