Joan MacLeod: Playwright
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Homechild

Another Home Invasion
Published by Talon Books 2009
 
We see the recent rise of home invasions in our society as a violation of our most intimate places: the perpetration of heinous crimes upon the aged, the disabled, the helpless, victimizing our citizens precisely where rules of hospitality and generosity should govern our social relations.

All this and more is the subject of this perceptively poignant play, Another Home Invasion, where “another” carries both its meanings: something commonplace; and something of an entirely different kind and nature. Of course this play involves the hapless, substance-abusing, middle-aged petty criminal we expect to find there, but is he the real threat to the home’s occupants? Who are the real perpetrators of the heartless betrayal of the elderly couple who lives here: who is it that’s robbing them of their possessions, their security, their relationship, their family—their home? The answers to these questions are as surprising as they are unsettling.
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Homechild

Homechild
Published by Talon Books 2008
 
A play about family secrets and about the many forms of love, longing and aspiration they conceal. And it’s about loss. It takes a piece of history from a dark corner of our country’s past and dramatizes its tragic impact through the generations of one family. Homechild is set in Glengarry County in eastern Ontario where both of Joan MacLeod’s parents were raised on farms just a few miles apart. Each had home children working on their family’s farms in the 1920s, something she wasn’t aware of when she first started her research for this play.
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Toronto, Mississippi

Toronto, Mississippi
Published by Talon Books 2008*
 
Jhana, is a beautiful eighteen-year-old who lives with her mother Maddie and their boarder Bill, a sometime poet. Jhana’s father, King, shows up partway through the first act and its his presence for the first time in a long time in this unusual family that really galvanizes all four of the characters into action.

The play came out of the author’s decade-long involvement working with mentally handicapped adults and children as a life skills instructor. Re-released in a revised and updated edition, it is Joan MacLeod’s first full-length play, receiving over twenty international productions over the past two decades.
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The Shape of a Girl / Jewel

The Shape of a Girl / Jewel
Published by Talon Books 2002**
 
The Shape of a Girl goes far beyond a simple dramatization of the seemingly inexplicable code of silence and tacit complicity which surrounded the sensationalized Reena Virk murder in 1997 on which the play is based. It speaks eloquently and compassionately to a world increasingly dominated by all forms of collectivised and ritualized tribalist hatred, and offers the embrace of trust as the only way out of this circle of violence.

Jewel
is also based on a real-life catastrophe—the sinking of the Ocean Ranger, an oil rig off the coast of Newfoundland, on Valentine’s Day, 1982. Three years later, a widow, Marjorie Clifford, at home in her trailer in Fort St. John, begins to take the first step in understanding that the humanity of love, in all of its tentative frailty, uncertainty and promise, can free a life paralysed and dominated by loss.
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2000

2000
Published by Talon Books 1997
 
According to Joan MacLeod, her play 2000 grew out of a story she read about a cougar that had wandered into a sports arena in Vancouver, B.C.: “I was intrigued by the notion of the wild invading the city and the city invading the wild, by the idea of things being not quite right in nature and the approach of the millennium.”
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The Hope Slide / Little Sister

The Hope Slide / Little Sister
Published by Talon Books 1997**
 
Two plays by award-winning playwright Joan MacLeod. Little Sister was first performed at Theatre Direct in Toronto in 1994 and won the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, Theatre for Young Audiences in 1995. The Hope Slide was first performed at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto in 1992 and won the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award in 1994.
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Amigo's Blue Guitar

Amigo's Blue Guitar
Published by Talon Books (1991)

A college student's life is given meaning when he chooses to sponsor Elias, a Salvadoran refugee, as a class project. When Elias arrives, his hosts Sander and his family learn what it means and feels to be a refugee and how to relate to someone who has endured such intense personal grief. The warmth and humour of the characters invite us to embrace the situation—be at once moved and threatened by it—and to consider how we ourselves would react. Cast of 2 women and 3 men.
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