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Drama Canadian

King Arthur's Night and Peter Panties

A Collaboration Across Perceptions of Cognitive Difference

by (author) Marcus Youssef & Niall McNeil

introduction by Al Etmanski

Publisher
Talonbooks
Initial publish date
May 2018
Category
Canadian, People with Disabilities, Coming of Age, Absurdist, Playwriting
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781772012033
    Publish Date
    May 2018
    List Price
    $18.95

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Description

Among the first by a writer with Down syndrome, these two plays demonstrate an ability to riff and shift perspective, with disarming, hilarious, and occasionally heart-stopping results. Based on the iconic stories of King Arthur and Peter Pan, they are modern-day mash-ups that meld the fictional, the meta-fictional, and the real in ways that are counter-intuitive and absurd. And they’re musical! Both feature songs by beloved Vancouver musician Veda Hille, with lyrics by the playwrights.
King Arthur’s Night is a musical extravaganza in which King Arthur banters with Merlin and romances Guinevere. An upside-down world … a betrayed love … an unwanted child … a revolt by the subjugated masses … a kingdom come undone. It leaves one pondering mysteries both absurd (how did the Round Table get to Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia?) and profound (what is the link between the soul and intelligence?).
Peter Panties is a radical re-imagining of the Peter Pan story in which Peter Pan and Captain Hook (or is he Macbeth?) drink lattes, the Lost Boys hang with detectives from CSI, and Tinkerbell and Wendy duke it out at Skull Rock. Peter is conflicted about growing up – “Fuck that! No mustache!” – but he also desperately wants to have sex with Wendy and make a baby. The situation is funny, but aching; sexual exclusion and the denial of full adulthood are no laughing matters for people whose lives include Down syndrome.
McNeil’s singular voice and imaginative inner landscape are at the centre of these works, and in them entirely new worlds and languages are invented. Through dialogue and play, through the power of association, he subverts expectations. In these plays McNeil and Youssef challenge the classifications that “neurotypicals” presume must be the only legitimate means of perceiving and naming the world.
King Arthur’s Night: cast of [TK].
Peter Panties: cast of [TK].

 

About the authors

Marcus Youssef
Writer and performer Marcus Youssef is a regular contributor of drama, commentary and documentary to numerous programs on the CBC network. He also writes regularly for publications such as Vancouver Magazine, Georgia Straight, Rice Paper, and This Magazine. For many years, Youssef has also dedicated himself to numerous community-based advocacy programs that aim at using writing and/or theatre as a tool for procuring political and social change.
Guillermo Verdecchia
Guillermo Verdecchia is a writer of drama, fiction, and film; a director, dramaturge, actor, and translator whose work has been seen and heard on stages, screens, and radios across the country and around the globe. He is a recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Drama, a four-time winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, a recipient of Dora and Jessie Awards, and sundry film festival awards for his film Crucero/Crossroads.
Camyar Chai
Camyar Chai has worked in theatre and film for more than 20 years. He is the founder of Vancouver’s acclaimed NeWorld Theatre. He has worked as a freelance actor, director, and writer as well as engaging in Arts Education. In addition to writing plays, Camyar has also written librettos for opera. An award-winning theatre maker, he received his Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of British Columbia.

Marcus Youssef's profile page

Niall McNeil's profile page

Al Etmanski's profile page

Other titles by Marcus Youssef

Other titles by Al Etmanski