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Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Lorena Gale
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 96
Pub. Date: 2000
ISBN-10: 0887545858
ISBN-13: 9780887545856

About the Play:

Angélique is a full-length drama by Lorena Gale. Based on true events chronicling the life of Marie-Joseph Angélique; an enslaved Black woman who was publicly executed for allegedly starting a fire that burned Montréal in 1734.

"And in seventeen thirty-four a Negro slave set fire to the City of Montréal and was hanged..." With this bald statement of history as a basis, Lorena Gale constructs a vivid portrait of a time when captive people had no say in the outcome of their lives. Angélique was sold and traded from master to master, yet her hope remained that she would one day taste freedom once again. In the summer of 1730, at the age of 20, Angélique arrived in the city of Montréal where the embers of hope, love, and the sensation of freedom were within her grasp. Those hopes, however, were met with the harsh reality of life as a Black slave in Nouvelle France. Few have spoken to the injustice that stoked the inextinguishable fire in her belly. No one can know for certain if she was responsible for the cinder and wreckage; the charred relics of a people's pain. As Québecers and Canadians, we rarely speak of the real and forgotten story of Angélique and her lasting impact on our social and political landscape. This begs an important question: how much has the state's relationship to Black lives changed since it executed Angélique in the 18th century for a crime it had no proof she committed?

Her first play, Angélique was the winner of the 1995 duMaurier National Playwriting Competition in Canada. It premiered in 1998 at Alberta Theatre Projects in Calgary and was nominated Outstanding New Play in Calgary's Betty Mitchell Awards. Its American premiere was in 1999 at the Repertory Theatre in Detroit, and in New York, Off Broadway at Manhattan Class Company Theatre, where it was nominated for 8 Audelco (Harlem Black Theatre) Awards. Revived by Montréal's Black Theatre Workshop in 2017, it continues an important discussion on the nature of being black and mixed race and belonging in Canada.

Cast: 3 women, 4 men

What people say:

"Gale has fashioned a spare but powerful tale that thrusts the indignities of slavery and the stupidity of racism out of the murky 18th century and into the here and now." — Calgary Herald

"...a dynamic and emotionally powerful theatrical experience." — Time Out New York

About the Playwright:

Lorena Gale (1958 to 2009) was an award winning actress, director, and writer. Born in Montréal, she was active in stage, movie, and television acting since the 1980s. Her most memorable stage performances include Normal Jean in The Coloured Museum, and Hecuba in Age of Iron at the Firehall Theatre, for which she received both a Jesse Richardson Nomination and Award. She also acted in several A-list movies, including Fantastic Four, The Chronicles of Riddick, and The Exorcism of Emily Rose. She guest starred on TV programs such as The X-Files, Smallville, and Kingdom Hospital. She also starred as "Priestess Elosha" on the SciFi Channel television program Battlestar Galactica.

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