Little Death: A Play by Daniel Sarah Karasik

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Little Death: A Play by Daniel Sarah Karasik

Alex may or may not be dying. Confronted with his mortality, he searches for sex and connection in hotel bars—with his wife Brit’s conflicted blessing.

Little Death, the lyrical new drama from CBC Fiction Prize-winner and Dora Award-nominated playwright Daniel Sarah Karasik, is a gripping study of sexuality under extreme pressure. Tender and fierce by turns, in precise, musical language that straddles the boundary between poetic verse and dramatic prose, this play for six actors (5 F, 1 M) asks fundamental questions about marriage, fidelity, and the intimate needs of men and women.

Prior to its premiere production at Toronto’s Theatre Centre in April 2015, Little Death was developed at the Royal Court Theatre in London, UK, the Tarragon Theatre and Stratford Festival in Canada, and off-Broadway’s The New Group. Influenced by contemporary European dramatic forms, the play’s style is hybrid—it exists for the reader as a poem, yet it has an innate theatricality that calls out for full elaboration on stage.

Spare and enigmatic, Little Death allows the reader, director, actors, and audience to fill out its shadows with their own intuitions and truths. In the vein of Anne Carson’s The Beauty of the Husband and Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage, the play will delight theatre fans, poetry lovers, and anyone interested in thought-provoking art about life and love, sex and death. It is a deeply felt work from one of Canada’s most exciting young talents.


“Karasik is one of Canada’s most exciting young dramatists. With Little Death he is asking juicy, red meat questions about sex, meaning, and mortality. It is a little gem of a play; finely crafted and timeless.” —Jordan Tannahill, winner of the 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for Age of Minority: Three Solo Plays

“Karasik’s keen observations of the joys and hardships of life, articulated in precise and lyrical language, produce thrilling and eerily familiar glimpses of our own lives. He’s one of the most engaging new voices on Canada’s literary scene.” —Nicolas Billon, winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for Fault Lines

With brevity and tenderness, Little Death toys with the intangible intricacies of intimacy as it relates to sex, love and mortality. In this evocative and poetic new play, Daniel Karasik proves himself, once again, to be one of Canada’s most assured and promising young literary voices.” —Rosa Laborde, Finalist for the 2007 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for Léo