Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Grade: 8
Shane, Tommy, Brad, and Andy are disconnected from themselves, and everyone around them because they’ve been taught, as part of “being a man,” to be aggressive and invulnerable. Language is used to reduce, disparage, and control others. In this play, Dennis Foon invents a slang for the characters to speak, to point at the way we use words as weapons.
About the authors
Dennis Foon was co-founder of VancouverÃ¢??s acclaimed Green Thumb Theatre and served as artistic director for twelve years. As a playwright, his body of plays continues to be produced internationally in numerous languages and he has received the British Theatre AWard, two Chalmers Canadian Play Awards, the Jesse Richardson Career Achievement Award, and the International Arts for Young Audiences Award. In 2007 he was made a lifetime member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada for his Ã¢??outstanding contribution to Canadian Playwriting and Theatre.Ã¢?Â His play Kindness received the 2009 AATE Distinguished Play Award. His newest play, Scar Tissue, premiered at the Arts Club Theatre.
HeÃ¢??s won a Gemini, two WGC Awards, three Leos, and a Robert W. Wagner Award for his screenplays, which include Little Criminals, White Lies, Torso, and Terry. He is also the co-writer of Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity and A Shine of Rainbows, which won a Leo and received a Genie Nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. He wrote the screenplay for the feature Life Above All, Prix FranÃ’Â«ois Chalais winner at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, 2011 Academy Award Shortlist for Best Foreign Language Film, and a Leo winner for Best Screenplay. His novel Skud (Groundwood Books, 2003) received a BC Book Prize, and his sci-fi/fantasy trilogy, The Longlight Legacy, has been published in five languages.
Guillermo Verdecchia is a writer of drama, fiction, and film; a director, dramaturge, actor, and translator whose work has been seen and heard on stages, screens, and radios across the country and around the globe. The author, or co-author, of, among other works, The Noam Chomsky Lectures and Insomnia (with Daniel Brooks); Fronteras Americanas, The Terrible but Incomplete Journals of John D., bloom; A Line in the Sand (with Marcus Youssef), and the controversial Adventures of Ali and Ali and the Axes of Evil (with Camyar Chai and Marcus Youssef). He is a recipient of the Governor General’s AWard for Drama, a four-time winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, a recipient of Dora and Jessie Awards, and sundry film festival awards for his film Crucero/Crossroads, based on Fronteras Americanas and made with Ramiro Puerta.
He lives in Toronto with Tamsin Kelsey, his partner of many years, and their two children.
Awards and Recognition*
Chalmers Canadian Play Award (1997) A Line the Sand with Marcus Youssef
Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards, Community Recognition Award (1994)
Chalmers Canadian Play Award (1994) Fronteras Americanas
Governor General’s Award for Drama (1993) Fronteras Americanas
Governor General’s Award for Drama, Finalist (1992) The Noam Chomsky Lectures with Daniel Brooks
Chalmers Canadian Play Award (1992) The Noam Chomsky Lectures with Daniel Brooks
Chalmers Canadian Play Award (1990) i.d.
“Dennis Foon, author of New Canadian Kid and Skin and Liars, gives us a violent jolt into the world of adolescence with his new play, War. Growing up to be a man is not easy in a society where brutality and aggression are a means of survival and dreams are held at knife-point. And Foon’s teens do have dreams. Their hopes are voiced in soliloquies that are often lyrical and powerful.”
—Jennifer Sullivan, CM Magazine
WarThis play tells the story of four guys in high school, on the cusp of manhood. However, none of them has any idea what it means to be a man, or how they’re supposed to go about it. Note: This play contains mature themes and language.
Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2008.