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Lion In the Streets

Lion In the Streets
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Judith Thompson
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2015
Edition: 2nd
ISBN-10: 1770912746
ISBN-13: 9781770912748
Cast Size: 4 women, 2 men

About the Play:

Finalist for the 1992 Governor General's Award for Drama (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize)

Lion in the Streets is a full-length drama by Judith Thompson. The ghost of a murdered young girl flits through every scene of this dark drama, linking the pain and anguish of all the characters struggling to cope with urban life. Ultimately hopeful, Lion in the Streets devours with devastating beauty.

Lion in the Streets is a nightmare full of heightened surrealistic imagery which derives from the obsessions of each character – like the expressionistic dream plays of Swedish playwright, August Strindberg. In this ensemble piece, the young protagonist, a Portuguese immigrant to Toronto named Isobel, is a ghost in a purgatorial condition, reliving her past at the moment before she dies, and finally freed from the world's suffering in a moment of understanding and forgiveness. Initially a prey herself to rage and violence, she watches over the living, suffers with them, and finally experiences the possibility of salvation. One of Judith Thompson's most enduring plays, Lion in the Streets looks at the inner turmoil of ordinary people and the ways in which they cope.

Lion in the Streets premiered in 1990 at the Harbourfront Centre Theatre as part of the World Stage Theatre Festival in Toronto and won the Chalmers Outstanding New Play Award in 1991. It continues to be one of Judith Thompson's most known and most popular plays.

Cast: 4 women, 2 men, with doubling (although Isobel is Portuguese in the published script, her ethnic background can be changed for each production – which would mean changing names and some of the language)

What people say:

"Poetic, painful, powerful ... Writing this strong is celebrated and revisited for a reason." — Spectator Tribune

"This script is so harsh that it makes you feel like you've been stripped, beaten, and abandoned, and so compassionate that it releases floods of grief and gratitude with its touch. Judith Thompson's 1990 Canadian masterpiece, Lion in the Streets, is difficult and potentially rewarding not just emotionally but also stylistically." — Georgia Straight

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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