Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 16
- Grade: 11
1975, Lethbridge Alberta. When the Monoghan sisters lose their parents in a car accident, Deirdre remains as the sole caregiver to her older sister, Isabelle. Just as Deirdre is poised to enter university and begin exploring, for the first time, her own future and independence, she must choose how much of her own life she will sacrifice for the love of Isabelle. Deirdre is barely staying afloat under the strain of this reality when hope arrives in the form of gorgeous vacuum cleaner salesman Freddie Seven Horses. Both sisters find in Freddie a new world of unexplored emotions and ideas, where Freddie is a port in a storm.
About the author
p style="MARGIN: 0cm 0cm 0pt" class="MsoNormal">span style="mso-ansi-language: EN-CA">font face="Times">Tara Beagan is a proud halfbreed of Ntlakaâ??pamux and Irish Canadian heritage. She is Artistic Director of Native Earth Performing Arts. Her debut play, i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Thy Neighbourâ??s Wife/i> garnered three Dora Award nominations in â??05, winning for Best New Play. Ensuing plays include i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Dreary and Izzy/i>, i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">The Fort at York/i>, for which she was head writer and co-director, and i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Miss Julie: Shehâ??mah/i>, which earned five â??09 Dora nominations. Short plays include i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Quilchena/i>, i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Here, Boy!/i>, i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Foundlings/i>, i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">BLUEBEARDâ??S WI7E/i>, i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">TransCanada/i>, and i style="mso-bidi-font-style: normal">Anatomy of an Indian/i>. She was playwright-in-residence at the National Arts Centre in 2011, at NEPA in 2009/2010, and at Cahoots in 2007/2008. As well as a mentor for emerging theatre artists, Tara has written for film and radio, and is a Dora- and Betty-nominated actor.?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />o:p>/o:p>/font>/span>/p>
"If you want to see how a gifted playwright stages strong emotions, you can find no better example than Dreary and Izzy, Tara Beagan's heartfelt look at a family affected by fetal alcohol damage."
Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine
"A droll and engaging story… the second act is completely unpredictable. Dreary and Izzy is a thought-provoking exploration of family dynamics, sexuality and faith. By the end of the play, the laughter had been replaced by tears."
Ashante Infantry, Toronto Star
Dreary and IzzyThis play takes place just after the funeral of the parents of the title characters. Deirdre (Dreary) and Isabelle (Izzy) are adult sisters, one of whom (Izzy) is an adopted Aboriginal person with severe FASD. Dreary was about to start university but must now stay home to take care of Izzy. Freddie Seven Horses, a vacuum cleaner salesman, shows up at the door and Dreary ends up getting involved with him. His arrival brings up issues for Dreary that she has never really thought about before, such as adoption of Aboriginal children by non-Aboriginal families and how that can affect them. Freddie’s presence also triggers some sexual acting-out by Izzy, which is misconstrued as Freddie sexually abusing her. The play deals with the issues in an interesting, realistic way and shows a sister compassionately dealing with a disabled sibling.
Beagan is a past recipient of the Dora Mavor Moore Award.
Caution: Includes some coarse language.
Source: The Association of Book Publishers of BC. Canadian Aboriginal Books for Schools. 2008-2009.