96 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 1-896239-20-X
DDC C812'.54




Ian Burns Maclennan is an assistant professor of theatre arts at
Thorneloe College, Laurentian University.


Andrew Moodie has written a play that intersects several areas of
Canadian life—immigrant, Quebecker, African-Canadian, gay—and allows
the issues that ground these groups to interact with surprisingly
humorous (and, at times, controversial) effect.

The setting of the play is black (Native and immigrant) Toronto,
particularly West Indian Toronto, as experienced by six young people who
are all trying to cope in their various ways with life as the Other in a
subconsciously, and sometimes overtly, racist society. Rather than
hitting the audience over the head with statistics of intimidation,
repression, assault, and other forms of discrimination that exist in the
world of marginal groups in this society, Moodie gives his characters a
chance to sing as they endure intolerance and prejudice from the powers
that be.

Set at the time of the Rodney King verdict, Riot addresses how the
issues that created that situation in the United States are also
prevalent in Canadian society. This historical context accesses several
social trajectories that need discussion in Canadian life, issues of
being marginal and other, of insecurity because of skin color or accent,
of exclusion from Canadian life because of social or economic status.
Moodie competently weaves all these issues and concepts into a personal
and ultimately life-affirming play that celebrates as much as it

A winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, Moodie’s first play is
a welcome sign that multicultural Canadian theatre means more than just
lip service to liberal ideas and concepts.


Moodie, Andrew., “Riot,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 14, 2024,