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Canadian Mosaic II: 6 Plays

Canadian Mosaic II: 6 Plays
Your Price: $22.95 CDN
Edited by: Aviva Ravel
Publisher: Dundurn Group
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 335
Pub. Date: 16
ISBN-10: 0889242747
ISBN-13: 9780889242746

About the Book:

Canadian Mosaic II is the second 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 French, Irish, Chinese, Jewish, Trinidadian, and Japanese playwrights. The works focus on minority cultures, their customs and roots, and their concerns regarding the integration of immigrants into their adopted country.

Canadian Mosaic II includes:

Beautiful Deeds/De Beaux Gestes is an autobiographical play by Marie-Lynn Hammond; The story of the author's twin ancestry as viewed through her two Canadian grandmothers, one a rebel from a wealthy English family, the other a working-class French-Canadian mother of 10: each speaks her native tongue, but the audience does not need to be bilingual to appreciate Hammond’s artistry. (Premiered in 1994 at Théâtre du P'tit Bonheur in Toronto and played across Canada; Cast: 3 women)

Like the Sun is a drama by Veralyn Warkentin that recreates the well-known struggles of her immigrant Irish ancestors. A grandmother shares stories of The Great Potato Famine in 1840's Ireland with her grand-daughter including travel aboard the coffin ships and eventually landing of her ancestors at the quarantine island of Grosse Ile. Fiercely proud of their endurance, she notes at the end of the play that the descendants of the Irish in Canada number 3.5 million. (Premiered in 1995 at the Irish Club Theatre in Winnipeg; Cast: 3 women, 3 men)

Mom, Dad, I'm Living With a White Girl is a comedy by Marty Chan; Traditional Chinese parents are delivered their worst nightmare: their son wants to live with a white girl! Gasoline and Zippo lighters meet when he introduces his girlfriend to his horrified immigrant parents. (Premiered in 1995 at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, played across Canada, and Off-Broadway; Cast: 2 women, 2 men)

Gently Down the Stream is a comedy by Aviva Ravel; Two Jewish octogenarians Alex and Moish witness a murder while a parade of characters fuse past and present into a lifetime of experience, both real and fantastic. (Premiered in 1989 at Centaur Theatre in Montréal; Cast: 2 men)

The House on Hermitage Road, adapted by Dirk McLean from his Trinidadian childhood memoir of the same name is the coming-of-age story of a Trinidadian boy. While his mother left him for eight years in search of a better life, Dirk was raised in a loving family, participating in strong cultural traditions and bonding to his heritage. The writer brings with him to his new home in Canada these traditions which he describes with pride and pleasure. (Produced in 1991 as a radio play on CBC Morningside; Cast: 7 women, 7 men)

The Golden Door is a drama by W. Ray Towle that deals with racial discrimination, unjust government policies, and the internment of Japanese-Canadians during the Second World War. Although loyal to Canada, they are treated as enemy aliens and are ousted from their homes in a country they called home for forty years. This episode has left enduring scars on the community which subsequent generations continue to bear. The author relates historical events in detail while dramatically portraying one family's plight, the dynamics of a community, and its traditions. (Premiered in 1997 at Fort Calgary Theatre; Cast: 4 women, 5 men)

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

About the Playwrights:

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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