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alterNatives

alterNatives
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Drew Hayden Taylor
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 144
Pub. Date: 2000
ISBN-10: 0889224285
ISBN-13: 9780889224285
Cast Size: 3 female, 3 male

About the Play:

alterNatives has become a favourite of acting teachers for Male Monologues.

alterNatives is a full-length drama by Drew Hayden Taylor. A very liberal contemporary couple – Angel, an urban Indigenous science fiction writer, and Colleen, a non-practising Jewish intellectual who teaches Native literature – hosts a dinner party. The guests at this little sitcom soirée are couples that represent what by now have become the clichéd extremes of both societies: Angel's former radical aboriginal activist buddies and Colleen's environmentally concerned vegetarian / veterinarian friends. The menu is, of course, the hosts' respectful attempt at shorthand for the irreconcilable cultural differences about to come to a head during the evening: moose roast and vegetarian lasagna.

alterNatives manages to say things about Whites and Indians that one is not supposed to talk about. Like all of Drew Hayden Taylor's work, it digs up the carefully buried, raw and pulsing nerve-endings of the unspeakable and exposes them to the hot bright lights of the stage. That he does so with a humour that the politically correct among his audiences continue to miss entirely beneath the sound and fury of their own self-righteous indignation is a measure of his immense talent as a dramatist. In the end, the play is not about cultural differences at all, but instead constitutes a full frontal attack on the personal qualities the sitcom holds most dear and pushes hardest at its audiences: Taylor actually has the temerity to suggest that neither attitude nor sincerity are enough to address basic human issues, no matter which side of the cultural fence the characters are on. And that's hard for the pushers of what is considered a globally enlightened culture to take.

alterNatives premiered in 1999 at the Bluewater Summer Playhouse in Kincardine, Ontario. Since then the play has been successfully staged at several professional and community theatres across Canada.

Cast: 3 female, 3 male

What people say:

"Drew Hayden Taylor is Canada's leading Native dramatist, alterNatives is in many ways his most controversial play… created a deft piece of Canadian social satire that should generate heated discussions." — David E. Kemp, CBRA 2000 – Literature and Language

About the Playwright:

Drew Hayden Taylor one of Canada's best known and most prolific Indigenous writers. An Ojibway born on Curve Lake First Nation near Peterborough, Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada's premiere Aboriginal theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright (with productions of his work in Canada, the US, and Europe), a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and documentary filmmaker.

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