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
Professor of English and Theatre at the University of British Columbia, Jerry Wasserman has written and lectured widely on Canadian theatre, modern fiction, dramatic literature, theatre history and blues music; edited the two-volume anthology Modern Canadian Plays, a standard course text now in its fourth edition; made over two hundred appearances on stage, film and television; and served for over fifteen years as a drama critic on CBC Radio. He is currently the editor of Vancouverplays.com, an informative Web site that provides up-to-date listings and reviews of local theatre performances.