About the Author

Nadine Desrochers

Translations by Nadine Desrochers include four plays by Sarah Berthiaume, two of which, The Flood Thereafter (Talisman Theatre, 2010) and Yukonstyle (Playwrights Canada Press, 2014), were part of Canadian Stage’s 2013/2014 season; Marilyn Perreault's Rock, Paper, Jackknife… (Talisman Theatre, 2009; Playwrights Canada Press, 2010) and BUS STOPS (Théâtre I.N.K/Centaur Theatre, 2016); and Billy (The Days of Howling), by Fabien Cloutier (Talisman, 2014; A Play, A Pie and a Pint, Traverse Theatre/Òran Mór, Scotland). Her translation of The Medea Effect, by Suzie Bastien (hotINK festival, New York, and Talisman Theatre, 2012) won the 2013 META Award for Outstanding New Translation.

Books by this Author
The Bears Sleep at Last

Sasha’s apartment, a few hours later. Marcus is sleeping. Sasha is working on equations in a notebook. Next to him, a cup of coffee.

Marcus: (awaking abruptly) Sasha! I dreamt I was suffocating, that my tongue went to hide at the back of my throat because the students in my class were asking what my nickname was. I couldn’t answer, I didn’t have one, and my tongue went to hide at the back of my throat forever! Sasha? Sasha?!

Sasha: I’m here, Marcus. Breathe. Please, just breathe.

Marcus: Okay.

Sasha: But do it as well.

Marcus breathes.

Marcus: I can’t go to school, Sasha. Everyone there must already have loads of nicknames.

Sasha: What are you talking about . . . It’s normal for you not to have one. To get a nickname, you must first go to school. People must get to know you first.

Marcus: I would really like for my nickname to be nice.

Sasha: It will be, it will be.

Marcus gets back into bed. Sasha sits close by and goes back to his equations.

Marcus: Aren’t you going to sleep?

Sasha: I am trying to figure out how many more blocks of ice I will need to carry per hour. Three degrees higher, that’s the forecast. I have to maintain a temperature that’s bearable for my bears . . . though it’s barely bearable . . . so to speak . . . 

. . .

Marcus: Sasha . . . the date that’s circled in red on the calendar . . . what is it?

Sasha: Now’s not the time, Marcus.

Marcus: We know each other pretty well, now. Enough to share each other’s secrets, don’t you think? And I’m really curious about it.

Sasha: I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.

Marcus: Actually, right at this moment, it’s more the red pen you used to circle the date that makes me curious. That part of the story shouldn’t be so long to tell . . .

Sasha smiles.

Sasha: Fair enough, I’ll try and find your pen for you.

Sasha digs around. Marcus is all hope.


Marcus: You found it?

Sasha: Oh.

Marcus: What?

Sasha: I forgot to put the cap back on. I’m sorry, Marcus.

Marcus: (undone) It doesn’t matter.

. . .

Sasha: Marcus, since you’ve been here, I know I haven’t always stepped up. But if you could just wait another ten days . . . if you could just wait until that date that’s circled on the calendar . . .

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