In Bordertown Café, seventeen-year-old Jimmy faces the archetypal Canadian dilemma: stay home in Canada, with all its obvious flaws, or go south (young man) to the Land of Opportunity. Jimmy’s dad is the powerfully encoded Western hero of American popular myth – the cowboy as trucker, living his freedom and riding the roads of Wyoming. He offers Jimmy the prosperity of his new American home, a large modern house fully equipped with everything, including a capable new wife. In contrast, Jimmy’s mom, Marlene, is a failed wife and a weak, tentative mother. The home she has made for herself and her son “on the Canadian side of nowhere” is provisional and shabby: half finished, ill equipped, badly decorated.
Jimmy’s conflict is writ large as the play dramatizes Canada’s struggle to negotiate a unique identity in the shadow of its brash, superpower neighbour. Although global realities have shifted in the decades since the play’s inception, its themes of personal and cultural identity endure.
Cast of 2 women and 2 men.