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Drama Canadian

Winners and Losers

by (author) Marcus Youssef & James Long

Publisher
Talonbooks
Initial publish date
Aug 2015
Category
Canadian
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9780889229334
    Publish Date
    Aug 2015
    List Price
    $16.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780889229327
    Publish Date
    May 2015
    List Price
    $16.95

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Description

Two buddies, theatre artists and long-time friends Marcus and James, sit at a table and pass the time together playing a made-up game in which they name people, places, or things – Pamela Anderson, microwave ovens, their fathers, Goldman Sachs – and debate whether they are successful or not; in other words, whether they are winners or losers. Each friend seeks to defeat the other, and because one of these men grew up economically privileged, and the other did not, the competition very quickly adds up.

Winners and Losers showcases the work of two giants of the Vancouver indie theatre scene. James Long’s Theatre Replacement develops work specific to particular places and the people who live in them. Marcus Youssef’s Neworld Theatre investigates questions of power, culture, and belonging.

 

 

Their first collaborative work is a staged conversation that embraces the ruthless logic of capitalism, and tests its impact on our closest personal relationships as well as our most intimate experiences of self.

About the authors

Marcus Youssef
Writer and performer Marcus Youssef is a regular contributor of drama, commentary and documentary to numerous programs on the CBC network. He also writes regularly for publications such as Vancouver Magazine, Georgia Straight, Rice Paper, and This Magazine. For many years, Youssef has also dedicated himself to numerous community-based advocacy programs that aim at using writing and/or theatre as a tool for procuring political and social change.
Guillermo Verdecchia
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. 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.
Camyar Chai
Camyar Chai has worked in theatre and film for more than 20 years. He is the founder of Vancouver’s acclaimed NeWorld Theatre. He has worked as a freelance actor, director, and writer as well as engaging in Arts Education. In addition to writing plays, Camyar has also written librettos for opera. An award-winning theatre maker, he received his Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the University of British Columbia.

Marcus Youssef's profile page

James Long's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"Winners and Losers looks a lot like open heart surgery. Metaphoric blood is spilled but, strangely, the experience for the audience is exhilarating. The possibility that friendship can survive or even be strengthened by such excruciating honesty is inspirational and opens up floodgates of introspection.”
Vancouver Courier

At the moment, in the independent sector, we've seen the raise of devised, creation-based work. the text for this type of work does not come out of the traditional, playwright working in isolation process. Often the subject of the work is the creators themselves (in a strange hybrid of performance art and reality television). To my mind, the single best work that I've seen come out of this area of exploration has been Winners & Losers by Marcus Youssef and James Long, which is simply amazing and the show I'd suggest anyone to see to understand what's going on in Canada right now.
– Andrew Templeton, New York City World Theatre Day, nycwtd.blogspot.ca/

“Ground-breaking … truth-daring … a fascinating, disturbing, and original experience … It is easy to imagine a second act … If you see this play you will want to talk about it immediately. It’s a winner.” – BC Bookworld

Winners and Losers is a loser if you want a traditional, controlled theater experience that doesn’t make you squirm at its awkward, winding vamps and volleys. … [but] Winners and Losers is a winner once it starts to think big. … An ethical high ground is at stake. … the personal becomes intensely political. … victimhood rears its ugly head and the (finally) resonant competition has you leaning in by its pitch-perfect, heavy ending. … What gets in your head are the spot-on depictions, large and small, of people abusing candor and bending the rules in an inescapable race to come out on top.” – Washington Post

Winners & Losers provides pleasure and unease … Exploration of the psyches of two very different men teases viewers with insights into themselves … at the heart of the show is the central question of how to be an artist, a man, a father — how to be a person, really — when you are smart enough to recognize your extraordinary privilege but self-aware enough to still feel the pain of your history. … it isn’t always clear which parts are improvised and which are scripted. That tension gives the evening a terrific sense of immediacy and danger. … a funny, fierce, unsettling theatrical experience that refuses to let you go after you’ve left the theatre.” – Vancouver Sun

"As the gloves come off, the intensity increases. The guiding theory behind the game is that you can’t have two winners sitting next to each other; for there to be a winner, the men reason, there has to be a loser.”
Globe and Mail

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