New Works I


548 pages
ISBN 0-88754-451-7
DDC C812




Rosalie I. Tennison is Editor of Communicator Magazine.


New Works I is a collection of five plays written by western Canadian playwrights. The introduction states the plays “have virtually nothing in common except that they are strong first plays that merit further production and attention.” It is a varied collection that showcase some of the small regional theatres’ recent productions.

The Shunning by Patrick Friesen and The Prairie Church of Buster Galloway by Lyle Victor Albert have strong rural settings and examine community strength. The former deals with religious community and loss of faith. The latter shows the closeness of a secular community and questions the trust between friends.

Walter and Roy by Michael D.C. MeKinlay is a vignette about cartoonist Walt Disney and his brother Roy. There is no indication whether the action is based on an actual incident but it points out the artist’s need to be recognized.

Murray McRae’s Visiting Hours is a family drama set in a cardiac ward. His treatment of rivalry between family members is sensitive and the manner in which the characters react to fear is insightful.

The final entry, House, by Nick Mitchell is difficult to categorize. The point of the play is unclear and the end is ambiguous. It appears Mitchell is attempting to do something different with the mystery genre, but it doesn’t quite click.

New Works I is a good collection by up-and-coming playwrights. Their inclusion here indicates the promise their first plays have shown and the potential each has for a long career in Canadian theatre.


Friesen, Patrick, Michael D.C. McKinlay, Lyle Victor Albert, Murray McRae, Nick Mitchell, “New Works I,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,