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Canadian Mosaic: 6 Plays

Canadian Mosaic: 6 Plays
Your Price: $22.95 CDN
Edited by: Aviva Ravel
Publisher: Dundurn Group
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 256
Pub. Date: 1996
ISBN-10: 088924264X
ISBN-13: 9780889242647

About the Book:

Canadian Mosaic is the first volume in a series of popular drama anthologies edited by Aviva Ravel. The 6 plays in this anthology, written by Canadian playwrights, are set in some of Canada's diverse ethnic communities, including Jewish, South Asian, Japanese, black, Ukrainian and Cree playwrights. The works illuminate the often painful world their members inhabit as outsiders to mainstream Canadian life. The plays explore cultural values, dual loyalties, and problems of adjustment into their adopted country.

Just a Kommedia is a comedy by Nika Rylski: A satirical look at the tribulations of growing up Ukrainian in Canada. Set within the framework of a frantic church basement variety show, it cuts across ethnic lines to examine the gap between the second generation of Ukrainian Canadians and their parents balancing tradition and assimilation. (Premiered in 1984 at St. Vladimir Institute Theatre in Toronto; Cast: 3 women, 3 men)

Path with No Moccasins is a one-woman show by Shirley Cheechoo based on her harrowing life story. A young Cree girl endures life at a residential school, and later heals herself. The play raises issues of identity, discrimination, and self-destruction, but ends positively. (Premiered in 1991 at West Bay Public School on Manitoulin Island and toured across Canada and the US; Cast: 1 woman)

The Tale of a Mask, by Terry Watada: Immigration to Toronto leaves a Japanese wife isolated from the Canadian mainstream, while her husband works at a low-paying job, and her son defies authority at home and at school. (Premiered in 1993 at the Joseph Workman Auditorium in Toronto; 3 women, 2 men)

Dance Like a Butterfly is an acclaimed one-woman play by Aviva Ravel: Tillie, a Jewish octogenarian, reveals vivid memories of her past, and looks forward to the fulfilling days ahead, in a journey that leads us to re-examine our conceptions of old age. (Premiered in 1993 at the Beth Ora Synagogue in Montréal and toured across Canada; Cast: 1 woman)

No Man's Land, by Rahul Varma chronicles the sufferings of an Indian family that flees the violent partitioning of India and Pakistan. Quaiser, Jenna, and their daughter Samreen left India hoping to find a better life in Canada, but Quaiser and Jenna are cheated and exploited by employers and landlords; they sacrifice everything, including Jeena's health. (First produced by Teesri Duniya Theatre in 1992 to sold out houses; Cast: 4 women, 4 men)

Going Down the River, by Kevin Longfield: Racial tension underlies the discussions of a black principal, a young white teacher, and the black mother of a problem son. The principal's father acts as her conscience. (Premiered at University of Winnipeg in 1989; Cast: 2 women, 2 men)

Supplementary information for each play includes a glossary, biography of the playwright, and details of the first production. In addition, the playwright and editor provide some brief questions for each play, which can be used in class or discussion groups to stimulate debate and deeper understanding of the themes.

About the Playwright:

Aviva Ravel is an award-winning Canadian playwright who has written several plays which have been performed on television and stages across Canada. She also taught English, Drama, and Canadian Literature at McGill University.

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