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Personal Convictions

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Laxdal, Vivienne (Canadian playwright, actor, 1962-____), “Personal Convictions,” a 100-minute drama in English, set in the closed visit area of a maximum security prison, 1990,

1m1f;  •  © 1991 by Vivienne Laxdal;  •  in Vivienne Laxdal’s Personal Convictions (Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Playwrights Canada Press, 1991), ISBN 1551554011;  •  script/rights available for professionals from Vivienne Laxdal, telephone (home) 819-456-2142, fax 819-456-4637, or for amateurs from Playwrights Guild of Canada (formerly Playwrights Union of Canada), 54 Wolseley St., 2nd Floor, Toronto, Ontario M5T 1A5, telephone 416-703-0013, fax 416-703-0059, e-mail orders@playwrightscanada.com.  •  Cited by playwright via e-mail, April 25, 1997; Laxdal says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Bridge (m), a prisoner; Libby (f), Bridge’s visitor.

  §  Synopsis “An inmate and his visitor dance, dream and duel beyond the barriers imposed upon them by the prison, and the barriers they impose upon themselves. Libby is the only outside contact Bridge has—and the only woman he has seen in a long time. She has been coming to the prison to visit Bridge, ostensibly as an act of goodwill. In this psychological tete-a-tete, Libby is not initially aware of the tortuous mind-game to which she subjects him—nor is he really aware of his effect on her. Shifting between reality and imagination, the character illuminate, distort, reject and absorb each other’s fears, fantasies and nightmares. Why is Libby really there? What won’t she tell him? Libby tries to protect herself—but in the end, perhaps it is Bridge who needs protection.”—e-mail, Laxdal.

  §  Another Synopsis “A young woman, emotionally imprisoned by guilt and gender frustration, voluntarily visits a convicted murderer as a means to explore and liberate herself of her own incarceration.”—Personal Convictions By Vivienne Laxdal, http://www.puc.ca/cgi-bin/puc/catalogue.cgi?function=play_details&Plays_uid=1134, accessed January 21, 2003.

  §  Comment Premiered by the National Arts Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1991.  • “Playwright /actor who has written for theatre, television and radio. Her most performed work, Karla and Grif, has been played all across the country and in the United States. As an actor, Ms Laxdal has appeared in The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, directed by Richard Rose and in Les Belles-soeurs, directed by Micheline Chevrier (Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa). Ms Laxdal resides in the Gatineau hills of Quebec with her husband and children. Other plays include: Step-Sister, Step-Brother (1986), A Quantum Leap (1987), Goose Spit (1988) all premiered at the Great Canadian Theatre Company; Personal Convictions (1991), national CAPITALe nationale (co-written with Jean Marc Dalpé, 1993, and directed by Robert Lepage), Cyber:/womb (1994, Blizzard Press, Prerogatives: Contemporary Plays by Women), all premiered at the National Arts Centre.”—Vivienne Laxdal, http://www.geocities.com/Colosseum/Dome/4769/laxdalv.html, accessed January 21, 2003.  •  “From her apartment in the famous Black Sheep Hotel in Wakefield, Quebec,Vivienne has often crossed the border to see her work produced, or to appear on stage in Ottawa at The National Arts Centre, The Great Canadian Theatre Company, and Arts Court. She has written scripts and commentaries for television and radio, and speeches for the past Governor General. Vivienne has served on the GCTC Board of Directors, has led numerous playwrighting workshops in elementary and secondary schools, and has taught drama studies at Algonquin College. Her newest play, "These Girls" has been optioned for a feature film production.”—Vivienne Laxdal, http://www.puc.ca/cgi-bin/puc/catalogue.cgi?function=detail&Authors_uid=177, accessed January 21, 2003.

  §  Themes imagination, prison, reality.

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Page updated April 26, 1997, January 21, 2003, by the Webmaster.

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