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Gideon's Blues

Gideon's Blues
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: George Boyd
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 143
Pub. Date: 2004
ISBN-10: 088922496X
ISBN-13: 9780889224964
Cast Size: 3 female, 4 male

About the Play:

Gideon's Blues is a full-length drama by George Boyd. With the sophisticated and compelling portrayal of its complex characters, the play is about a Black nuclear family blown apart when the father, well-educated but unable to get a decent job, turns to drug pushing to support his family. Gideon's Blues combines high drama and hard reality in a powerful exposition of racism and drugs.

Gideon's Blues offers entrance into the emotional dynamics of all families and cultures throughout history, by dealing with the powerful imperatives of love, fealty, devotion and justice. The apple of Momma Lou's eye, Gideon embodies his parents' hope for a brighter future for their family. College educated with the tireless support and sacrifice of his parents, he was to be the one to break free of the ghetto, to enjoy an integrated family life with his newfound peers in a middle management, middle-class suburban community of comfortably conspicuous consumption. Yet because of racism and prejudice, he has yet to find a job better than a janitor to support his wife and two children. An endless string of interviews for more suitable employment, turned instantly humiliating and patronizing by his appearance as a Black man, stokes a slow fire of anger, resentment and disillusionment into a quiet and determined fury and a thirst for any kind of success, at any cost. Turning to the easy drug money of the underground, Gideon is transformed from a victim into a victimizer. Slowly and inexorably, the circles of destruction around him widen in the community and echo back to devastate his own extended family. Much more than a play about the effects of racism, the profound humanity of George Boyd's characters reminds us that while neither drug abuse nor the breakdown of the traditional family is exclusive to the black community, racism causes these problems to become much more destructive to that community than they are to the dominant culture of North America.

Gideon's Blues premiered in 1990 at Cunard Street Theatre in Halifax. It was adapted into an hour-long TV drama called The Gospel According to the Blues.

Cast: 3 female, 4 male

What people say:

"...an evocative, powerful, two-act tragedy." — Books in Canada

"Boyd's writing is muscular, vigorous and commanding." — Globe & Mail

About the Playwright:

George Elroy Boyd (1952-2020) was a pioneering Black playwright and journalist. Born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, after working as a journalist and radio broadcaster, he became Canada's first Black national television news anchor in 1992 as a co-host of the CBC Morning News. The founder of the Canadian Black Theatre Society, he was nominated for a Governor General's Award for his play Consecrated Ground.

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