Check out these new books from Playwrights Canada Press!
The Master Plan by Michael Healey
In a biting comedy about the failure to build a smart city in Toronto, Michael Healey lampoons the corporate drama, epic personalities, and iconic Canadian figures involved in the messy affair between Sidewalk Labs and Waterfront Toronto. The Master Plan exposes the hubris of big tech, the feebleness of government, and the dangers of public consultation with sharp wit and insightful commentary.
Queen Goneril by Erin Shields
This feminist, revisionist King Lear prequel centres on the daughters as they negotiate patriarchal systems built to keep them relegated to the sidelines.
Shorelines by Mishka Lavigne
A small military-occupied community sits, waiting, parched of natural water while nearby levees hold the rising global shoreline. Seventeen-year-old twins Alix and Evan pass the time in an empty, abandoned pool with what they are able to scavenge from the abandoned houses, while government official Portia returns to familiar places, her past colliding with the present. The planned evacuation notice that eventually reaches all cities has finally come, but the twins learn that survival is not guaranteed. As they rush to reach their grandmother, a retired journalist now living with dementia, her snippets of memories flow like humanity’s record player, skipping tracks before the final flood. A non-linear poetic play that acts like an urgent postcard from the future, Shorelines is a reminder that our only hope for survival lies in the relationships we form with the people around us.
New by Pamela Mala Sinha
It’s 1970s Winnipeg—a time of revolution and radical possibilities—and an apartment building of immigrant friends is about to be transformed by their latest arrival. Qasim is happily in love with his Canadian girlfriend Abby and has made dear friends with his Indian neighbours. But when Qasim’s mother goes on a hunger strike to strong-arm him into an arranged marriage, his fearless young Bengali bride challenges everyone to rethink their perceptions of identity, sexuality, and freedom. New is a joyous ensemble comedy that honours the immigrant experience and encourages all generations to create a meaningful life on our own terms.
21 Black Futures: The Anthology, edited by Obsidian Theatre
In 2021, Obsidian Theatre engaged twenty-one writers to create twenty-one new stories about imagined Black futures. Each playwright was tasked with scripting a ten-minute monodrama in response to the question “What is the future of Blackness?” To counter the intense early-pandemic isolation and the trauma of witnessing heightened violence toward Black bodies, Obsidian’s goal was to give as many opportunities to as many diverse Black artists as possible and to bring new voices together from both theatre and film. A radical offering in unprecedented times, newly appointed Obsidian artistic director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu’s curatorial aim was joyful, aspirational, and empowering: create something communal, unapologetically Black, and with the Black gaze at its centre—art as the architecture for creating those futures.
Retreating to Re-Treat: A Performative Encounter at the 'Edge of the Woods' by The Collective Encounter with Jill Carter
In 2019, the Collective Encounter—a group of scholar-artists led by Jill Carter—presented Encounters at the 'Edge of the Woods' as part of Hart House Theatre’s 100th anniversary season.
The piece acted as survivance intervention: an Indigenous reclamation of territory, using Storyweaving practices rooted in personal connections to the land to restor(y) treaty relationships. Retreating to Re-Treat documents both their collective creation and process, offered in the spirit of creative knowledge-sharing and enriching scholarship around collaborative practices. By revealing their unique and still-developing method for addressing a fraught and tangled (hi)story, the Collective Encounter invites readers to join them as we mediate those sites of profound experiences and renewal—sites in which the project of conciliation might truly begin.
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You can find more new releases, a blog full of interviews and excerpts, and more on playwrightscanada.com.