Around the World in 80 Plays
A collaboration between CBC Radio's IDEAS and Soulpepper Theatre
Theatre has a unique power to transport us. Around The World in 80 Plays is an audio drama series mounted by Soulpepper Theatre Company.
The series takes listeners on a trip around the world with plays celebrating the global 'canon.' You'll hear works from Indigenous Canada, India, Argentina, Iran, Nigeria, Italy, Russia and Jamaica.
And CBC Radio's IDEAS will be your guide on that journey with its own radio documentaries exploring the cultural and historical context from these countries. The companion pieces celebrate how these iconic plays intersect with contemporary Canadian multiculturalism.
For more information on how to get tickets click here.
Moonlodge by Margo Kane
The Canadian one-woman play, Moonlodge was originally produced in the 1990s — when there were few Indigenous stories presented on stage. It's the story of Agnes, a young girl taken from her childhood home who embarks on a road trip of discovery across the United States. With humour and tragedy, the play tears at Indigenous stereotypes, and tells a story of identity and belonging, and how the past shapes the experience of Indigenous people today.
The Walls by Griselda Gambaro
In her 1963 play about truth, lies and state violence, Griselda Gambaro predicted the dark period Argentina was hurtling towards. As part of a collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company, we bring you inside a room where innocence doesn't exist and even the walls themselves can't be trusted.
Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello
Six characters whose story was never written take matters into their own hands by gatecrashing a theatre rehearsal, turning reality on its head in the metatheatrical masterpiece of Luigi Pirandello's Six Characters in Search of an Author. Italian-Canadian director Daniele Bartolini describes his lifelong relationship with the avant-garde play, and his approach to this SoulPepper Theatre Company production.
The Seagull by Anton Chekhov
The playwright Anton Chekhov wrote to a friend that he was writing a play with "a great deal of conversation about literature, little actions, tons of love." True to his promise, there's not a lot of action in The Seagull but there is a lot of talk and much falling in love — generally with the wrong people. The play highlights the interactions between people unable to communicate their deepest feelings, lying to each other, lying to themselves. It's not unlike our own lives, where there isn't a ready-made plot with a neat ending.
Hayavadana by Girish Karnad
'Love is imperfect, identity can be deceiving, and perfection is dangerous' is the way Soulpepper Theatre Company describes the message behind the play, Hayavadana. It's one of the most important Indian plays of the 20th century, and tells the story of three friends caught in a love triangle that leads to an intense identity crises after the heads of two of them are switched.
The Parliament of the Birds by Guillermo Verdecchia
The Parliament of the Birds is a 12th century Persian poem written by Farid ud-Din Attar. In it, the birds of the world come together to choose their king. The wisest bird of all, the hoopoe, leads a group on a perilous journey through seven great valleys — a journey filled with terror, confusion, and sacrifice, at the end of which the birds finally reach their destination and enlightenment. In collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company, and their audio drama series, Around The World in 80 Plays, this episode of IDEAS brings you the The Parliament of the Birds and the search for the divine within.
She Mami Wata and the Pxsssywitch Hunt by d'bi.young anitafrika
In Jamaica, life for queer people often constists of navigating a society where both church and state reject the LGBTQ community. In her play She Mami Wata and the Pxssywitch Hunt, Jamaican-Canadian playwright and dub poet d'bi.young anitafrika untangles this complex state of affairs. It follows the journey of three queer friends as they each make choices that will shape their lives forever.
Death and the King's Horseman by Wole Soyinka
In traditional Yoruba society, the performance of certain sacred rituals is thought to keep the world in order. So what happens when those rituals are interrupted by a colonial power? Does life go on? Or will this spiritual wrong be righted no matter what? Nobel laureate and playwright Wole Soyinka answers these questions in his 1975 play Death and the King's Horseman. This is the final episode in our collaboration with Soulpepper Theatre Company, and their audio series Around The World in 80 Plays.