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Friday June 16, 2017 in Books
Okay, twerps! Sit your butts down and learn your three Rs: ranting, resisting, and respect.
In two new plays, Canada‘s king of black comedy takes on the failing education system. Both Parents Night and The Bigger Issue are set in public-school classrooms after hours and involve confrontations between stressed-out teachers and ticked-off parents. Both sympathize with embattled educators and evince Walker’s trademark understanding of poverty and the working classes. In both, Walker’s signature moves work: the audience feels simultaneously complicit in and righteously angry about injustice and inequity.
Parents Night finds grade-three teacher Nicole caught in the crossfire between John, an arrogant executive dad, and Rosie, a ballsy, low-income mom. Both are meeting with Nicole to express concerns for their children, but class warfare quickly erupts, and the kids’ behaviour turns out to be a reflection of their parents’ messed-up lives. A harried Nicole is dealing with troubles of her own, but she makes a brave attempt to discipline these overgrown brats.
The Bigger Issue covers the same ground but digs deeper. Suzy, a novice middle-school teacher, has been called onto the carpet by the principal, Irene, for physically accosting a violent student. But when the boy’s parents show up, it becomes clear that Jack and Maggie are a middle-class couple reduced to abject poverty; the real problem isn’t their son or the school but a dysfunctional society.
Together, Parents Night and The Bigger Issue comprise the first instalments in a projected play cycle similar to Walker’s famous Suburban Motel. With an introduction by Toronto director Wesley Berger.
ISBN 13: 9781772011845 | ISBN 10:
6 W x 9 H inches | 176 pages
$19.95 CAN / $19.95 US
Drama | Backlist
QUOTES OF NOTE
“Extremely funny and bitingly satirical.”
About the ContributorsGeorge F. Walker
George F. Walker has been one of Canada’s most prolific and popular playwrights since his career in theatre began in the early 1970s.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.