The finalists for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for drama

The $25,000 prizes recognize the best Canadian books of the year. The winners will be announced on Nov. 17, 2021.
The finalists for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for drama. (Canada Council for the Arts/CBC)

Here are the finalists for the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for drama.

The Governor General's Literary Awards are one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious literary prizes. 

The prizes, administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, are awarded in seven English-language categories: fictionnonfictionpoetryyoung people's literature — textyoung people's literature — illustration, drama and translation. Seven French-language awards are also given out in the same categories.

Each winner will receive $25,000. The winners will be announced on Nov. 17, 2021.

The drama category was assessed by Marcia Johnson, Matthew MacKenzie and Robert Tsonos.

You can see the finalists in all seven categories here.

Get to know the drama finalists below.

Crippled by Paul David Power

Crippled is a play by Newfoundland writer and actor Paul David Power. (Breakwater Books, Mark Cumby/CBC)

Paul David Power's acclaimed play Crippled follows a character's journey through grief, disability and redemption in Newfoundland. The story centres on Tony, who grows up in Shale Harbour, N.L. with the nickname "Crippled" because of his physical disability. Years later, Tony arrives in St. John's at a breaking point. Fed up with his disability and grieving the loss of his partner, Tony is offered a chance at changing his fortunes when a stranger appears at the right moment.

Power is a playwright, actor and director based in St. John's. Crippled is inspired by his own experiences of growing up with a disability and losing a loved one. The play ran to critical and audience acclaim in St. John's and at the Fundy Fringe Festival in N.B.

Selfie by Christine Quintana

Selfie is a play by actor and writer Christine Quintana. (Playwrights Canada Press,

Christine Quintana's Selfie explores community and consent through the eyes of three teenagers. Emma returns from an idyllic summer in Paris in time to start a new year at high school. Her best friend Lily throws a wild party to celebrate Emma's homecoming. Emma is excited to spend time with Lily's older brother Chris — but the next morning feels like something went wrong. The entire school turns their back on Emma, as a doctor and police confirm there was sexual assault at the party.

Quintana was born in the U.S. and now lives in B.C. She's a founding member of the Canadian Latinx Theatre Artist Coalition. Selfie won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 2018, the Tom Hendry Award for Theatre for Young Audiences in 2018 and The Sydney Risk Prize in 2015.

Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes by Hannah Moscovitch

Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes is a play by Hannah Moscovitch. (Playwrights Canada Press, Alejandro Santiago)

Hannah Moscovitch explores the power dynamics of a student-professor relationship in her play Sexual Misconduct of the Middle ClassesJon's a popular professor and author facing the end of his third marriage. He's an emotional wreck when his eye is caught by a student in a red coat — Annie, a 19-year-old student and admirer of his work. When Annie is locked out of her house, just down the road from Jon, their relationship quickly escalates under his control.

Moscovitch is a playwright, TV writer and librettist based in Halifax. She's received many honours over her career, including the Trillium Book Award, Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award and the Windham-Campbell Prize. She's been nominated for the Governor General's Literary Award for drama twice before — in 2019 for What a Young Wife Ought to Know and in 2009 for East of Berlin.

Take d Milk, Nah? by Jivesh Parasram

A play by Jivesh Parasram. (Playwrights Press Canada, Marko Kovacevic)

Jivesh Parasram's comedic play explores how other people's perceptions can complicate one's own sense of identity. Jiv is Canadian, Indian, Hindu, West Indian, Trinidadian and Nova Scotian. His family calls him "the white boy." His white neighbours think he's Black, but his Black neighbours are pretty sure he doesn't belong with them either. Jiv is on a mission to find his place in the world, looking for answers in coffee table books and on retreats to Trinidad.

Parasram grew up in Nova Scotia and now lives in Vancouver. He received the 2018 Toronto Arts Foundation emerging Artist Award and is the artistic director of Rumble Theatre. The play was adapted for CBC's PlayME podcast.

Two Indians by Falen Johnson

Two Indians is a play by Falen Johnson. (Scirocco Drama / J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, CBC)

Cousins Win and Roe reunite in a Toronto alleyway after years apart in the play Two Indians. Win's being living on the rez, while Roe moved to the city to get away from family tragedy. Win and Roe try to recreate a ceremony they used to do as kids — but aren't sure if they remember how it's done. The cousins contemplate their place as Mohawk women, as the news cycle churns with words like "missing and murdered," "truth and reconciliation" and "occupation and resistance" on a regular basis.

Falen Johnson is Mohawk and Tuscarora (Bear Clan) from Six Nations Grand River Territory. She's a podcaster, writer and co-host of The Secret Life of Canada and Unreserved on CBC Radio.

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