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Paradise Lost

Paradise Lost
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Erin Shields
Introduction by: Paul Stevens
Publisher: Playwrights Canada Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 147
Pub. Date: 2018
ISBN-10: 1770919333
ISBN-13: 9781770919334
Cast Size: 2 women, 3 men, plus chorus of 7

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama (Canadian equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize)

Paradise Lost is a full-length drama by Erin Shields. This fiercely engaging, irreverently funny and deeply moving play inspired by John Milton's epic poem takes us to the depths of hell. The fallen angel Satan is plotting her revenge against the Almighty with a devious plan to corrupt his two newest creations, Adam and Eve. This witty, engaging, and moving feminist play is a fresh retelling of one of humanity's biggest quandaries, the battle between good and evil.

Paradise Lost is a critically acclaimed modern take on English poet John Milton's original epic poem with a twist – Satan is a woman. The 17th century and present day are seamlessly intertwined as Satan vents to an audience about her frustration at being cast out of heaven and her thoughts on oppression. When she finds out that God has created delicate new creatures called "humans", she crafts a plan for revenge and betrayal on the Almighty, and turns heaven and hell upside down in this witty, modern, feminist retelling of the battle for the souls of Adam and Eve. In a time when we're asking ourselves fundamental questions about the nature of humanity, playwright Erin Shields takes us beyond traditional ideas of good and evil to look deep into our own souls. Her wickedly smart and funny script questions the reasons of the universe, the slow process of evolution, and the freedom of knowledge. The debate over right and wrong has never been so satisfying.

Paradise Lost premiered in 2018 and was a sellout success at Canada's Stratford Shakespeare Festival and enjoyed an extended run in their Studio Theatre. It then opened in 2020 to great praise at Montreal's Centaur Theatre. Slated for engagements in prestigious Canadian theatres, including Vancouver's Bard on the Beach and Ottawa's National Arts Centre, it was stopped in its tracks by COVID-19.

Cast: 2 women, 3 men, plus chorus of 7

What people say:

"Brilliant. Irreverent, extremely funny and stingingly contemporary." — Toronto Star

"...while the story might be one of the heaviest ever told, playwright Erin Shields manages to infuse enough levity and humour into her work to keep the audience laughing as it considers the very nature of what is good, what is evil, and what lies in between." — London Free Press

About the Playwright:

Erin Shields is a Canadian playwright and actor who trained at Rose Bruford College of Speech and Drama in London, England. She is a founding member of Groundwater Productions through which she creates, develops, and produces much of her work. She is best known for her play If We Were Birds, which won the prestigious Governor General Award for Drama.