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In Vitro

In Vitro
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Yvan Bienvenue
Translated by: Shelley Tepperman
Publisher: Scirocco Drama
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN-10: 1896239056
ISBN-13: 9781896239057

About the Play:

In Vitro (English-language version of the Quebec play of the same title) is a full-length drama by Yvan Bienvenue, translated from French by Shelley Tepperman. It's the story of a born-again Christian and a rocker-style woman who escape to the country for some peace and quiet. Tensions mount when a young man with a shotgun bursts into their cottage.

In Vitro is a violent exploration of Christian fundamentalism, anti-abortion violence, and the quest for personal fulfillment that takes place in rural Quebec (but it could be set anywhere in North America). Benoit, a born-again Christian, has brought his rocker girlfriend, Isabelle to an austere cabin in the country to "escape the world" and speed Isabelle's conversion. Meanwhile, François is waiting for a pizza when his girlfriend calls from a clinic to say she's decided to abort their baby. François drives to the clinic, shoots the doctor, shoots his girlfriend, and places the fetal remains in a waste basket. He bursts into the cottage and blasts the radio with a 12 gauge shotgun. Clutching the waste basket, he asks for a mason jar, into which he pours the remains of his "son" and some tape to secure the shotgun to his arm. Isabelle goes ballistic, wanting Benoit to get rid of the gunman. But Benoit sees this as a test from God and, feeling protected by his faith, sets out to convert François. As the two men barter for Isabelle's soul, alliances shift between the trio and tension builds.

In Vitro premiered in French in 1993 at Théâtre Urbi et Orbi in Montreal and won a Signet d'Or from Radio-Quebec. Its English-language premiere was in 1995 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa and was a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Award for Translation (from French to English). Since then it has been performed in college theatre productions as a showcase of student talent.

Cast: 1 woman, 2 men

What people say:

"This is fierce writing, rife with danger, violence and revolt. Like many playwrights of his generation, the thirty year old author dips his pen into pitch black ink." — Marie Labrecque for Voir

About the Playwright:

Yvan Bienvenue is a poet and a playwright. After graduating from the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada and before pursuing a career in writing, he worked as an actor, performing and teaching improvisation workshops in Montréal and Saint-Hyacinthe. He has written for radio, film and stage and currently teaches poetry at the National Theatre School of Canada.