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Drama Women Authors

The Bridge

by (author) Shauntay Grant

Publisher
Playwrights Canada Press
Initial publish date
Apr 2021
Category
Women Authors, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780369102263
    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
    $18.95
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780369102287
    Publish Date
    Apr 2021
    List Price
    $13.99

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Description

Set in a rural Black Nova Scotian community, The Bridge explores the complex relationship between two brothers strained over twenty years of secrecy, deception, and dishonour. Secrets are revealed one by one from the brothers themselves, as well as a trio of community gossips who provide the musical backdrop for this gospel-infused tale. A story of a family torn apart by betrayal, The Bridge invites us to consider the roads we choose in life, and to wonder whether we can ever cross back over the bridges we burn along the way.

About the author

Shauntay Grant is a Canadian playwright, poet, performance artist, and children's author. She is an associate professor of creative writing at Dalhousie University, and former poet laureate for the City of Halifax. Her work examines African Nova Scotian and African diasporic history and folk culture, as well as contemporary approaches to literature and performance. Grant’s other honours include a Joseph S. Stauffer Prize from the Canada Council for the Arts, a Robert Merritt Award from Theatre Nova Scotia, a Best Atlantic Published Book Prize from the Atlantic Book Awards, a Poet of Honour prize from the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word, and a Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award from the Canadian Children's Book Centre for Africville (Groundwood Books).

Shauntay Grant's profile page

Awards

  • Winner, Robert Merritt Award for Outstanding New Play by a Nova Scotian

Excerpt: The Bridge (by (author) Shauntay Grant)

In 2010 the Choristers move through the church burial grounds. The Ensemble hums “Before the Heaven Doors Close.”

Choristers
(reading tombstone) Lord have mercy!

Chorister 3
Marcus Jeremiah Ross?

Chorister 2
I stillcan’t believe they let you be buried ’longside the church.

Chorister 1
All that sinnin’ you done did?

Choristers
Lord!

Chorister 2
Break and enterin’.

Chorister 3
Armed robbery.

Chorister 1
Assault wit’ a deadly weapon.

Chorister 3
Child abuse.

Chorister 2
Wife abuse.

Chorister 3
Fraud.

Choristers
Ain’t no way that man made it in.

Chorister 1
He mighta crossed the bridge. Made it far as heaven door. Might even got to knock knock knockin’ on it but so help me, I tell you . . .

Chorister 2
(interrupting) Preach!

Chorister 1
. . . soon that angel Gabriel seen his sorry ass try to step through the pearly gates, I know he look Marcus Jeremiah straight in the eye and say, “You must be out ya goddamn mind!”

Chorister 3
(to Chorister 1) Stop that now.

Chorister 1
God rest his soul.

Chorister 2
Amen.

Chorister 1
Well will you look at that—someone went put fresh flowers on Brother Bobbie grave.

Chorister 2
Shoulda put a bucket of chicken. That man was sooo fat.

Choristers 1 & 3 respond in agreement.

Took the whole community to lug his behind out the church when he passed. Casket so heavy Cousin Ronnie was pallbearin’ dropped his side, sent poor Aunt Paulina flyin’ down the church steps, knocked that old woman straight out!

Chorister 1
Almost had two funerals in one day.

Chorister 2
That man been dead five years but believe you me there’s enough meat on them bones to keep them maggots feastin’ for forty, fifty years to come.

Chorister 3
God rest his soul.

Chorister 2
Amen.

Chorister 3
Well now will you look at that.

Choristers pause at another gravesite.

Mary Elizabeth Carter.

Choristers 1 & 2
My Lord.

Choristers
I forgot you was even dead.

Chorister 1 spies John Solomon standing at Mama Irenie’s gravesite.

Chorister 3
Sorry I didn’t make it out to your funeral.

Chorister 2
Me too. Heard it was a lovely time.

Chorister 1
(motioning towards John Solomon) Look.

The humming stops. The Choristers observe John Solomon at Mama Irenie’s gravesite.

Chorister 2
Irene Isabella Moses.

Chorister 1
(motioning to John Solomon) Didn’t even come to his own mama / funeral.

Chorister 3
Shhh!

Chorister 2
God rest your soul.

Lights fade on the Choristers.

John Solomon
(singing) I’m gonna meet my mother in the wilderness
The wilderness, the wilderness
I’m gonna meet my mother in the wilderness
One of those days

Reverend Eli enters, spies his brother.

I’m goin’ right straight up yonder
I’m goin’ right straight up yonder
I’m goin’ . . .

Reverend Eli joins in.

John Solomon & Reverend Eli
(singing) . . . right straight . . .

John Solomon stops singing.

Reverend Eli
(singing) . . . up yonder
One of those days

John Solomon exits abruptly.

(calling after John Solomon) John!

Reverend Eli moves to Mama Irenie’s gravesite.

Editorial Reviews

The Bridge succeeds because it appeals to all the wonderful and inescapable facets of the human condition. For all of the trespasses, tests, and tribulations thrown our way, it is ultimately our decision of how we choose to react and respond.”

Carey Bray, Halifax Bloggers

The Bridge already feels like it should be a classic of the Canadian theatre canon . . . The intricate way this story is woven is unique and artful, and its layers create a resonant and powerfully emotional experience.”

Amanda "Equality" Campbell, TWISI: The Way I See It Theatre Blog

Other titles by Shauntay Grant