The purpose of A Collection of Canadian Plays is to present to the Canadian public good plays which have received regional acclaim but not national publicity. We hope to achieve the widest possible dissemination of original Canadian plays, not only for those who may be interested in mounting their own productions, but also for those playgoers who may wish to recapture the pleasures of an evening well spent in the theatre.
The seven plays included in this volume are originally French language plays, written by playwrights from Quebec. They are presently being studied at various levels of the education system and are frequently performed by theatrical troupes. Each one in its own style, through its own gestures and words, reflects a particular kind of writing, a certain way of life, and, in the final analysis, an identical need for freedom. Thanks to the authenticity with which they are imbued and the original qualities that are evident in them, their authors may justly claim the right to be played in all languages and with equal depth.
This volume contains Four to Four, by Michel Garneau (translation Christian Bédard, Keith Turnbull); Greta, The Divine by Renald Tremblay (translation Allan van Meer); Waiting for Gaudreault, by André Simard (translation Henry Beissel, Arlette Francière); A Little Bit Left, by Serge Mercier (translation Allan van Meer); Dodo, by Serge Sirois (translation John van Burek); Looking for a Job, by Claude Roussin (translation Allan van Meer); Are You Afraid of Thieves?, by Louis-Dominique Lavigne (translation Henry Biessel).
Rolf Kalman moved to Montreal from Hungary in the early 1950's. He founded Simon & Pierre, a publishing company he named after his two cats, in 1972, which began as an offshoot from his days spent as an editor for Performing Arts magazine. Before that he worked at odd jobs around the CBC, mostly with televised theatre production. "(A Collection of Canadian Plays) is my gift to Canada. It's a gift in return for my Canadian citizenship."
The texts of the plays are set out in handsome type with generous and artistic use of empty space. Each volume is profusely illustrated with original drawings, photographs of productions, historical prints, and other appropriate decoration. The books are big and attractively bound. They would look well on the coffee table and will endure on library shelves.
The format that Rolf Kaiman and his associates have chosen for A Collection of Canadian Plays is both durable and beautiful. This series of handsome books began to appear in 1972 and the end is not yet in sight.
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