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Birds of a Kind

Birds of a Kind
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Author: Wajdi Mouawad
Translated by: Linda Gaboriau
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2019
ISBN-10: 1770919902
ISBN-13: 9781770919907
Cast Size: 4 female, 5 male

About the Play:

Winner of the 2019 Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize)

Birds of a Kind (English-language version of Tous des oiseaux) is a full-length drama by Wajdi Mouawad, translated by Linda Gaboriau. Is it really important to cling to our lost identities? In Birds of a Kind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict hits close to home as a Jewish family with international roots is forced to confront everything they know about their identities.

Birds of a Kind tells the story of Eitan, a young Israeli-German genetic researcher, who falls out with his straight-laced Jewish family after they disapprove of his falling in love with Wahida, a Moroccan-American graduate student. Wahida and Eitan meet in a reading room of a university library on the American east coast. Wahida is writing her doctoral thesis on the life of an Arab diplomat from 500 years ago, while Eitan, who lives with his family in Berlin, is searching for his lost grandmother. Since Eitan's parents erupted at a Passover meal when they realized Wahida was not Jewish, he has harboured a suspicion about his heritage that, if true, could change everything. They travel together on a journey to Israel to learn more about his complicated family's history. But Eitan is seriously injured in a bomb attack on the Israeli-Jordanian border. While he is in the hospital, Wahida tracks down his estranged grandmother – who holds the key to a long-buried family secret. Three generations from three continents come together at Eitan's bedside and the well-kept secret of the grandparents runs risk of being exposed. Part political thriller and part emotionally charged love story, Birds of a Kind probes to the very heart of who we are – or think we are.

Tous des oiseaux premiered in 2017 in Paris, where it received great praise, winning the prestigious Grand Prix de la Critique. Birds of a Kind, the English-language translation of the play by Linda Gaboriau, received its premiere in 2019 at the Stratford Festival Studio Theatre in Stratford, Ontario, and became an international sensation, acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. Since then it has been staged in numerous theatres around the world.

Cast: 4 female, 5 male

What people say:

"A vivid and vaulting multigenerational Middle East-set drama... challenging and complex... full of richness and raw emotion." — Globe and Mail

"This translation artfully captures the constantly shifting identities and tones that form the core of this controversial play. With pitch perfect, evocative precision, Gaboriau once again shows her faultless grasp of the emotional and intellectual complexities and nuances of translating for the stage and, in particular, Mouawad's brilliant, challenging work." — Governor General's awards jury

About the Playwright:

Wajdi Mouawad is a Quebec-based Lebanese-Canadian playwright. In the introduction of his internationally popular play Scorched, he is described as "Lebanese in his childhood, French in his way of thinking and Québécois in his theatre. That's what happens when you spend your childhood in Beirut, your adolescence in Paris and then try to become an adult in Montréal." Since graduating from the French section of the National Theatre School of Canada in 1991 he has written, adapted, translated and directed stage plays for audiences of all ages. His foremost sources of inspiration are childhood, war and exile.