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Drama Canadian


by (author) Constance Lindsay Skinner

adapted by Joan Bryans

introduction by Jean Barman

Playwrights Canada Press
Initial publish date
Nov 2005
Canadian, Women Authors
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Nov 2005
    List Price

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Out of print

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In the British Columbia frontier in 1905, missionary Robert Maclean has an ever-increasing foothold of power and influence. Into the swirling melee of shifting allegiances steps Precious Conroy, Maclean’s adopted daughter.

Precious is unaware that she was sent away for schooling to avoid the shame and discrimination which would occur should the secret get out that she is part Native. The son of the local chief, himself a product of a mixed marriage, is in love with her but so too is the son of the house. What will happen when, as it must, the secret of her parentage gets out?

Determined to walk her own revolutionary path for freedom, Precious's actions trigger in others all the prejudices and hypocrisies of the day. Skinner pulls no punches, and her indictment of these prejudices, both Native and white, religious and secular, while often couched in humour, touches as many raw nerves as ever.

About the authors

Constance Lindsay Skinner's profile page

Most of Joan’s plays seem to be about feisty women battling it out against enormous odds to final victory. Recently she prefers the theatre verbatim style—Two Years in Nicola (two sisters in the early western Canada), Rebel Women (militant UK suffragettes) and most recently Changed Utterly (Constance Markievicz, an Irish rebel in the Easter Rising). This last will play in Vancouver in February 2019. She has her own company, Vital Spark theatre, and is Vice President of United Players of Vancouver.

Joan Bryans' profile page

Jean Barman is the author of ten previous books, including the bestseller The Remarkable Adventures of Portuguese Joe Silvey and winner of the 2006 City of Vancouver Book Prize, Stanley Park's Secret. Barman's longtime, impassioned pursuit to understand and uncover the history of British Columbia has earned her a position as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, among other honours.

Jean Barman's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"What a fantastic find. Watching Birthright is like reading your great-grandmother's private diaries. And like most intimate family records, the script presents a puzzle of conflicted sensibilities, all of which inform our own identity…. At its best, Birthright approaches the work of Henrik Ibsen, the father of naturalism… this work is part of our political and cultural birthright…"

Colin Thomas, The Georgia Straight

Other titles by Jean Barman