The Ocean

Written by:

Marie-Claire Blais, translated Ray Chamberlain

Cast Size:
9

Roles For:

  • Men: 5
  • Women: 4

Genre:

Drama
Quebec Theatre
Translation

Themes:

Death
Family
Power
Relationships

Year Written:

1976

Synopsis:

The Ocean (L’Océan) has nine characters with speaking parts, five men and four women. Two of the characters are elderly fathers facing death; they are the living dead whose presence serves both to inspire and oppress the lives of those around them. In fact, The Ocean… is a scathing indictment of patriarchal abuse of power and the devastating impact of its unavoidable legacy. The influence of these fathers on the lives of their spouses and children has been so destructive that none of them is able to move forward confidently in his or her own life to form supportive and loving relationships. In this season of the death of the fathers, individuals confront their solitude inside and outside their dysfunctional families.” (From “Introduction to The Ocean (L’Océan) by Marie-Claire Blais, Introduced by Louise H. Forsyth” in Anthology of Quebec Women’s Plays in English Translation Volume One (1966-1986))

Characters:

FRANÇOIS

SIMON

MARIA

JEAN, an old musician

JUDITH, Jean’s wife

NICOLAS, their son

THE FATHER, the writer

THE MOTHER

MARIA’S CHILDREN

SIMON’S CHILDREN

WOMAN JOURNALIST

First Produced:

First produced by Radio-Canada as a four-part television drama series, in May 1976.

Resources:

The Ocean available through Playwrights Canada Press in Anthology of Quebec Women’s Plays in English Translation Volume One (1966-1986), edited by Louise H Forsyth.

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