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Habitat

Habitat
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Judith Thompson
Introduction by: Iris Turcott
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 0887546153
ISBN-13: 9780887546150

About the Play:

Habitat is a full-length drama by Judith Thompson. A group home for troubled teenagers is set up in the middle of a very wealthy suburb in Toronto, causing the neighbourhood's homeowners lots of worry about rising crime rates and falling property values. The issues it presents are still timely as the rich and the underprivileged engage in a battle to win custody of this precious property, or territory, or habitat.

Habitat concerns wealthy widow and daughter who live on an idyllic community – idyllic, that is, until a group home for troubled adolescents is opened on their street. Janet and her mother Margaret both live on Mapleview Lanes – the perfect neighbourhood with the perfect neighbours, until Lewis Chance, an activist and advocate for children, buys a house on their street to open a family-like group home for neglected teens. New resident Raine, a formerly well-to-do girl who's unable to respond emotionally when her mother dies, finds herself at this group home, in a community that has little tolerance for its troubled residents. The ensuing battle – over whether the group home stays or not – allows Raine to re-awaken her emotions through rage, and a political will she didn't know existed in her. Habitat gives a new spin to the old saying "charity begins at home."

Habitat was first produced in Canada in 2001 at CanStage in Toronto, in England at the Manchester Exchange in 2002, and in the United States in 2003, in an Off-Broadway production by Epic Theatre Ensemble. Since then it has be mounted by professional theatres across Canada, at Los Angeles Theatre Center (LATC), and by colleges and community theatres.

Cast: 2 women, 3 men

What people say:

"…in this country, a playwright as good as Judith Thompson is a miracle." — The Globe and Mail

"For every blemish Thompson finds, there's an equal amount of hope; every good deed is checkered with a near-despicable one; every morally upstanding speech is met with a choked-out dark desire." — Vue Weekly

"...it's about family, especially the primal, complex relationships between mothers and children – lifelong dances of adoration, criticism, contempt, disappointment, guilt, care-giving and misunderstanding." — Winnipeg Free Press

About the Playwright:

Judith Thompson, OC is a highly esteemed Canadian playwright and educator. She has twice won the Governor General's Literary Award for Drama for White Biting Dog and The Other Side of the Dark. Other often-produced works include Sled, The Crackwalker, I Am Yours, Lion in the Streets and many more. In 2006 she was invested as an Officer in the Order of Canada, and in 2008 she became the first Canadian to be awarded the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide for her play Palace of the End. She is currently a professor at the University of Guelph for the School of English and Theatre Studies teaching courses in acting and playwriting.

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