The Garneau Block

Written by:

Belinda Cornish

Cast Size:
11

Roles For:

  • Indigenous Peoples: 1
  • LGBTQ+: 1
  • Men: 5
  • People of Colour: 5
  • Women: 6

Genre:

Comedy
Drama

Themes:

Community
Romance
Satire
Self Discovery

Length:

120 min.

Year Written:

2019

Synopsis:

Based on Todd Babiak’s best-selling novel, The Garneau Block is a satirical comedy about a tight-knit Edmonton community and their behaviour in the wake of a shocking event that occurred on their doorstep: a retired white Conservative man, digging his heels against social progress; an armchair liberal facing the inconvenient truth of her own morality; a sexually predatory professor and his fiercely intelligent, neglected wife; a pregnant millennial with shattered dreams; a young entrepreneur beset by secret guilt.

Though set very specifically in Edmonton, the play is hugely relatable to anyone who has ever lived in a mid-sized Canadian city: the characters we meet are people we recognize; we all have that local coffee shop where the service seems deliberately slow, that nearby street that’s permanently under construction for no clear reason, the semi-celebrity over whom we feel a bit of ownership because they never moved to New York.

The Garneau Block is filled with the strong, complex sense of community and humble civic pride that comes from living in a place we love, but that we suspect is a little disregarded, because it is not Toronto, it is not Vancouver. But it’s ours, and it’s home. The Garneau Block is a comedy-drama with a dash of mystery thrown in. A story about people like us, struggling with acceptance, disillusionment, entitlement, death, with the notion of not being enough. And how accepting our past and who we truly are together can open the door to a brighter future.

Characters:

Madison Weiss (late 20s/early 30s) – white

David Weiss (50s) – Madison’s father, white

Abby Weiss (50s) – Madison’s mother, white

Jonas Pond (early 40s)

Raymond Terletsky (50s/early 60s) – married to Shirley

Shirley Wong (early 50s) – married to Raymond, Chinese

Rajinder Chaudhary (late 20s/early 30s) – South Asian

Barry Makinaw (40s) – Indigenous

Claudia/Tammy/Helen (40s – though Helen ideally reads older)

Garith – David’s dog: small breed, something fuzzy and impractical.

First Produced:

Citadel Theatre, September 18th - October 10th, 2021

Resources:

The Garneau Block can be found at the Canadian Play Outlet

Notes:

Where characters need to be played by actors of a particular race, it is specified in the script. Where race is not specified, characters may be played by actors of any race.

Three of the female roles may be played by one actor – specified in script

A small dog is required for the production: the dog must be comfortable with being carried.

There are no roles specifically written for people with disabilities, however, most of the characters can be played by people with disabilities.

Warnings:

Suicide, racism, alcoholism