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Ryan Recommends: Yesterday the Children Were Dancing (Hier Les Enfants Dansaient)

By: Ryan Quinn

Editor’s note: This article marks the first of a weekly series to come from Ryan Quinn. If you are an actor or a theatre lover, keep up to date with what plays you should read before you hit the stage. 

Gélinas, Gratien – Yesterday the Children Were Dancing (Hier Les Enfants Dansaient)

A French-Canadian politician and his separatist son debate the issue of a divided Canada on the eve of a monumental event for them both: one will be becoming a congressman in Ottawa, the other is orchestrating a series of explosions to undermine English influence in Québec. A great microcosm of that way the debate was raging in the late 1960s, which was of course when the FLQ was active. It’s as tense as Pinter and as character-driven as Miller, and it’s still incredibly significant, especially taking into account the student revolt currently going on in Québec. There are some amazing scenes and monologues for young and older actors. I read the translation by Mavor Moore, which was as emotionally resonant as I imagine the original text to be.

1967 – 5 males, 3 females

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