The Garneau Block by Belinda Cornish
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.
Cover art by Pete Nguyen. Based on the novel "The Garneau Block" by Todd Babiak.
Keywords: Community, satire, Edmonton, progressive, dog, romance, local
Produced by The Citadel Theatre, Edmonton AB, 2021.
Genre: Comedy Drama
Run time: 120 minutes
Content note: Contains some swearing and references to suicide, racism, alcoholism.
Cast size: 9 actors
Male roles: 5
Female roles: 6
Other roles 1
Casting note: 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.
"Both introspective and escapist, this wildly entertaining dramedy invites the audience to be the proverbial fly on the wall in the homes of our fictional neighbours...Belinda Cornish's script shines with caustic humour."
- Sarah Dussome, Broadway World
"The Garneau Block starts with a gunshot and an act of violence that has left a dark and tragic cloud over the ‘hood — and will galvanize it towards collective action."
- Liz Nicholls, 12thNight.ca
"Most of these characters have lost their way... Some will be rescued, some not."
- Roger Levesque, The Edmonton Journal