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Twenty Years at Play: A New Play Centre Anthology

Twenty Years at Play: A New Play Centre Anthology
Your Price: $29.95 CDN
Edited by: Jerry Wasserman
Publisher: Talonbooks (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 346
Pub. Date: 1990
ISBN-10: 0889222754
ISBN-13: 9780889222755

About the Plays:

Ned and Jack has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male Monologues.

Vancouver's New Play Centre led the way in developing and producing the work of playwrights from Western Canada for the emergent Canadian theatre in the 1970s. The New Play Centre (now Playwrights Theatre Centre) has been a major force in Canadian cultural life for two decades; it retains its dual role as playwrighting workshop and production company and remains an important facility for dramatists to reach national and international audiences.

To mark the New Play Centre's twentieth year, Jerry Wasserman compiled a collection of eight of the finest plays produced by the company from 1975 to 1989:

Herringbone by internationally renowned playwright Tom Cone. An old trouper softshoes onto centre stage and recreates the "living legend" of his vaudeville life. Has been produced in Chicago, New York, London, Philadelphia, Edinburgh, Vancouver, and the Hartford Stage starring Joel Grey. (Cast: 1 male, 1 extra)
Ned and Jack is a full-length drama by Sheldon Rosen. After his brilliant Broadway opening as Hamlet, actor John Barrymore climbs the fire escape for a late-night visit with playwright Edward Sheldon. The play captures both men at a moment when their personal and professional lives are faced with abrupt change. Winner of the Canadian Authors' Association Award for Drama, 1980. (Cast: 1 woman, 3 men)
Something Red by Tom Walmsley is set in Vancouver and traces the relationship between long-time friends Bobby and Alex and their current girlfriends, Christine and Elizabeth. Over the course of one night, a lot of booze, insults and previously unspoken truths rupture the closeness among the four. (Cast: 2 female, 2 male)
Dreaming and Duelling by John Lazarus and Joa Lazarus. Fantasies and love for the same girl lead two fencing students to "play" with the safety tips off and the points sharpened. A look at adolescent role-playing. (Cast: 2 female, 3 male)
War Babies by Margaret Hollingsworth. After twenty years of marriage, Esme, a playwright, and Colin, a war correspondent, are expecting a baby. Fears of middle-aged childbirth as well as the latent male-female antagonism of two decades of living together intensify as the date of the birth draws near. (Cast: 3 female, 4 male)
Under the Skin by one of B.C.'s first acclaimed playwrights, Betty Lambert, a writer who called Vancouver home for more than 30 years. Her last play, completed shortly before her death in 1983, it is based on a real kidnapping that occurred in Port Moody, British Columbia. (Cast: 3 female, 4 male)
The Idler by Ian Weir. A professional "idler" has his life's philosophy turned upside down when a woman walks into his comfortable world. (Cast: 1 female, 4 male)
The Wolf Within by Alex Brown. When a young man joins his parish, a priest must confront his own issues about his sexuality and religion. (Cast: 1 female, 5 male)

All of these plays have been produced throughout Canada, and often abroad, and remain in active production today. Each script appears in its most current form, with the playwright's latest revisions, along with biographical and production data and photos.

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.