“Inspired by Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, this historical drama unfolds in the summer of 1933, a summer of intense heat, widespread unemployment, swastika badges in Toronto’s parks and beaches, and the Christie Pits riot. Jessica and Larry are living in the Beaches in the home they bought with the money Jessica stole from her father on the day they eloped. Jessica is trying to escape the anti-Semitism of her childhood and adolescence by marrying Larry and becoming Christian. When Jessica begins working at the children’s library in downtown Toronto, she meets an aunt she never knew existed. As Jessica’s relationship with her aunt grows, so does the anti-Semitism in the Beaches. Jessica finds out that it is not possible to escape the violence of anti-Semitism. She can only fight it.” (From the CPO Website)
JESSICA: A striking 19-year-old woman. Born Jewish, Jessica converted to Christianity when she eloped with Larry a year ago and is still learning to fit into her new home in the Beaches.
LARRY: Jessica’s husband, 22 years old. Larry is boyish, outgoing, and affable. Unsettled before he met Jessica, Larry now feels rooted in his new home and family. He is currently unemployed and desperately searching for work.
BRADLEY: Larry’s oldest and best friend, 22 years old. Bradley is an up-and-coming real estate agent who is living in his wife Pat’s family home in the Beaches. He is driven and opinionated but knows less than he thinks.
PAT: Bradley’s wife, a 22-year-old woman who has taken Jessica under her wing. A new mother who was formerly a librarian for the Toronto Public Library in the Beaches, Pat walks and talks with confidence and authority.
ESTHER: Jessica’s aunt, age 46, who owns and runs a boarding house in downtown Toronto. Having lost contact with Jessica for too many years, she is determined to establish a relationship with her.
SIMON: Jessica’s father, 53 years old. An ambitious and successful manufacturer of ladies’ dresses who has lost his business in the year since Jessica’s elopement. He looks like a man who is burdened by the loss of his daughter and business.
2008, Gailey Road Productions
Lost Daughter is available through the CPO Website.
For more information about the playwright and her work, visit the CWPO collection.
To view other works by this playwright, click here.
Read about Canada’s anti-Semitic history before, during and after World War II on the Canadian Encyclopedia’s website here.