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Sunday March 28, 2010 in Books
In Volume II, Wasserman shows us Canadian drama from 1985 up to 1997, during which we see women playwrights rise to greater prominence, along with Native, gay and lesbian, and Quebecois playwrights. But, continuing on from Volume I, this selection of plays not only takes us farther into the annals of the lives of the marginalized; it also provides a revealing cultural and philosophical cross-section of late-20th-century life in Canada.
In one way or another, we are shown ourselves as we are, and not in the critically-neutral, determinedly naïve terms of the contemporary mainstream in which we are all represented as gloriously enmeshed in a world of cybernetic stringency—the uncomplicated aesthetic of a never-ending stream of zeroes and ones.
If the plays presented in these two volumes are the contours of an “indigenous Canadian drama,” they outline anything but a norm.
The plays in this fourth edition of Modern Canadian Plays: Volume II date from 1985 to 1997:
Bordertown Café by Kelly Rebar
Polygraph by Robert Lepage and Marie Brassard
Moo by Sally Clark
The Orphan Muses by Michel Marc Bouchard
7 Stories by Morris Panych
Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing by Tomson Highway
Amigo’s Blue Guitar by Joan MacLeod
Lion in the Streets by Judith Thomson
Never Swim Alone by Daniel MacIvor
Fronteras Americanas by Guillermo Verdecchia
Harlem Duet by Djanet Sears
Problem Child by George F. Walker
ISBN 13: 9780889224377 | ISBN 10: 889224374
7 W x 10 H x 1 D inches | 408 pages
$39.95 CAN / $39.95 US
Backlist | Drama | Bisac: DRA002000
4th edition, revised
About the ContributorsJerry Wasserman
Professor of English and Theatre at the University of British Columbia and a professional actor, Jerry Wasserman has written and lectured widely on Canadian theatre, dramatic literature, theatre history, modern fiction, and blues music; publicly interviewed writers and theatre artists ranging from Margaret Atwood to Stephen Sondheim; and served for over fifteen years as a drama critic on CBC Radio. He is currently theatre critic for The Province newspaper and editor of Vancouverplays.com, an informative Web site that provides up-to-date listings and reviews of local theatre performances. Wasserman grew up in New York and attained an M.A. in English from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. from Cornell, specializing in twentieth-century literature and drama. He started teaching at UBC in 1972; though his initial research focus was on fiction, his work in the theatre as an actor soon led him to teach mainly drama courses, eventually creating a course in Canadian drama.
In addition to his scholarly accomplishments, Wasserman continues to maintain a busy career as an actor. A seasoned veteran on the Vancouver theatre scene, he has also made over two hundred appearances on film and television. For more information on Wasserman and his work, please visit his faculty webpage. His acting credits may also be found here.
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.