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Drama Canadian

The Donnellys

by (author) James Reaney

introduction by Alan Filewod

Publisher
Dundurn Press
Initial publish date
May 2008
Category
Canadian, General, English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781550028324
    Publish Date
    May 2008
    List Price
    $24.99
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781459720763
    Publish Date
    May 2008
    List Price
    $8.99
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780888781178
    Publish Date
    May 2000
    List Price
    $18.95

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Description

Based on the true story of an Irish family with seven sons and one daughter immigrating to Biddulph Township near London, Ontario, in 1844, The Donnellys tells the tale of mystery and truths stranger than fiction. It is the story of a secret society and a massacre that shocked the Canadian public, a story overlooked by the artistic community until Reaney’s play elevated the events to the level of legend. First published in 1975, this script takes its place among other true Canadian classics on university and college course listings and in the hearts of drama lovers everywhere. The Donnellys is a trilogy comprised of Sticks & Stones, St. Nicholas Hotel and Handcuffs, three tense and mythic tragedies that garnered critical praise at the 1973 Tarragon Theatre opening and continue to acquire accolades from professors, actors and artistic directors across the country. As with the drama of Yeats, Eliot, O’Neill, Brecht and Beckett, this rendering of a generation of Irish settlers and their brutal murder at the hands of more than thirty vigilante killers is controversial and exciting to this day. Foreword, Afterword and Chronology by James Noonan.

About the authors

James Reaney was born on a farm in South Easthope near Stratford, Ontario in 1926. He has won the Governor General's Award three times for his poetry, though he is perhaps better-known as a playwright, especially for his landmark Donnelly trilogy (1974-75). Reaney's theatrical adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice Through the Looking-Glass returned to the stage at Stratford in the summer of 1996.

His work includes: The Red Heart, poems, 1949; A Suit of Nettles, poems, 1958; Twelve Letters to a Small Town, poems, 1962; The Killdeer & Other Plays, drama, 1962; Colours in the Dark, drama, 1969; Collected Poems, 1972; Listen to the Wind, drama, 1972; The Donnellys, a trilogy of plays, 1974-75; Baldoon (with C.H. Gervais), 1976; The Boy With an R in His Hand, young adult, 1980; Take the Big Picture, young adult, 1986; Alice Through the Looking-Glass, stage adaptation, 1994. James Reaney died in 2008.

James Reaney's profile page

Alan Filewod is professor of Theatre Studies and director of the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph, Ontario. His research fields include Canadian theatre history, radical political theatre and masculinist performance in war play and re-enactment. His books include Committing Theatre: Theatre Radicalism and Political Intervention (2011), Performing Canada: The Nation Enacted in the Imagined Theatre (2002), Collective Encounters: Documentary Theatre in English Canada (1987), and, with David Watt, Workers' Playtime: Theatre and the Labour Movement since 1970 (2001). He is a past president of the Association for Canadian Theatre Research and of the Association for Canadian and Quebec Literatures/Association des littératures canadienne et québécoise, and is a former editor of Canadian Theatre Review. As a theatre activist he was a member of the Mummers Troupe in Newfoundland in the 1970s, and in the 1980s was a founder of the Canadian Popular Theatre Alliance. Honours include the Ann Saddlemyer Book Prize (twice), the Richard Plant Essay Prize (both from the Canadian Association for Theatre Research), the President’s Distinguished Scholar Award at the University of Guelph, the University of Guelph Distinguished Professor Teaching Award, and the Ontario Confederation of Faculty Associations Teaching Award.

Alan Filewod's profile page

Other titles by James Reaney

Other titles by Alan Filewod