Written by:

Janis Rapoport

Cast Size:

Roles For:

  • Women: 6




Domestic Abuse
Social Services


95 min.

Year Written:



A group of women ranging in age who have taken refuge from domestic abuse in a safe house work through their issues individually and collectively.


LINDA, originally from the Prairies, age 26 and mother of Joey, is the manager and primary shift worker at the safe house.

RUTH, a Montrealer, who has spent several years living in England, is 44 years old and the mother of Adam and Tina. Ruth and her children are residents of the safe house.

HAZEL, a Maritimer, is 31 years old and the mother of Helen, Mary-Margaret, Michael, Ralphie and Bernie. They are all residents of the safe house.

VERA, 28 years old, is a recent immigrant to Canada from Macedonia. Her two daughters are not with her in the safe house.

JENNIFER, 17 years old, is pregnant and has nowhere to go. She has ended up in the safe house.

SARAH, in her 60s, may be a friend of Linda’s or may be a projection of Linda’s to whom everyone present in the safe house can relate. Sarah is a motherly ideal and a fantasy with a kind of witch persona in a benevolent sense.

First Produced:

Theatre Passe Muraille, Toronto, January 1979. The play has been produced in several Canadian provinces and in French translation in Québec. An excerpt was telecast on TV Ontario.


Dreamgirls is available through the CPO Website.

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There is a role for a recent immigrant from (the Republic of North) Macedonia. 

The play has nine child characters represented by life-sized dolls.

The character of Linda has been portrayed as bisexual in some productions.  

Please note that this play was written and produced in the late 1970s when the subjects of domestic abuse, so-called honour killings, and women’s deaths within relationships were essentially taboo. As statistics show, over the past forty years domestic abuse and femicide have only increased. Dreamgirls is a historical testament to these tragedies, as well as to a future that ought never to have transpired.


There is some strong language and re-enactments (by the women only) of remembered violence in a short scene-within-a-scene.