If you have ever wondered why the Scots love Michel Tremblay or what Sharon Pollock has to say to Japanese audiences, or just how a Canadian play?or being Canadian?is viewed in England or the United States, you should read this volume. Each author holds a mirror up to Canadian theatre, but the images in those mirrors differ in fascinating ways. The cumulative result is a multi-faceted reflection, coming from some of the world’s most astute critics, on how Canada performs its national identities.
Performing National Identities is a collection of 18 original essays on contemporary Canadian theatre by scholars and drama specialists in Canada, Great Britain, Europe, Australia and Japan. The international scope of the volume, reflected in its co-editors (Sherrill Grace from Canada, Albert-Reiner Glaap from Germany), confirms the new importance of Canadian plays on the world stage. This is the first volume of its kind, and it celebrates the variety and vitality of Canadian theatre.
Among the playwrights whose works are discussed here are Michel Tremblay, Sharon Pollock, George F. Walker, Joan MacLeod, Tomson Highway, Marie Clements, Michel Marc Bouchard, Morris Panych, Monique Mojica, and Djanet Sears. There are also interviews with theatre practitioners in Hungary, Germany and Canada, including one with the late Urjo Kareda. The contributors consider many of the challenging issues addressed by contemporary Canadian playwrights?issues of race and racist stereotypes, of gender and violence, of historical events and identity politics?and all agree that Canada’s playwrights mine their local or individual situations to explore universal problems. It is this large vision, as well as the quality of the plays, that enables Canadian drama to move audiences all over the world.
About the authors
Sherrill Grace is a professor of English and theatre at the University of British Columbia. She is former President, Academy I, of the Royal Society of Canada. She has lectured widely in North America, as well as in Germany, Italy, England, Belgium, France, China and Japan.
A member of several professional associations, including the Association of Canadian Studies, the Canadian Association of American Studies, the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English, the Canadian Comparative Literature Association, the Modern Languages Association and the International Association of Professors of English, Grace was awarded the prestigious Killam Teaching Prize in 2008, and in 2009 she received the Ann Saddlemyer Award for her biography Making Theatre: A Life of Sharon Pollock.
Albert-Reiner Glaap studied English Language and Literature, Latin, and Philosophy at the Universities of Cologne and London (Kingâ??s College), graduated from Cologne University and received a PhD from this university in 1955. He began his career as a teacher of English and Latin at secondary schools in DÃ¼sseldorf and Philadelphia. Since 1973, he has been Professor of English at Neuss and at Heinrich-Heine-University DÃ¼sseldorf.
His main fields of research have been English and Canadian literature, with special emphasis on theatre and drama; the methodology of teaching English literature at secondary school and university level; theory and practice of literary translation. Albert-Reiner Glaap has published numerous books and articles in all these fields.
He is also editor of some twenty annotated editions of English-language plays. In 1991 he was made an Honorary Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) and has been an Honorary Member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada since 2006.
Albert-Reiner Glaapâ??s curiosity about Jewish culture was inspired by an incident in his childhood: "It was November 9th, 1938. Early in the morning my mother sent me to the neighbouring grocery shop to buy a pound of butter and a few other things. When in the shop, I heard the sound of windows being smashed, which made me dodge behind the counter. I was shocked. It was the â??Night of Broken Glass.â?? This moment instilled into me the urge to learn what Jewish culture is all about."
Other titles by Sherrill Grace
A Life of Timothy Findley
Theatre and AutoBiography
Writing and Performing Lives in Theory and Practice
First Woman of Canadian Theatre
Landscapes of War and Memory
The Two World Wars in Canadian Literature and the Arts, 1977-2007
Perspectives on War and Peace from the Arts and Humanities
Painting the Maple
Essays on Race, Gender, and the Construction of Canada
On the Art of Being Canadian
Canada and the Theatre of War: Volume Two
Essays on the Work of Malcolm Lowry
A Life of Sharon Pollock