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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
Heaven is George F. Walker’s ‘millennium play.’
Well, sort of – if we can free ourselves from the expectation of the usual science-fiction-based projection and imposition of our current personal, cultural and spiritual values on the future of the coming millennium, considered almost mandatory for authors working in this particular genre. As usual, Walker sees things a bit differently: he intimates the future by having a very hard look at some unanswered questions from the Judeo-Christian-Muslim past which has pretty much determined the evolution of western, especially white, male-dominated civilization, for the last two thousand years.
Five instantly recognizable multi-cultural characters play out their coincidental relationships in a very contemporary paradise-a park on the outskirts of a city. All of them are, in one form or another, engaged in the ‘fundamental right’ of the pursuit of their own happiness, whether that means acquiring life skills, improving their career prospects, working on their family relationships, increasing social justice in the world, balancing the concerns of crime and punishment, or integrating more closely with what they identify as their own communities. Of course, the pursuit of these personal goals, usually considered as good and worthwhile in our society, pits each of these characters irrevocably against each other.
In this comedy of how individual good intentions carried to their absurd extremes inevitably frustrate the goals of others, Walker leaves us with two unanswered questions: “What is so ‘good’ about our good intentions?” and, “What do we imagine our reward for them (Heaven) to be?” Wasn’t it some other place, the road to which was paved with?
ISBN 13: 9780889224292 | ISBN 10: 889224293
6 W x 9 H inches | 144 pages
$17.95 CAN / $13.95 US
Backlist | Drama | Bisac: DRA013000
QUOTES OF NOTE
“gritty and intense … Heaven is a very angry production. It’s a show filled with conflict, where the players seem to be battling one another from the moment the lights go up. The language is blunt and the constant barrage of racial slurs shocking and unapologetic. Many of the strongest characters are irredeemable and unlikable, resulting in an angst-filled production gripped by a constant sense of anxiety.”
– Kawartha Now
Winner of the 2001 The Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award
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. His first play, The Prince of Naples, premiered in 1972 at the newly opened Factory Theatre, a company that
continues to produce his work. Since that time, he has written more than twenty plays and has created screenplays for several award-winning Canadian television series. Part Kafka, part Lewis Carroll, Walker’s distinctive, gritty, fast-paced comedies satirize the selfishness, greed, and aggression of contemporary urban culture. Among his best-known plays are Gossip (1977); Zastrozzi, the Master of Discipline (1977); Criminals in Love (1984); Better Living (1986); Nothing Sacred (1988); Love and Anger (1989); Escape from Happiness (1991); Suburban Motel (1997, a series of six plays set in the same motel room); and Heaven (2000). Since the early 1980s, he has directed most of the premieres of his own plays.
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.