Welcome to the Gift-A-Play wish list details page!
Below are the titles that we’d love to add to the Theatre Alberta Library this year. Have a look, and if you see something you’d like to help us purchase head over to our Canada Helps donation page, choose the item from the list, and purchase your ticket! We are happy to share this is an ALL-CANADIAN wish list!!!
The 2022 Annual Tom Hendry Playwright Awards: Shortlisted Play Bundle
This collection contains plays shortlisted for the 2022 Tom Hendry Awards. The Tom Hendry Awards, named for a beloved founding member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada took place online on Sunday, October 30 at 7PM EDT.
Women of the Fur Trade
Playwrights Canada Press
In eighteen hundred and something something, somewhere upon the banks of a Reddish River in Treaty One Territory, three very different women with a preference for twenty-first century slang sit in a fort sharing their views on life, love, and the hot nerd Louis Riel. This lively historical satire of survival and cultural in- heritance shifts perspectives from the male gaze onto women’s power in the past and present through the lens of the rapidly changing world of the Canadian fur trade.
Where You Are
Kristen Da Silva
The place is a porch in Little Current on Manitoulin Island, where city-transplants Glenda and Suzanne have lived together since Suzanne arrived single, penniless and pregnant thirty-three years previous, moving in with Glenda and her late husband, Mark. While one is warm and industrious and the other brash and prone to late mornings, the sisters are nevertheless devoted to one another and spend laughter-filled days swapping stories about the locals and roping their appealing veterinarian neighbour, Patrick into various chores. This summer, an imminent visit from Suzanne’s daughter, Beth, a doctor from Toronto, is about to complicate things. Not only do Suzanne and Beth clash over everything, starting with Beth’s choice of pants, the sisters have recently been harbouring a weighty secret. When Beth arrives, it becomes clear that they aren’t the only ones. Amid a busy reunion week that includes a wild wedding, medicinal experimentation and a budding romance between the two doctors, the women are eventually forced to confront truths that will change all four lives forever. Where You Are is a hilarious and honest exploration of family, forgiveness and falling in love.
The Mulligan: A Play in One Act
This work is specifically written non-binary and genderfluid so that the artistic direction can determine the gender of the two characters. The story follows two ex-lovers that serendipitously cross paths at a coffeehouse. As we eavesdrop on their flirting, revisions and reminiscing of these two, the audience is left to debate “will they or won’t they” get back together.
Having paused her career to raise her daughter, 42 year old writer Johanna Dunham is finally plotting her grand return. She’s even one-upped Virginia Woolf and found the perfect ‘house of one’s own’ where she can write. But when her husband suffers a stroke, Johanna is thrust into life as a caregiver spouse and single mom to Lucy. After a disastrous visit to a caregivers support group, Johanna is on the brink of driving off into the night, when she nearly runs over Len, the handsome young firefighter-next-door longing for an escape of his own… A funny, messy, honest look at surviving life’s curveballs.
Pako-shay-imoohk travels in time from 1969 to 1982. Along the way Judith Blaine stands up to her bellicose father, dumps an unsavory baseball player and marries Haladay Newman, an early-day environmentalist. When they’re randomly attacked while hiking, Judith loses her pregnancy and out of fear the couple decide to stay inside – forever. But after seeing a certain photo, Judith breaks their rule about not engaging with the world and reaches out to Marie Lizotte, a Metis social worker. Marie teaches Judith the Michif word for hope: pakoshayimoohk, and encourages her to rejoin the world.
Out The Window
In August 2000, Liza Balkan witnessed the beating death of a man named Otto Vass during an altercation with the police in the west end of Toronto. Called to the witness stand on a number of occasions over several years, Balkan kept careful track of the aftermath, then turned verbatim court transcripts, audio, video and text derived from multiple interviews with lawyers from both sides of the bench, officers, family members of the deceased, activists and artists, into Out the Window.
The Vampire and The Nymphomaniac
Claude Gauvreau, Translated by Ray Ellenwood
The Vampire and the Nymphomaniac (Le vampire et la nymphomane), Gauvreau’s sole libretto, is a phantasmagoric love story of star-crossed lovers kept apart by the repressive forces of conventional society. Written in 1949 in Gauvreau’s inimitable, outrageous style, it premiered, posthumously, in Montreal in 1996.
For the Love of a Good Man
Call it creeping tedium, or simply being stuck in the marital doldrums, Jan Jacklin’s play For the Love of a Good Man seeks to find a remedy. The answer, of course, is to do what’s best for a marriage where even ‘love’ has become a questionable ideal. To this end, sixty year old COLLEEN, now retired, devises a scheme she believes will spark a new beginning for herself and her husband RICHARD. Her method however, aided and abetted by her best friend Diane is a shade unconventional. As the two friends collaborate they delve deeper and deeper into questions about friendship, loyalty and love. In the end, when the truth is revealed, sparks do fly, because when push comes to shove, there’s something to be said for good men: they deserve what they get!
