Willful Acts


223 pages
ISBN 0-88910-304-6





Rosalie I. Tennison is Editor of Communicator Magazine.


Willful Acts is a five-play collection of Margaret Hollingsworth’s work spanning several years. The character Muriel, in Islands, sums up in one sentence the common thread that ties all the plays together. When speaking to her mother, Rose, Muriel comments: “Relationships don’t make any sense anymore” (p. 127). Thus relationships, and how different women deal with them in various environments, are central to the plays.

The two plays that have the greatest impact are the longer entries, Ever Loving and War Babies. Both deal with women’s separation from home or family or children and they examine heterosexual pairings from the female point of view. Sometimes the plot is advanced through the character’s fantasy, as in the “play within a play” technique in War Babies.

Willful Acts features various types of Hollingsworth’s writing, from full-length dramas to shorter radio plays and a vignette called Diving. It is a volume that shows the scope of the playwright’s work and offers samples of her talent. Hollingsworth is a sensitive and talented writer who manages to draw on many aspects of her own life to express her feelings on women in society. These plays deal with ideas and feelings that challenge the actor but will also challenge the reader.


Hollingsworth, Margaret, “Willful Acts,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/36027.