Four Sisters

Written by:

Susanna Fournier

Cast Size:
6-10

Roles For:

  • Indigenous Peoples: 10
  • LGBTQ+: 10
  • People of Colour: 10
  • People with Disabilities: 10
  • Women: 10

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

Addiction
Family
Future
Grief
Healing Intergenerational Trauma
Politics
Revolution
Violence
Women

Length:

120 min.

Year Written:

2019

Synopsis:

189 years after massive war and a widespread plague, Sarah, a former brothel owner, tries to raise four girls left orphaned by the women she once employed. When a doctor reveals the girls are plague-positive she offers to treat them for free with an experimental new drug. After the death of one of their own, their relationships fracture, time breaks down, and this family of women must grapple with how grief, injustice, addiction, and the increasingly violent changing political landscape is ripping their family and selves apart.

Four Sisters thrusts the complex and often aggressive relationships between sisters and women up against the backdrop of political revolution. These women are orphans, sex-workers, former madams, prophets, addicts, and healers—the women history tries to bury. Here their lives rupture and spiral in heartbreak and humour in a kaleidoscopic performance, hybridizing video, dance, text, and installation. As both a stand alone play and the startling climax to Fournier’s Empire trilogy, Four Sisters is an urgent cry to imagine new and possible futures.

Characters:

SARAH— former Madam of a ‘house’ (brothel) Appears to be in late 60’s.

THE DOCTOR— can be played by multiple female performers throughout each act.

The SISTERS: orphaned daughters of Sarah’s women:

ABIGAIL(ABBY) to be played by 3 different female performers. Act 1 age 10, Act 2 age 26, Act 3 age 41

BEAH (pronounced BAY-UH) to be played by 3 different female performers. Act 1 age 9, Act 2 age 24 Act 3 age 55

CASSIE—a female child (to be played by one female performer throughout)

DEE (DEEDEE)—to be played by one female adult performer playing various ages. Act 1 age 7, Act 2 age 23 Act 3 age 38

CASTING ALCHEMY – Four Sisters can be performed with 7-10 actors depending on ensemble size/doubling/production vision.
This piece desires female identifying performers of many ages, sizes, bodies, and colours. Given that these characters are grappling for/with/against systems of power, a variety of meanings will/could be read by how age, race, and ability are located in the casting and in the ensemble. Who are the artists in this room and what systems of power are they individually and as an ensemble grappling for/with/against? How can the text serve this? How does the text need to adapt? Abby and Beah’s child and future selves remain onstage throughout the entire play taking in the action. Cast the play to serve your ensemble and production vision.

First Produced:

Starring YOLANDA BONNELL, KRYSTINA BOJANOWSKI, JENNIFER DAHL, ARIA EVANS, VIRGILIA GRIFFITH, XIMENA HUIZI, CHALA HUNTER, CLAUDIA MOORE, BEA PIZANO The world premiere was presented at The Theatre Centre in Toronto, June 11-16th, 2019 producer ALISON WONG scenography + lighting by KAITLIN HICKEY in collaboration with SUSANNA FOURNIER sound design by CHRISTOPHER ROSS-EWART video design by STEPH RAPOSO

Resources:

Four Sisters is published as a part of The Empire trilogy with Playwright’s Canada Press. Contact Colin at Marquis Literary (colin@mqent.ca) for producing rights/technical scripts.

Featured Play Category:

Madeline's Picks

Selection Notes:

As a fan of the surreal, the dystopic, and the speculative, Fournier's trilogy of plays was a captivating and bone-chilling read. - Madeline