The Feast of All Saints
On Halloween night, Grace insists her children participate in a memorial for their recently deceased sister. But as the tricks and treats become more and more horrifying, the family realizes that not all monsters wear masks.
Playwrights Canada Press
Étaples, France, 1918. Nurses Christy, Maggie, and Bab have crossed oceans to care for wounded Canadian soldiers in the Great War. Despite the terrible injuries they must deal with, they manage to stay hopeful as the dangers of the front draw closer to their hospital. Through it all, the three women find friendship, independence, power, and influence in a place where men, once again, are trying to destroy the world.
kai fig taddei
Playwrights Canada Press
Estranged teenage cousins Eli and Kat have recently met online and bonded over their queer identities, but they have a limited understanding of each other’s very different realities. In Italy, soft-spoken Eli is trying to find a way to come out as trans to his conservative Roman Catholic family. In Canada, strong-headed Kat is desperate for connection to a culture and place she’s never known. Full of poetry, laughter, and big questions, this touching story paints a portrait of what it’s like for young people wanting to reconcile what they’ve inherited with what feels right.
Echoes From Far Away Cities
Amir N. Hosseini
Set in Iran, documentary filmmaker Sanam sets out to capture a story of extreme domestic violence through an objective lens but finds herself becoming unsettled by familiar and escalating echoes in her own relationship. Both women, cities and lives apart, are bound by veiled and insidious acts of control from the men they married.
That's What Friends Are For
When Larry Deker gets laid off from his job at the factory, his friend Charlton offers a somewhat bizarre and unconventional opportunity for Larry to become rich. Then there’s Peggy Forthsythe, a novice interior designer barely eking out a living. As their paths converge, Larry and Peggy encounter confusion, deception, and mistaken identities in their search for the true meaning of friendship.
The Society for the Destitute Presents: Titus Bouffonius
Five characters who shelter at the Society for the Destitute get a $500 grant from Arts Educational Outreach to put on a play. They decide to do Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus because it has the most murders—but as you might predict, this is not your average night of Shakespeare. Shocking, outrageous and stupidly funny, the characters often forget their lines, forget what play they are in, say whatever the hell they want to, or refuse to stay dead when they are killed. And, as only clowns are able, they turn the tables on the audience and present us with our own foibles in a way that is both hilarious and inevasible.
The Piano Teacher: A Healing Key
When classical pianist Erin experiences a devastating family tragedy, she finds herself unable to play music or even touch a piano. Navigating her way through the traumatic loss of the life she knew, she meets an unconventional piano teacher, Elaine, who gives her new hope for the future. As Elaine helps Erin find her way back to her instrument and they develop a friendship exempt from rivalry and expectations, other life changes naturally follow – not just for the student, but for the teacher as well.
Inheritance: A Pick the Path Experience
Daniel Arnold, Darrell Dennis, and Medina Hahn
You take your seat in the theatre. You are given a remote control. The play begins. An urban couple are on a getaway to visit her father at his vast rural estate. But when they arrive, they find him missing and a local Indigenous man staying there instead. They ask him to leave … and with an anonymous click of your remote, you choose what happens next. When it’s revealed that the colonial rights to this entire property are actually up for grabs, you must continue to decide how the story unfolds, ultimately determining how the land will be stewarded, and by whom. With humour, suspense, and a race against time, Inheritance is an interactive stage play – with over fifty possible variations – that thrusts you into the middle of a land dispute and asks you to work it out.
Every Day She Rose
Andrea Scott and Nick Green
Playwrights Canada Press
After the Black Lives Matter protest at the 2016 Toronto Pride Parade, two friends find their racial and queer politics aren’t as aligned as they thought, and the playwrights behind them must figure out how to write about the fallout.
Cathy Ann, a straight Black woman, and her roommate Mark, a gay white man, came home from the parade with such differing views of what happened and how it affected their own communities. Simultaneously, playwrights Andrea and Nick—who share the same identities as their characters—pause throughout the show to figure out how to work together to tell the story of a significant turning point in a friendship.
Awaken is the untold story of what happens between Paulina and Hermione during the gap of time in Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale. In this two-hander, we witness the 16-year journey from Hermione’s sudden death to Paulina’s reveal of Hermione’s statue, with the interspersing of mini scenes to show the passage of time.
