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LPG Drama Backlist Catalogue: 2015

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The Book of Esther
By (author): Leanna Brodie
9780889226821 Paperback, Trade English General Trade DRAMA / LGBT Apr 15, 2012
$16.95 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.25 in 128 pages Talonbooks
It is June 1981: the farm debt crisis. Pride Toronto’s first parade. Everything is changing, including fifteen-year-old Esther, who runs away to the city to escape the family farm. With the help of a brash young hustler and a gay activist who shelters street kids, she confronts her conservative Christian parents—farmers on the brink of financial ruin—and begins to find her way home. Acclaimed playwright Leanna Brodie excels with this heart-warming coming-of-age—and coming-out—drama.
Cast of two women and three men.

Leanna Brodie is an actor, translator, and playwright: The Vic, For Home and Country, The Book of Esther, and Schoolhouse, published by Talonbooks, are regularly performed across Canada. Ulla’s Odyssey, her award-winning opera with Anthony Young, has toured the UK. Her numerous translations include works by Théâtre Motus’ Hélène Ducharme (whose acclaimed Baobab has toured North America and China with over six hundred performances) and Christian Bégin (whose After Meearned five Jessie nominations for Ruby Slippers Theatre) as well as Catherine Léger’s Opium 37, Rébecca Déraspe’s You Are Happy, and Louise Bombardier’s My Mother Dog (published by Playwrights Canada Press) She has been playwright-in-residence at the Blyth Festival, 4th Line Theatre, Lighthouse Festival Theatre, and Gateway Theatre, and is currently an Associate of Playwrights Theatre Centre. Ruby Slippers premiered her translation of Catherine Léger’s I Lost My Husband! at the Gateway in March 2018, and sold out the entire run. www.leannabrodie.com

“Like The Vic, Leanna Brodie's play The Book of Esther is filled with tenderness, heart, and humour. It is also an eloquent plea for understanding. It posits that people who feel they are very much on the opposite ends of the belief spectrum can learn to understand human difference. Are her dreams possible to realize in reality? I'm not sure, but one must admire her skill as a writer, and her ambition as a dreamer.”
— Sky Gilbert

“For those who fear yet another gay diatribe wrapped in a religious title, Leanna Brodie's The Book of Esther is not that play. Set in both the urban and rural landscapes of the 1980s, the work stands in the ongoing Canadian tradition of drama with characters trying to forge their identities and, by extension, define the nation, as well. Whether or not one agrees with the opinions of the characters is beside the point. Brodie is exploring the possibility of a Canada where the embattled farmer, the gay urbanite, and runaway teen-agers can find themselves in this mosaic of ours, through mutual respect …”
— Dr. Lloyd Arnett

“The issue is simple—as black-and-white as a Holstein cow ... But, happily, The Book of Esther is more than a simple catalogue of controversial, or at least provocative, subjects. When the play opens, the forces that divide—ignorance, prejudice, intolerance, hypocrisy and arrogance—are given free rein. At play’s end, however, the forces that bind—understanding, compassion, tolerance, honesty and love—assert themselves.”
— www.therecord.com

“There were audible gasps in the audience as the play’s teenage anti-hero, A.D., spouted off his anti-religious diatribes. Some of his dialogue was so politically incorrect that, if an adult had spoken the lines, it would border on hate-mongering. But that is the conflict situation that Leanna Brodie has set up in her play.”
Globe & Mail

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