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Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Marcus Youssef & James Long
Foreword by: Jenn Stephenson
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 128
Pub. Date: 2015
ISBN-10: 0889229325
ISBN-13: 9780889229327

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama

Winners and Losers is a full-length drama by Marcus Youssef and James Long. Their first collaborative work is a staged conversation that embraces the ruthless logic of capitalism, and tests its impact on our closest personal relationships as well as our most intimate experiences of self.

Winners and Losers begins as a conversation between lifelong friends. Two buddies, theatre artists Marcus and James, sit at a table and play a game they made up called "winners and losers," in which they name things and people — Pamela Anderson, microwave ovens, Goldman Sachs, their fathers — and debate whether, from their perspective, these things are winners or losers. Each friend seeks to defeat the other, and because one of these men grew up economically privileged, and the other did not, the competition very quickly begins to have an unanticipated cost.

Winners and Losers premiered in 2012 at Gateway Theatre in Richmond, British Columbia and has toured Canada, Europe and had a hugely successful off-Broadway run to full houses and rave reviews at Soho Rep in 2015, in which Marcus Youssef and co-creator James Long debated whether various people, places and things were winners or losers, including themselves.

Cast : 2 men

What people say:

"Winners and Losers hits the bull’s-eye… a sly, utterly successful production." — Village Voice

"As the gloves come off, the intensity increases. The guiding theory behind the game is that you can't have two winners sitting next to each other; for there to be a winner, the men reason, there has to be a loser." — Globe and Mail

"Winners and Losers is a loser if you want a traditional, controlled theater experience that doesn't make you squirm at its awkward, winding vamps and volleys...[but] Winners and Losers is a winner once it starts to think big. ... An ethical high ground is at stake. ... the personal becomes intensely political. ... victimhood rears its ugly head and the (finally) resonant competition has you leaning in by its pitch-perfect, heavy ending. ... What gets in your head are the spot-on depictions, large and small, of people abusing candor and bending the rules in an inescapable race to come out on top." — Washington Post

"Winners and Losers looks a lot like open heart surgery. Metaphoric blood is spilled but, strangely, the experience for the audience is exhilarating. The possibility that friendship can survive or even be strengthened by such excruciating honesty is inspirational and opens up floodgates of introspection." — Vancouver Courier

About the Playwrights:

Marcus Youssef is a Canadian playwright, artistic director, and author. Born in Montreal to Egyptian parents, he has often made diversity and the ideas of difference and diversity themes in his work, some of which were co-written with friends and colleagues. His works have been performed at theatres and festivals (and school gyms) across Canada, the US, Australia and Europe. He was named the 2017 recipient of the Siminovitch Prize, Canada's most prestigious prize in Theatre. He currently lives in Vancouver British Columbia, where he continues his work with community-based advocacy programs that use writing and/or theatre as tools for effecting political and social change.

James Long is a Canadian actor and writer. As a freelance actor and director, he has been part of Vancouver's independent theatre scene since 1995 and is co-artistic director of Theatre Replacement. He is a graduate of Simon Fraser University's School for the Contemporary Arts.

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