Venus’ Daughter is inspired by the life of Sara “Saartjie” Baartman, who was known as “The Hottentot Venus”. Baartman was a Khoisan woman taken from South Africa to be displayed on London stages from 1810 to 1815, and was then posthumously displayed at the Musee de l’Homme in Paris, France until 2002. The story follows Denise, a young Black woman guided by an ancestor to begin her journey into self-love. Exploring the intersection of myth, fable, and the reality of how women and their bodies are viewed, Venus’ Daughter peels back the layers of pop culture’s obsession with the Black female form and the silence around the infamous figure, making connections through the centuries.
Moving the Centre
Two Plays: Small Axe & Freedom Singer
Andrew Kushnir and Khari Wendell McClelland
Moving the Centre explores the work of two theatre artists who dare, fumble, and persist in bringing audiences into a space where we can all listen differently. The two plays it includes — Small Axe and Freedom Singer — lean into the possibilities of verbatim theatre to approach questions of justice, identity and the complex history all around us. Originally developed and produced by Toronto’s socially engaged theatre company Project: Humanity, these plays explore the power of recorded “real-life” encounters as a way for artists and the public to re-examine our defining narratives.
The Full Light of Day
Daniel Brooks’s The Full Light of Day is a modern epic tragedy, a timely exploration of crumbling privilege and power, beautifully told and innovative in form. Mary’s family finds itself in serious difficulty, and some bad decisions lead to disaster. Mary soon falls ill, and as she is dying wrestles with what her family is, what she has done with her life, and how she wants to die. The Full Light of Day is a provocative film/theatre experiment which looks at crucial choices facing Canadians today – how to live, love, and die in a world in transition. Bold characters, bracing text, wit, and suspense all mix together in this new play by award-winning artist Daniel Brooks.
Anywhere but Here
In 2020 near the United States–Mexico border, a family from 1979 drives back towards Chile from Canada. As time and space shift and blend, the family experiences a series of encounters ranging from poignant to comical to fantastical. Encircled by past, present, and future, their journey becomes a collective vision that immerses us all in the compelling experiences of people attempting to cross or guard borders – and walls.
Simone, Half & Half
Playwrights Canada Press
Fourteen-year-old Simone is caught between cultures: Canadian, Québécois, and Trinidadian. She’s also torn between friends and the projects they want her to take part in. Her best friend Sarah wants them to compete in the talent show with a dance routine, but her new friend Jay has introduced her to the Black History and Culture Committee’s activism and its organizer, tenth-grader Vanessa. Though Sarah represents the comfort of what she knew growing up, Jay and Vanessa offer Simone an opportunity to get to know part of herself that she hasn’t explored yet. As pressure mounts on seeing both projects through, her friendships start to feel the strain and her loyalties are tested. Can Simone find the courage to stand up for what she believes in? Will her friends accept the choices she makes? And will she finally learn to be more comfortable with herself? Simone, Half and Half is a touching story about finding one’s place between identities and communities.
Is My Microphone On?
Playwrights Canada Press
Young people have inherited a burning world. In this urgent and lyrical play, they reckon with the generations who have come before them, questioning the choices that have been made, and the ones that they will yet be forced to make. Is My Microphone On? is a play in the form of a protest song, in which a chorus of young performers hold the audience to account, and invite them to experience the world together anew.
Daniel MacDonald, Music by Eileen Laverty
Playwrights Canada Press
After years of running from her dysfunctional past, Sarah returns home to the family farm in Saskatchewan to find her mom Kathleen yelling into the wind, setting off a turbulent new chapter in her life. Instead of finding comfort in “home,” Sarah learns nothing is how she remembers it, and with Kathleen’s growing dementia, nothing will ever be the same again. Blow Wind is a beautiful portrait—with musical accompaniment—of a family that together must build new paths forward while learning how to love, let go, and forgive.
Olivier Choiniere, Translated and Adapted by Bobby Theodor
Playwrights Canada Press
Three generations of a family argue over current events, finances, and culture, with everyone looking to blame someone else for society’s ills in this satirical examination of how judgment
can both divide and unite people. Elizabeth, the matriarch, has invited her children and grandchildren over for dinner. Instead of a nice family meal, it quickly slides into the adults arguing in the dining room and the kids fighting in the living room. Rapid-fire dialogue fuses and overlaps, but no one listens to each other. A blistering take on the family drama, Public Enemy asks, who’s really responsible for all our suffering?
Playwrights Canada Press
From the glittering high-rise condos to the desperate streets of Vancouver, powerful stories told by women reveal the fraying social fabric among the wealthy and hangers-on in the city’s Asian Canadian community.
