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Spring 2016 - Talonbooks

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We the Family
A Play
By (author): George F Walker
9780889229822 Paperback, Trade English General Trade DRAMA / Canadian Mar 15, 2016
$17.95 CAD
Active 5.5 x 8.5 x 0.5 in | 170 gr 128 pages Talonbooks
Canada’s master playwright applies his trademark black humour and incredibly crisp dialogue to the family and multiculturalism.

We the Family follows the ripple effects within two culturally and racially divergent families when their children wed. The list of characters in We the Family reads like an ethnic joke, which, indeed, it is, at least in part: the son of the main characters, David and Lizzie Kaplan, a Jewish–Irish-Catholic mixed marriage, marries the daughter of Jenny Lee, a Chinese-Canadian widow. The supporting cast includes a Russian, a Palestinian, and an Italian, with Pakistanis, Sicilians, and still more Russians offstage in the wings.

By the end of the play, Walker has deconstructed the dysfunctional Kaplan and Lee families and family love as well. Through the play’s pervading treachery, with family members and lovers betraying each other in horrific ways, he satirizes the hypocrisy of expounding family values while behaving with vicious preoccupation. These hyphenated Canadians certainly aren’t “nice,” and no quantity of “sweet-and-sour matzah balls” (which the Kaplan matriarch serves at the multicultural wedding reception) can hide the nasty taste.

Cast of 3 men and 7 women.

George F. Walker is one of Canada’s most prolific and popular playwrights. He has written more than twenty plays and has created screenplays for several award-winning Canadian TV series.

During a ten-year absence, he mainly wrote for television, including the television series Due South, The Newsroom, This Is Wonderland, and The Line, as well as for the film Niagara Motel (based on three plays from his Suburban Motel series). Walker returned to the theater with And So It Goes (2010). Since that time he has published King of Thieves (2013); Dead Metaphor (2015, a series of three plays that include Dead Metaphor, The Ravine, and The Burden of Self Awareness); and Moss Park and Tough! The Bobby and Tina Plays (2015). After Class, a series of plays that address education and parenting, will be published in 2017.

Awards and honours include investiture as a Member of the Order of Canada (2005); National Theatre School Gascon-Thomas Award (2002); two Governor General’s Literary Awards for Drama (for Criminals in Love and Nothing Sacred); five Dora Mavor Moore Awards; and eight Chalmers Canadian Play Awards.

Reviews for Parents’ Night
“As in all of Walker’s best work, there is a lot happening on several levels. We laugh at the foibles of parents and teachers as Walker piles misfortune on coincidence on looming disaster. It is extremely funny and bitingly satirical. But then we are aware of a deep sadness under the surface. These are human beings struggling to survive against harsh odds and in the most taxing of circumstances. There is also abundant compassion for teachers. Deeper still is Walker’s smouldering anger at the floundering educational system and at a society that actively discriminates against the poor and the marginalized.”
Toronto Star

Reviews for The Bigger Issue
The Bigger Issue is, well, a bigger play in terms of what it tackles. But the confrontations here are economic as well as educational; the difference between haves and have-nots drive the action, and not just in the classroom.”
NOW Toronto

If you have a taste for cynical and irreverent humour, death and depravity with a drum roll, this darkly comic culture clash will be right up your alley.” – Mooney on Theatre

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