Voices of a Generation collects three Canadian plays that speak to millennials’ complex and varied experiences and the challenges and stereotypes they often face.
zahgidiwin/love by Frances Koncan follows Namid through multiple generations: as a victim of abuse in a residential school in the 1960s, as a missing woman held in a suburban basement in the 1990s, and as the rebellious daughter of a tyrannical queen in a post-apocalyptic, matriarchal society. A comedy about loss in the era of truth and reconciliation, zahgidiwin/love uses a mash-up of theatrical styles to embody the millennial creative impulse to remix and remake while presenting a vital perspective on what decolonization might look like both on and off stage.
The Millennial Malcontent by Erin Shields is a gender-swapped adaptation of Sir John Vanbrugh’s Restoration Comedy The Provoked Wife, following a group of millennials during a night out as they romantically and sexually pursue each other with comical results. Satirizing every trope from social media stardom to economic precarity to slacktivism, Shields reveals the loneliness lurking under every smiling profile photo.
In Smoke by Elena Eli Belyea, Aiden’s ex Jordan arrives at Aiden’s door to confront her about the allegation that Jordan sexually assaulted her two years ago, forcing them to discuss their conflicting memories of their last night together and whether and how they’re going to move forward. With Jordan meant to be performed by either a cis-male or cis-female actor, Smoke is a nuanced examination of issues and perceptions surrounding sexual assault and consent.
About the author
Michelle MacArthur is Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor’s School of Dramatic Art. Her research focuses on four main, often intersecting areas: theatre criticism, contemporary Canadian theatre, equity in theatre, and feminism and performance. Her work has appeared in several edited collections and journals, including Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Theatre Review, and Contemporary Theatre Review. As an editor, she has contributed to alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage, two issues of Canadian Theatre Review, and the collection Performing Adaptations: Conversations and Essays on the Theory and Practice of Adaptation. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto’s Centre for Drama, Theatre & Performance Studies.