Everybody Just C@lm the F#ck Down
Playwrights Canada Press
After an unexpected night in a Regina hospital emergency room, Robert Chafe can’t shake the burning question of whether he’s Tennessee Williams or Dorothy Zbornak. Are his symptoms a harbinger of a terrifying undiagnosed condition, or is it all just in his head? Frenetic, tender, and sometimes scary, Everybody Just C@lm the F#ck Down is a stumbling folly about the aging body, mid-life anxiety, and what it means to live when you can’t know what’s next.
Divine Wrecks: and Other Morally Questionable Tragedies
Sometimes the greatest love stories do not end happily ever after.
An anthology of tragic love stories originally premiered on Canadian stages. The lovers in these plays defy society’s expectations, embracing the taboo moments in their lives, and sacrificing what matters most.
Still Falling / The Code: Two Plays for Teens
Still • Falling and The Code explore issues today’s teens face in their daily lives: mental-health struggles, the complexities of gender dynamics, and the challenges that arise when the lines between friendship and romance blur.
Controlled Damage explores the life of Canadian civil rights icon Viola Desmond and how her act of bravery in a Nova Scotia movie theatre in 1946 started a ripple effect that is still felt today. An ordinary woman forced to be extraordinary by an unyielding and racist world, Desmond never gave up — despite the personal cost to her and those who loved her.
The Only Good Indian
Jivesh Parasram, Tom Arthur Davis, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Justine Shore, and Adele Noronha
The Only Good Indian is part lecture, part meditation, and part threat. Or maybe a sacrifice. Each incarnation of The Only Good Indian recruits a new artist to step into the radical headspace of a suicide bomber. In turn, each performer straps themselves into a suicide vest — and struggles to rationalize to the audience such an “irrational” decision. It dissects where our similarities begin and where they end, forcing both the performer and the audience to ask themselves: what would I die for? Blending political theory with dark satire, authors Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Tom Arthur Davis, Adele Noronha, Jivesh Parasram, and Justine Shore take you on a wild ride through their genealogical relationships to colonization, occupation, otherness, and indigeneity.
A Man Walks Into A Bar
A woman, with the help of a man, nervously sets out to tell us all a joke: A man walks into a bar and meets a waitress. As they begin to perform the joke for the audience, lines between the performers and characters blur and a tense and funny standoff about gender and power emerges. Is the customer justified in thinking something will happen? Is the waitress justified to lie? Why are some things funny to her and insulting to him?
Fado: The Saddest Music in the World
Acclaimed Portuguese Canadian playwright Elaine Ávila’s new play, Fado: The Saddest Music in the World, is a tale of love and ghosts set in the back alleys and brothels of old Lisbon. Part concert, part theatre, the story of a young woman confronting her country’s fascist past and her own identity is interwoven with the heartbreaking national music of Portugal known as fado, which means “fate.”
I Am William
Rebecca Deraspe, Translated by Leanna Brodie
Margaret Shakespeare, age 13, must write her remarkable plays in secret: it is 1577, and a girl who can read and write is in danger from the witch-hunters. After all, as her father keeps reminding her, a woman’s place is in the home…next to a big pile of laundry. Once the sweet but dim William discovers his sister’s astonishing talent, a chain of events is set in motion that will change both their lives forever. What happens to women of genius in a world that wants only their silence? Can a sister’s determination — and a brother’s unfailing love — really conquer all? Seamlessly translated from the original French by Leanna Brodie, this strikingly original play with music tackles the big feminist questions with wit, heart, and infectious energy. Winner of Quebec’s prestigious Prix de la critique and Prix Louise-Lahaye, Rébecca Déraspe’s I Am William has toured France, Spain, and the province of Quebec to great acclaim. This English version, commissioned by Theatre Le Clou, was also a hit at the Stratford Festival.
Lily has always felt in-between. She looks Vietnamese but thinks of herself as white – her parents adopted her from an orphanage in Vietnam. Her parents both have good jobs, but her best friend Brit is always super broke. When Karim – a guy she’s liked for a long time – shows interest in her for the first time, Brit starts to hang out with some grade-twelves who wear T-shirts saying “white pride.” After Karim confronts Brit about her racism, a series of fear-induced misunderstandings lead to a lockdown, and Lily finds herself truly in-between, forced to make seemingly impossible choices about whose side she’s on, and which friend she’s going to believe. Set in a school facing the real-life challenges of immigration, income inequality, and fears of violence, The In-Between is a realistic, complex, and believable exploration of the conflicts students navigate in contemporary schools.
In Anishnaabemowin, Okinum means dam. In deciphering a recurring dream about beavers, Émilie Monnet discovers how to break down interior barriers, to trust in the power of intuition, and to deconstruct cultural walls. A circular and immersive experience that interweaves three languages — English, French and Anishnaabemowin — Okinum is an ode to reclaiming language and reconnecting to one’s ancestors.