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dc.contributor.authorNothof, Anne
dc.identifier.uri /1792
dc.descriptionI presented my paper at a session which took place on Sunday, June 1 at 1:45 in the Drama Department at UBC. This session included three papers on contemporary Canadian playwrights. Although it was concurrent with two others, it was well-attended, and the response was positive and helpful. To illustrate my interpretation of Vern Thiessen’s Vimy, I used a powerpoint presentation of 28 production photos taken by David Cooper, provided by Jason Magee, from the publicity department of the Citadel Theatre in Edmonton. These greatly enhanced the presentation, and engaged the audience, as was evident in the questions and comments following the session. Since I have selected a production photo of Vimy for the home page of the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia, this particular representation of Canadian drama provided a lively discussion. A colleague also questioned whose stories were represented in the play. Could it be construed as a “national” narrative? Since I have been engaged in researching and writing on the ways in which Canadian drama imagines a nation, this was indeed a pertinent question. The editor of Theatre Research in Canada has invited me to submit the paper for publication. This I will do after some extension and revision.en
dc.description.abstractVern Thiessen’s epic play, Vimy, which premiered at the MacLab in the Citadel Theatre, Edmonton just in time for Remembrance Day 2007, moves through the borders of place and time to create a space for a reflection on national and personal identity in terms of an international conflict. Through the memories that both sustain and haunt four Canadian soldiers in a field hospital, the play constructs a portrait of social and cultural differences and similarities. Self-awareness extends itself beyond the confines of a hospital room into the blighted landscape of France, and the various communities across Canada from which these soldiers came. It is tested in a lethal confrontation with “the other,” who reveal themselves to be very much the same in their hopes and fears. The blasted tree that constitutes the backdrop to the action testifies to the possibilities for destruction and growth – the birth of a “terrible beauty” amidst the horror of war. The nurse who circles the periphery of the action, as both a witness of death, and a catalyst for healing, also passes through the borders of time and place in her recollections of home. Thiessen contends that Vimy “is not a play about war,” but an exploration of “the small moments [that] define us as individuals, as communities, and as a nation.” The past continues to impinge on the present.en
dc.description.sponsorshipAcademic & Professional Development Fund (A&PDF)en
dc.subjectVern Thiessen's Vimyen
dc.subjectNational and personal identityen
dc.titleA Borderless Battlefield: The Efficacy of Memory in Vern Thiessen's Vimy presented at the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conference at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Vancouver, BC, May 31-June 3, 2008en

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