285 pages
ISBN 0-920486-63-0
DDC C812'.608




Edited by Brian Drader
Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp, a former professor of drama at Queen’s University, is
the author of The Pleasures and Treasures of the United Kingdom.


Breakout is a collection of plays written between 2000 and 2004 by
writers who have been discovered mainly through the Young Emerging
Playwrights program organized by the Manitoba Association of Playwrights
and the Prairie Theatre Exchange Company in Winnipeg.

Reading these plays is to be taken on a journey through the minds of
five young and vibrant voices who seek to span that impossibly wide gulf
between the teen years and adulthood by tackling themes ranging from
teen suicide to cultural assimilation. Some of these themes are
universal, while others are grounded in the prairie experience; all are
explored with a freshness and clarity of insight that is often given to
the young.

“To Forgive, Divine” by Joseph Aragon challenges our belief in the
principle of redemption as it tells the story of a mother and a daughter
trying to reconcile with each other. “Shades of Brown” by Primrose
Madayag Knazan draws on the Filipino immigrant experience to explore
interracial dating, among other issues. “The Good Daughter” by Ginny
Collins is a black comedy about a dysfunctional family of three women in
charge of a rum-running operation in Saskatchewan in the 1930s.
“PACT” by David Ferber is an unflinching look at the phenomenon of
teen suicide. Finally, “Pyg” by Rose Condo examines the impossible
and depression-inducing ideals that are imposed on us by popular culture
and the media.

Unfettered by conceptions of how plays ought to be written, these young
writers had the courage to look deep within themselves and fearlessly
share their innermost thoughts and feelings with an audience.


“Breakout,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 17, 2024,