From Alaska by Sébastien Harrisson, translated by Leanna Brodie
One summer evening, a retired librarian is “taken hostage” in her suburban home by her tough-talking teenaged neighbour. Time passes with the unpredictable rhythms of grief – the slowness of healing, the fast-forwards of distraction.
Meanwhile, the old woman and the young man discover what they have in common: the one they love most in all the world has just gone away... Gliding effortlessly between street-smart humour and lyrical elegance, Harrisson explores love in all its pain, confusion, and unexpected joy.
Keywords: grief, poetic, love, LGBTQ+, lesbian, seniors, senior women, adolescence, intergenerational
"Through his lively and intelligent text, which combines humour and sincerity, Sébastien Harrisson managed to captivate his audience from start to finish. D'Alaska [From Alaska] is a lovely success that warms the heart."
– La Presse
"It is a play about coming to terms with identity, be it social, political, sexual, linguistic, generational, or intellectual. Solid in content and intriguing in theme, it had teenagers jumping to their feet for a standing ovation at a recent school performance."
– The Montreal Gazette
"It goes by very fast... an incredible text."
”In his play From Alaska, Sébastien Harrisson pits the limitations of daily life against the vastness of the human spirit. This captivating tale sets up a duel between Today, a young runaway, and Miss, a heartbroken senior, which reads like a long sentence with no period, but punctuated by questions, exclamations, dashes, and ideas left dangling. As in life, time sometimes goes by fast in From Alaska, and sometimes slow: a treasure that flows through our fingers.”
– Canadian Literature
Cover art shows Kelli Fox and Jason Sakaki in the (postponed) Ruby Slippers Theatre/Gateway Theatre production directed by Diane Brown. Photo by David Cooper. Used by permission.