OUTSPOKEN edited by Susan G. Cole (Playwrights Canada Press), 163 pages, $19.95 paper. Rating: NNNN
The wide spectrum of lesbian voices gets heard loud and clear in OutSpoken, a collection of scenes and monologues by queer Canadian playwrights.[rssbreak]
Chosen by NOW’s senior entertainment editor, Susan G. Cole, who also provides a thoughtful introduction and comments on the selections, the anthology includes pieces with which theatregoing readers are likely familiar, such as Ann-Marie MacDonald’s Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet) and Diane Flacks’s Bear With Me. But you’ll also find less well-known but equally fascinating works like Moynan King’s Bathory and David Demchuk’s Rosalie Sings Alone. (Yes, male writers are included.)
Just as important are selections by the magnificent Quebec writer Jovette Marchessault, groundbreaking trans writer Alec Butler, perceptive playwright Corrina Hodgson, and Sonja Mills’s fondly remembered, raunchy lesbian soap opera from the 90s, Dyke City. You’ll also find a piece of feminist history in the 1882 excerpt from Sarah Anne Curzon’s The Sweet Girl Graduate, in which the female speaker dresses as a man to get into university.
Rich in its variety of themes and the dramatic strength of its selections, OutSpoken is a fine companion volume to PCP’s earlier volume Lesbian Plays: Coming Of Age In Canada, edited by Rosalind Kerr.