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Modern Canadian Plays: Volume I

Modern Canadian Plays: Volume I
Your Price: $49.95 CDN
Edited by: Jerry Wasserman
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 568
Pub. Date: 2012
Edition: 5th
ISBN-10: 0889226784
ISBN-13: 9780889226784

About the Play:

"I don't see how a play can be Canadian. I don't think there are any plays that you could call strictly Canadian… What does that phrase mean?"

Now, thirty-three years after Canadian directors spoke their minds, or rather shrugged their shoulders at the seeming hopelessness of de-colonizing Canadian theatre, this fifth edition of the "classic" Modern Canadian Plays sets out for us an even broader range of plays than previous editions, outlining a Canadian drama-scene that is far from colonial, inert, middle-class, or middle-aged. Spanning the years from 1967 to 1997, this anthology will likely continue to be the standard anthology for Canadian drama – and not without good reason.

Edited by Jerry Wasserman – professor at the University of British Columbia, theatre critic for CBC, and one of Vancouver's most recurring (and memorable) faces on television – Volume I still contains plays such as George Ryga's seminal and highly political The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (first performed in 1967, it was described as a "cicatrice" of Canadian society that "showed the bleeding flesh beneath"), as well as Michel Tremblay's Les Belles-Soeurs (one of the most critically acclaimed plays in Canada, translated from the original street dialect called joual). But more to the point, this edition of Volume I carries with it an even more distinct flavour of adventurousness in its juxtaposition of plays that are strikingly, even wildly, various – plays that can only be said to cohere around the difficulty of amorphous notions such as social justice, cultural belonging, and the existence of a collective past.

The plays in Modern Canadian Plays: Volume I date from 1967 to 1986:

The Ecstasy of Rita Joe by George Ryga

Fortune and Men's Eyes by John Herbert

Les Belles-Soeurs by Michel Tremblay

Leaving Home by David French

1837: The Farmer's Revolt by Rick Salutin and Theatre Passe Muraille

The St. Nicholas Hotel by James Reaney

Zastrozzi by George F. Walker

Billy Bishop Goes to War by John Gray with Eric Peterson

Balconville by David Fennario

Doc by Sharon Pollock

Drag Queens on Trial by Sky Gilbert

The Occupation of Heather Rose by Wendy Lill

About the Editor:

Professor of English and Theatre at the University of British Columbia, Jerry Wasserman has written and lectured widely on Canadian theatre, modern fiction, dramatic literature, theatre history and blues music; edited the two-volume anthology Modern Canadian Plays, a standard course text now in its fourth edition; made over two hundred appearances on stage, film and television; and served for over fifteen years as a drama critic on CBC Radio.

Wasserman grew up in New York City and attained an M.A. in English from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Cornell, specializing in twentieth-century literature and drama. He started teaching at UBC in 1972; though his initial research focus was on fiction, his work in the theatre as an actor soon led him to teach mainly drama courses, eventually creating a course in Canadian drama.

In addition to his scholarly accomplishments, Wasserman continues to maintain a busy career as an actor. A seasoned veteran on the Vancouver theatre scene, he has also appeared in numerous feature films and major television series.

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