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Essay on Canadian Drama

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The representation of queer culture within Canadian literature, and more specifically theatre, can vary based on the multiple means that the playwright chooses to animate. In this instance, by differentiating French Canadian and Western Canadian queer theatre, we are able to analyze what drives each cultural representation. Montreal had experienced gay liberation in the mid 70’s, and theatre was empowered by such a movement to captivate audiences with the idea of a gay individual rather than a stereotype. (William, 2004) In western society, society and the government produced mostly pieces that educated on safe sex, relationships, and AIDS. (Stanton, 1996) Evidently, both areas produced equally different pieces that exhibited queer theatre in relevance to each play’s respective area.
“A diverse collection, which moves in a variety of directions. Some pieces are overtly theoretical, some more empirical, some descriptive, and some polemical. Some combine all of these approaches. They show the possible range in academic studies of gay and lesbian cultures in Canada. The dimensions of those cultures are complex and varied. Such a collection reflects that diversity.” (Goldie, 2001)
By showcasing the cultural importance of queer representation, and the diversity of such representation, we see first hand the significance and need to see this communicated through the theatre art form. French Canadian theatre has the tendency to often focus the play on the personage submersed within queer culture. English Canadian theatre is far more ensemble based, presenting characters engulfed in queer culture. By deconstructing the approaches that French Canadian playwright Steve Galluccio, Mambo Italiano, and English Canadi...


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... Canada, we are able to evoke a culture and its urgency into a philosophy and art form.



Works Cited

Galluccio, Steve. Mambo italiano. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2004. Print.



Goldie, Terry. In a queer country: gay and lesbian studies in the Canadian context. Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2001. Print.


Hannah, Don. In the lobster capital of the world. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 1990. Print.




Leap, William, and Tom Boellstorff. Speaking in queer tongues: globalization and gay language. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2004. Print.



Stanton, Sarah, and Martin Banham. Cambridge paperback guide to theatre. Cambridge [etc. : Cambridge university press, 1996. Print.


Wagner, Anton. Establishing our boundaries: English-Canadian theatre criticism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1999. Print.


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