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Written on Water

Written on Water
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Author: Michel Marc Bouchard
Translated by: Linda Gaboriau
Publisher: Talonbooks
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 95
Pub. Date: 2004
ISBN-10: 0889224927
ISBN-13: 9780889224926
Cast Size: 3 women, 3 men

About the Play:

Written on Water (English-language version of Les manuscrits du déluge) is a full-length drama by Michel Marc Bouchard translated by Linda Gaboriau. In the aftermath of a flood that has destroyed most of their village, five people – all elderly members of a writing group – grapple with the losses of the past and the opening up of new possibilities for the future while trying to salvage what remains of their written work.

Written on Water is the story of a group of senior citizens who belong to a small-town writers' group. Torrential rains have descended upon a small isolated village, and the overflowing river has washed away everything in its path. The mudslide has gutted the writing room, the place where Samuel, his sister Martha, her friend and secret lover Claire, and the spouses William and Dorothy used to meet to record their memories. It was after the mass exodus of their grown-up children to pursue the high-paying jobs in the city that they began to commit to paper the events, large and small, that had marked their lives. Now their papers – fragments of life, scraps of memory – are strewn around the countryside, along with the fragments of their community structures, homes, and memorials. To reverse this devastation, they have to put everything back in order. They have to remember, restore and rewrite. For some, the flood represents an opportunity to make an unspoken dream come true; for others, it's an opportunity to confess secret loves, and to talk about the future. Assisted by the only child who never left the village, Samuel begins to realize that these fragments can only be recombined into a narrative as fresh and new and real as the hopes and dreams of their original authors.

The play Les Manuscrits du déluge premiered in February 2003 at the Théâtre duNouveau Monde in Montreal. The English-language version Written on Water premiered in 2004 at the Bluma Appel Theatre in Toronto.

Cast: 3 women, 3 men

What people say:

"This is a witty satire of one of the more tragic effects of globalization: the disregard for collective memory and for those who, like senior citizens, embody it or, like writers, wish to preserve it… Gaboriau has done a superlative job in reproducing the profound disarray underlying the characters' caustic humour and their violent reactions to differing points of view." — University of Toronto Quarterly

"Gaboriau's extensive experience in translating Québécois drama… enable[s her] to bring out the richness and subtleties of the [French text]." — Canadian Literature

About the Playwright:

Michel Marc Bouchard is one of Québec's most prominent playwrights. Three of his plays have also been adapted for cinema. He has received numerous grants and awards including "Le Prix du Journal de Montréal", "Le Prix des critiques de l'Outaouais", the Dora Mavor Moore Award, the Chalmers Award for Outstanding New Play, and nine Jessie Richardson Awards.

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