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Tuesday January 13, 2015 in Books
In this riotously funny new comedy from Morris Panych, we meet Alma, a seasoned career shoplifter who prefers the five-finger discount over some lousy seniors’ day deal. But it’s not just an empty wallet that leads Alma to a life of petty crime – it’s also her strong convictions about social justice and economic equality.
Along for the ride is Phyllis, Alma’s frazzled accomplice who lacks her mentor’s cool demeanour and snappy comebacks. It’s Alma who does the talking when the pair is apprehended at the grocery store by Dom, an overzealous rookie security guard. Guided by the strictness of his born-again Christian belief, Dom is ready to handcuff the culprits and call the police, but his affable senior partner, Otto, intervenes with a more sympathetic view of the crime: “It’s just a couple a steaks.” As Alma, Phyllis, Dom, and Otto share their wildly different takes on the situation, complex views on morality and ethics begin to emerge.
With its cast of oddball characters, Panych’s comedy offers biting observations about society’s haves and have-nots and how much they might actually have in common.
Cast of 2 women and 2 men.
Read the first scene of the play on Meta-Talon.
ISBN 13: 9780889229266 | ISBN 10:
5.5 W x 8.5 H x 0.331 D inches | 128 pages
$17.95 CAN / $17.95 US
Backlist | Drama
QUOTES OF NOTE
“Economic inequality isn’t funny. Thank God The Shoplifters is …”
– Washington City Paper
“The Shoplifters is a gem in a minor key, as a work of literature and a play.”
– The Georgetowner
“Gripping comedy … this hilarious battle of wills brings the nature and meaning of shoplifting to new scales of justice and calls of a closer examination of the human condition.”
“The Shoplifters gives a woman of a certain age the kind of riveting gravitas almost always written for men.”
“The Shoplifters packs a comic punch.”
– DC Theatre Scene
“stocked with terrific jokes”
– DC Metro Theater Arts
“The Shoplifters is a hoot … a hysterically funny play, with biting wit and sharply rendered characters.”
“Panych can definitely write jokes”
– Calgary Sun
Edgerton Foundation New Play Award (Winner, 2015)
About the ContributorsMorris Panych
Playwright, actor and director Morris Panych has been described as “a man for all seasons in Canadian theatre.” He has appeared in over fifty theatre productions and in numerous television and film roles. He has directed more than ninety productions and written over a dozen plays that have been translated and produced throughout the world. He has twice won the Governor General’s Award and has won the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award fourteen times for acting and directing. He has also been nominated six times for Toronto’s Dora Mavor Moore Award and three times for the Chalmers Award. His classic 7 Stories ranks 9th among the ten best selling plays in Canada, outselling the Coles version of Romeo & Juliet.
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.