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The Shoplifters

The Shoplifters
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Morris Panych
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2015
ISBN-10: 0889229260
ISBN-13: 9780889229266

About the Play:

The Shoplifters is a full-length comedy by Morris Panych. When a career shoplifter is caught in the act by an overzealous rookie security guard and his ambivalent mentor, there's more revealed than the steak she has stuffed up her skirt. With a cast of oddball characters, this high-stakes battle of wills offers biting observations about society's haves and have-nots and how much they might actually have in common.

The Shoplifters follows Alma, a seasoned career shoplifter who prefers the "five-finger discount" over some lousy seniors' day deal. But it's not just an empty wallet that leads Alma to a life of petty crime – it's also her strong convictions about social justice and economic equality. Along for the ride is Phyllis, Alma's frazzled accomplice who lacks her mentor's cool demeanour and snappy comebacks. It's Alma who does the talking when the pair is apprehended at the grocery store by Dom, an overzealous rookie security guard. Guided by the strictness of his born-again Christian belief, Dom is ready to handcuff the culprits and call the police, but his affable senior partner, Otto, intervenes with a more sympathetic view of the crime: "It's just a couple a steaks." As Alma, Phyllis, Dom, and Otto share their wildly different takes on the situation, complex views on morality and ethics begin to emerge.

The Shoplifters premiered in 2014 at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. The Canadian premiere was in 2015 at Theatre Calgary.

Cast: 2 women, 2 men

What people say:

"The Shoplifters packs a comic punch." — dctheatrescene.com

About the Playwright:

Morris Panych is one of Canada's most significant contemporary playwrights. He has written more than 25 works for the stage and directed nearly 100. He is the winner of two Governor General's Literary Awards for Drama, the country's most prestigious literary honour. He has won 14 Jessie Richardson Awards, three Sidney Riske Writing Awards and five Dora Mavor Moore Awards.