This month we’re bringing you a selection of fantastic plays from our North American partners, Theatre Communications Group and Playwrights Canada Press.
They include an updating of the myth of Eurydice by Pulitzer-finalist Sarah Ruhl, a fabulously anarchic ‘sequel’ to Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus by performance artist Taylor Mac, Wajdi Mouawad’s award-winning play about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and a collaborative exposé of modern motherhood.
They join our growing list of the best plays from the US and Canada, including recent additions such as Michael R. Jackson’s Tony Award-nominated musical A Strange Loop, Lynn Nottage’s powerful indictment of the ivory trade, Mlima’s Tale, and, from Canada, Jordan Tanahill’s brilliant supernatural thriller Concord Floral. All are available direct from Nick Hern Books, and from good bookshops.
Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl
Alice in Wonderland meets Greek myth in this playful, heart-breaking take on a timeless tale of loss, grief and redemption, from the author of The Clean House and In the Next Room.
Eurydice is in love with Orpheus. Her dead father has advice for her wedding but his letters can’t get through to the land of the living. At last one does. With her father’s words in her hand, she crashes down a flight of stairs and wakes in the underworld, her memory wiped as clean as glass. How will she ever get home?
‘The most moving exploration of the theme of loss that the American theater has produced’ New York Times
Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus by Taylor Mac
Performance artist Taylor Mac picks up where William Shakespeare’s blood-soaked tragedy Titus Andronicus left off in a play that explores generic boundaries and charts the violence done by those in charge, and the lives of those left to clean up.
The Roman Empire is falling. A bloody coup has ended, the country has been stolen by madmen, and there are casualties everywhere. Two lowly servants, Gary and Janice, are charged with cleaning up the bodies. It’s the year 400 – but it feels like the end of the world.
‘Fabulous and bedraggled: a defiant and beautiful mess’ New York Times
Birds of a Kind by Wajdi Mouawad
A compelling drama from the award-winning Lebanese-Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad (Scorched / Incendies). Winner of the Canadian Governor General’s Literary Award in 2019.
A terrorist attack in Jerusalem puts Eitan, a young Israeli-German genetic researcher, in a coma, while his girlfriend Wahida, a Moroccan graduate student, is left to uncover his family secret that brought them to Israel in the first place.
‘A vivid and vaulting multigenerational Middle East-set drama… challenging and complex… full of richness and raw emotion’ Globe and Mail
The Children’s Republic by Hannah Moscovitch
A powerful play about Dr Janusz Korczak, hero of the Warsaw Ghetto – a reminder of the hope that can still be found in a world devoid of freedom and the necessities of life.
Confined within the walls of the Warsaw Ghetto, Dr Korczak struggles to protect the children at his orphanage from the horrors of the Second World War. Between a troublemaking thief, an abandoned girl, a malnourished boy, and a violin prodigy, he has his hands full, but together they fight for beauty and hope in a world crumbling around them.
‘Hannah Moscovitch has found a fresh window into one of the most extensively documented horrors of the Second World War’ Glove and Mail
Mortified by Amy Rutherford
A darkly funny play exploring sex, shame, and transformation, and how we reckon with the traumatic experiences that have shaped us. Winner of the 2019 Carol Bolt Award.
A woman runs into her former abuser and is surprised by the power he still holds over her. In an attempt to uncover the truth of what really happened between them, she recalls her adolescent self: a synchronized swimmer struggling to make sense of the world around her.
‘A beautiful and memorable piece of theatre that will not be easily forgotten’ Vancouver Presents
Secret Life of a Mother by Hannah Moscovitch with Maev Beaty & Ann-Marie Kerr
The raw and untold secrets of pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth and mothering are revealed in this collaboratively written play that is uplifting and full of love.
A playwright writes an exposé of modern motherhood, full of her own darkly funny confessions and taboo-breaking truths. One of her real-life friends, an actress, performs the piece, and through it her own experiences of motherhood start to surface. These mothers are not the butts of jokes, the villains, or the perfect angels of a household.
‘An engrossing and necessary work of theatre’ Globe and Mail
WROL (Without Rule of Law) by Michaela Jeffery
Part Judy Blume, part Rambo, this is a darkly comic coming-of-age story for complicated times.
When Maureen, Jo, Sarah, Vic, and Robbie sneak out at night to investigate an ominous hidden lair in the woods, they believe they have stumbled onto proof of what happened to a mysterious local cult that vanished over a decade ago. What they discover changes everything.
‘Captures a generation’s frustration‘ Saskatoon StarPhoenix
We’re proud to distribute these and dozens of other titles by our North American partners, Theatre Communications Group and Playwrights Canada Press. See our full range of TCG publications here, and Canadian publications here.