Mirror Game


63 pages
ISBN 0-921368-24-0
DDC C812'.54





Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is assistant director of libraries at the University of
Saskatchewan and director of La Troupe du Jour, Regina Summer Stage.


Mirror Game presents teen lives fragmented by abuse in two acts of
fragmented scenes by Dennis Foon, the much-awarded author of New
Canadian Kids. The two-act version is an expansion of a highly
successful one-act created for Vancouver’s Green Thumb Theatre in
1988. Unfortunately, the expanded version shows a few stretch marks and
at one point seems to veer into a major theme other than that of abuse.

The cycle of perpetuation of abuse from generation to generation is the
essence of the play’s title; the young people will repeat the abusive
patterns they encounter at home. The sets of parents in this play are
seen only in screen images or as silhouettes. Each of the four young
people in the cast has his or her own abusive home life to overcome, so
that, alas, the overall situation is very much one of the wounded
leading the wounded, and in some instances enabling, minimizing, and
rationalizing the current round of abuse that we see. One girl seems to
have a particular inner strength, in spite of having to deal with
alcoholism at home, and is the key to breaking the cycle. No adults
intervene effectively, a commentary on the isolation of generations and
the lack of adequate helping agencies or sensitive teachers and

Emotional and physical abuse, alcoholism, and co-dependency are the
main subjects of this largely bleak play, which nevertheless has touches
of wry humor. The ending is an abrupt and humorous upbeat.


Foon, Dennis., “Mirror Game,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/13350.