Divinity Bash/nine Lives

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Talonbooks, Jan 1, 1999 - Drama - 127 pages
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Bryden MacDonald's most extreme venture into the world of the theatre to date, Divinity Bash, creates a play informed by Ionesco's arid visions, Dali's baroque excesses and Jim Morrison's amateur nihilisms. As the main character, Albert's secure and straight world begins to unravel, so does the structure of the language, leaving words and images to fly away from and into each other like Escher's black birds. It is a play which proposes that of all the possible fantasies one could have indulged in, the neo-con vision of the '90s emerged victorious because it had the invincible virtue of being the simplest (and the most stupid). Subtitled ‘nine lives,' MacDonald describes Divinity Bash as ‘a play in three acts for five men, three women and a hermaphrodite.' It is a play where gender and social place shift and rebuild like sand dunes in a desert-as if the nine Muses threw a party at which Cassandra was the only guest.

Divinity Bash is a play in which everything, and therefore nothing, is sacred: sterile aliens abduct the unemployed while their boyfriends leave their wives and pour out their grief and longing by singing sentimental pop music at Karaoke bars. It struts and frets its absurdities on a stage of collapsing and colliding walls; between the hell that is the here and now of the late 20th century and the possibility of a heaven far off at the horizon where the sea meets the sky like the converging pages of an open book: the edge of the margin one can always see, always move toward, but never get to. Divinity Bash is a damn good way to say goodbye to the century.

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About the author (1999)

Bryden MacDonald
Bryden MacDonald is a playwright, director, dramaturge, and teacher. His published plays are Whale Riding Weather, The Weekend Healer, and Divinity Bash/nine lives. His latest play, With Bated Breath, premiered at Montreal's Centaur Theatre in April 2009. He has created and directed theatrical interpretations of the words and music of Leonard Cohen (Sincerely a Friend), Carol Pope & Rough Trade (Shaking the Foundations), and Joni Mitchell (When All the Slaves Are Free). He has taught and coached students at The National Theatre School of Canada and McGill University, served as resident dramaturge at Playwrights Workshop Montreal, and was the mentoring director for Imago Theatre's Inaugural Directors' Gym. He has conducted workshops or been artist-in-residence or guest artist at a number of theatres and festivals across the country, including The Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Factory Theatre, and Neptune Theatre. He has sat on juries at The Canada Council and been a member of the board of directors for The Quebec Drama Federation. He is happy to be making his home in Nova Scotia again.

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