Canada’s top playwright takes on teen pregnancy in two comic dramas for young people.
It’s been twenty years since the debut of Tough!, but only two years have passed in the lives of Tina and Bobby, the main characters. Of course the poverty trap, which grips them both, is ageless.
In Moss Park, Bobby and Tina aren’t married, or even living together, but they have a young child, and another is on the way – a fact Bobby learns from Tina early in the play. Bobby wants Tina to take him back – he’s always wanted that – but she has serious doubts about his ability to hold down a job. In this fast-paced dark comedy, Bobby’s plans for big money collide with Tina’s dreams of home, sweet home, and we root for them even as we are exasperated by them. Funny, touching, and raw, Moss Park finds hope in unlikely places.
Cast of one man and one woman.
In Tough! young Tina summons her nineteen-year-old boyfriend Bobby to a tattered city playground. She’s got something to tell him, and she’s brought her tough-talking pal, Jill, along as backup. Bobby doesn’t know what he’s walking into. In fact, he’s been planning to break up but the stakes quickly skyrocket when Tina reveals that she’s pregnant. With its sharply drawn young characters, Tough! has been a nearly continuous success in Canada since its premiere in 1993, especially as programming for younger audiences. Tough! has played to packed houses in Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto. It has been translated into six languages and is regularly performed in theatres all over the world.
Cast of one man and two women.
About the author
George F. Walker
George F. Walker is one of Canada’s most prolific and widely produced playwrights. His work has been honoured with eight Chalmers Awards and five Dora Awards. His plays Criminals in Love and Nothing Sacred each won Governor General’s Awards for Drama. In 1999 Talonbooks released The East End Plays: Part One (which includes Criminals in Love, the Chalmer’s Award-winning Better Living, and Escape from Happiness) and The Power Plays (a collection containing Gossip, Filthy Rich, and The Art of War).
Review quotes for Tough!
“In his 1993 play Tough!, George F. Walker showed the teenage Tina and Bobby trying to figure out what to do about her first pregnancy. That wiry play has been a mainstay of Canadian drama class scene studies ever since thanks to its sharply drawn young characters.”
– Globe and Mail
“See Tough! with someone from the opposite sex and prepare for a good argument afterwards.”
– Jerry Wasserman
“The combination of blunt honesty and emotional extremity combusts in comic shock. “I want to care about you,” the stunned Bobby tells Tina, “but I can’t.” Man-hating Jill warns, “We’re going to kick you to fucking death, okay?” while Tina vacillates between screaming at Bobby and tenderly telling him to put his head between his knees when he starts to hyperventilate; she can’t help but love this guy. He cries after sex. Who could resist?”
– Georgia Straight
Review quotes for Moss Park
“The strength of Walker’s writing is his ability to depict deep pain with a light touch.” – National Post
“Only in a Walker play do we find ourselves lurching from laughter to heartbreak and back again in the space of a few seconds.” – Toronto Star