A Canadian playwright's rise to fame amid the terrors of the AIDS era.
Brad Fraser suffered an impoverished and abusive childhood, living with his teenage parents in motel rooms and shacks on the side of the highway in Alberta and Northern British Columbia. He grew to be one of the most celebrated, and controversial, Canadian playwrights, his work produced to acclaim all over the world.
All the Rage chronicles Brad Fraser's rise as he breaks with his past and enrolls as a performing arts student. He is pulled into the newly developing Canadian theatre scene, where he shows great promise. But his early career is one of challenge after challenge, some of which result from his upbringing and prejudice against his queerness. But just as many challenges arise from his combative personality and willingness to challenge the establishment. Few Canadian artists have been as abrasive, notorious and polarizing as Fraser was in his youth.
Woven through this tale of artistic development is his journey as a queer man coming into himself during the most exhilarating period in the Gay Liberation Movement, and the dawn of a global health crisis. What should have been a triumphant time in a young, successful playwright's life was blighted with the terrifying emergence of AIDS, and the sickness and death of comrades and lovers.
This is both the story of an artist's evolution and an important work of gay history that has rarely been recounted from a Canadian perspective. Written with Fraser's trademark wit and candour, All the Rage is unsparing, sometimes shocking and always enthralling.
About the author
BRAD FRASER is one of Canada's best known playwrights. Born in Edmonton, Alberta, in 1959, Brad won his first playwriting competition at the age of seventeen, and has been writing ever since. Brad's international hit play Unidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love premiered at the Alberta Theatre Projects' PlayRites Festival in 1989. It has since been produced worldwide, in many languages, with highly successful runs in Toronto, New York, Chicago, Milan, Sydney and London. Poor Super Man, developed by Canadian Stage, was first produced by the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati in 1994 and has enjoyed successful runs in many cities, including Toronto, London, Sydney, Edinburgh and Denver. It was nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award for Drama and adapted into a feature film, Leaving Metropolis, written and directed by Brad. Poor Super Man, like Unidentified Human Remains, was listed by Time magazine as one of the top ten plays of its year. Many other plays have followed in successful productions. Brad has also written extensively for magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail and the National Post, and for three seasons was a writer and producer on Showtime's Queer As Folk.
A CBC Best Canadian Nonfiction Book of 2021
2022 Audie Award Finalist
"Brad Fraser's new release . . . manages to make an intensely personal story bigger than merely the reflections of the famously bad-boy playwright from Edmonton who went on to success as a writer in cities from New York to Los Angeles. Framed through the lens of the AIDS crisis, All the Rage gives context to the lives of gay men in Canada in the 1980s and '90s. At the same time, Fraser . . . charts an inspiring path for people who wonder how they will ever make their way in a world that doesn’t want them." —The Edmonton Journal
"Playwright Brad Fraser's new memoir fans the flames of his provocative legacy." —Quill & Quire
"Brad Fraser tells his own story with all the honesty, integrity and unwillingness to compromise that we know and love from his plays." —Kelly Oxford, director, screenwriter, bestselling author
"Brad Fraser's All the Rage displays all of the outrageous passion, raunchy sex, wit, political insight, sorrow and anger that are the hallmarks of his wonderful plays. His travels through a Canadian Dickensian landscape makes you devour this memoir in one addictive gulp." —Charles Busch, author of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Die Mommie Die and The Tale of the Allergist's Wife
"Being immune to self-pity doesn't, happily, make Fraser immune to anger. All the Rage is full of artful skewerings of obtuse theatre administrators, know-it-all critics and hateful homophobes of all kinds. It's a pleasure to see how little time has mellowed Fraser. His memoir is a hymn of support for fearless, risky Canadian theatre, for the queer community and for all marginalized people." —Alberta Views