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The Death of René Lévesque

The Death of René Lévesque
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: David Fennario
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 70
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 0889224803
ISBN-13: 9780889224803
Cast Size: 2 women, 4 men

About the Play:

The Death of Réne Lévesque is a full-length drama by David Fennario. An examination of the life and work of the founding father of the Parti Québecois told from the viewpoint of six colleagues gathered together to mark the anniversary of his death. Presents its audience with the powerful and cathartic stillbirth of a nation, stripped of both pity and fear, as only an Anglophone Québec separatist could possibly imagine it.

The Death of Réne Lévesque dramatizes the rise and fall of Canada's most tragic public figure of the 20th century. The play revolves around six fictional characters who represent the central strands in the nationalist movement in Québec, including a union leader, a terrorist turned middle-class snob and union-buster, a folk singer, and a politician. They share their memories of the good old days of triumphant Québec nationalism with the audience as they prepare eulogies for a commemorative celebration to be held on an anniversary of Levesque's death. David Fennario's deft and subtle characterization of the father of the Parti Québecois, his re-telling of the compromising political realities which formed both the movement and the party as Lévesque created it, and the gradual revelation of the fatal flaw which began to undermine both the man and his dream of a new republic, proceed here with a stately, devastating inevitability which recall the masterful tragedies of Euripides and Shakespeare. Given the reversal of fortune delivered to the tempestuous sound and fury of the Québec separatist movement, The Death of Réne Lévesque provides audiences and readers with an abiding critique of the notion that history is created around "great causes" by "great men."

The Death of Réne Lévesque premiered in 1991 at the venerable Centaur Theatre, the oldest English-language theatre in Montréal, and won the Montreal Gazette Play of the Year Award.

Cast: 2 women, 4 men.

What people say:

"When a final analysis is made of 20th-century Canadian theatre, the most significant political playwright will undoubtedly be David Fennario." — Canadian Book Review

About the Playwright:

David Fennario is an anglophone playwright and a novelist born David Wiper in Montréal. He grew up and still lives in the working class district of Verdun-Pointe St. Charles, and zoomed from obscurity to national fame in 1979 with his play Balconville. His pen name, given to him by a girlfriend, was part of a Bob Dylan song, Pretty Peggy-O. He worked in a number of small jobs before he enrolled in Dawson College. With his teachers encouragement, he developed and fine tuned his creative writing skills. He was the first writer-in-residence at Montréal's Centaur Theatre, has won the Chalmers award twice, and received the Prix Pauline Julien from the United Steelworkers' Union.

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