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Waiting for the Parade

Waiting for the Parade
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: John Murrell
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 101
Pub. Date: 1980
ISBN-10: 0889221839
ISBN-13: 9780889221833
Cast Size: 5 female

About the Play:

Waiting for the Parade has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues and Female/Female Scenes.

Waiting for the Parade is a full-length comedic drama by John Murrell. The Home Front, World War II, Calgary. Five very different women band together to deal with a war they didn't start and want no part of. A charming, funny, and touching drama, Waiting for the Parade is one of Canada's best-loved plays.

Waiting for the Parade is set in Calgary in the 1940s. Five rich and varied female characters band together to work for the Second World War effort for a conflict they had no part in causing. This Canadian classic shows the walking wounded are not always at the front. Tragedy and humour interweave as each of them copes with the impingement of war on her daily life. As they entertain the troops, they cope with shortages, politics, each other, and their menfolk – both those who went overseas and those who stayed behind. They struggle, argue, sing, drink and dance. And in the process, they come face to face with themselves. Together, they find a way to survive a defining moment in Canadian history, when a national identity based on working together and accepting difference was born. The play developed out of interviews with actual Calgary women who had managed to live through the war. Incorporating the lifestyles and prejudices, and the songs and dances that inspired a generation through war time, Waiting for the Parade opens a multi-faceted window onto Canadian society at the time. 

Waiting for the Parade premiered in 1977 by Alberta Theatre Projects, at the Canmore Opera House in Heritage Park, Calgary and touched a chord with audiences. Theatres across Canada picked it up, a 1979 production at Ottawa's National Arts Centre toured the country, and versions were broadcast by the CBC both on radio and television. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed many times in high school, college, and community theatre productions across Canada, the US, the UK, and has become a classic repertoire piece in theatres in the English-speaking world.

Cast: 5 female

What people say:

"You follow these women … with a rapt empathy seldom elicited in world theater." — New York Magazine

"Waiting for the Parade demonstrates the old theatrical law that a play that is local, detailed and specific often has the capacity to reach out beyond its immediate environment. Set in Calgary, Alberta, Waiting for the Parade deals with the way five women coped with the pressures of World War II. Geographically, the conflict may have been remote, but it still impinged on individual lives. Waiting for the Parade is an honest play that captures precisely the texture of ordinary hopes and despairs." — The Guardian (London)

"A small masterpiece." — The Ottawa Citizen

About the Playwright:

John Murrell (1945-2019) is one of Canada's best known international playwrights. His dramas focus on real people and cultural icons. His plays have been translated into 15 languages and produced in more than 35 countries around the world. He headed the Banff Playwright's Colony and the Theatre Section of the Canada Council, was Associate Director of the Stratford Festival and Artistic Director of the Banff Centre for the Arts, and is a multiple Chalmers Award winner. For his enormous contributions to the arts in his adopted province and country, the Texas-born Murrell received the Alberta Order of Excellence and was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.

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