Cover

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pp. 1-2

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 3-6

Table of Contents

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pp. v-8

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Acknowledgements

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pp. vii-viii

Working on this edition of Eight Men Speak has been a labour of love for me, and I hope some of my passion for it has rubbed off on the graduate student assistants who have been invaluable researchers, proofreaders and commentators. I offer thanks and appreciation to Lee Baxter, Robert Dawson and Samantha Dawdy, who helped me immensely with the manuscript, and to Siscoe Boschman for...

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Critical Introduction

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pp. ix-57

Eight Men Speak occupies an ambivalent place in the canons of Canadian dra-matic literature. It is at once a play, a Communist Party leadership pageant and a political campaign; a text and a text event. It is better known for the controversy it generated and the bans and censorship to which it was subjected than for its dramatic...

Eight Men Speak

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pp. 1-4

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Foreword

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pp. 5-8

Why are the Canadian authorities afraid of this play? Why do they move heaven and earth to prevent it being presented for a second time? Why has the order gone out from the Ontario Parliament Buildings that any theatre which is rented for the showing of eight men speak shall at once lose its license? Why did the Winnipeg police and the Manitoba Government...

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Act I

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pp. 9-18

The scene is the lovely and expensively “landscaped” garden of the Warden of the Penitentiary, Stone. To the right of the stage can be seen part of the Warden’s house. Steps lead from the door of the house on to a terrace on which is arranged attractive garden furniture —two or three easy chairs and a small wicker table. The table bears the neces-sary utensils for the “cocktail” hour. Steps lead down ...

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Act II

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pp. 19-26

In this scene, the stage is in complete darkness. The voices come from prisoners in their cells. 2nd voice (sarcastically): The government’s doing all it can, boys. Can’t you be 3rd voice (sarcastically): For heaven’s sake...

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Act III

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pp. 27-34

The scene is the Workers’ Court. At the right rear is a raised Judge’s dais, draped with red. Seated on this dais is the workers’ judge and his two co-judges. They are wearing black sateen shirts, open at the neck, and black sateen trousers. Around their necks, a red kerchief. (The uniform of the Workers ...

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Act IV

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pp. 35-40

...shadow of this, together with the shadow of the bars, is thrown onto the backdrop alongside the head and shoulders of Buck. The sound of five shots is heard. At each shot Buck is seen flat-tening himself against backdrop, crouching out of the way of the bullets. The curtain drops The scene is the interior of a large cell. Across the entire...

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Act V

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pp. 40-53

The scene is the same as Act III. —the Workers’ Court, with one exception, a bench at rear of stage, between Prisoners’ Box und the Witness Stand. After giving their evidence, the various witnesses take a seat on this bench. When the curtain goes up, all are in their respective places —the Judge and Co-Judges on the raised dais; the Clerk at his table; the c.l.d.l. at her desk; Guard X sitting in the...

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Act VI

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pp. 53-56

The curtain rises slowly on a street scene. The raised Judges’ dais, draped in red, is at the rear centre of stage. A painted banner covers almost the entire backdrop and depicts a crowd of workers, bearing banners. The three Worker Judges are in their places on the dais. To the right and left of Judges’ dais are levels, grouped on these are workers. The Clerk of the Court and his table and chair are missing in this scene, as is also the Witness Stand. At the extreme right, front, is the c.l.d.l., sitting...

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Dossier: Documents, Reports and Reviews

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pp. 57-92

...4. Response from the Student League: The Varsity, 6 December 1933.13. Toronto Daily Star, continuing report on ban, 15 January 1934.15. Mass Meeting Resolution on the Freedom of the Stage in Canada.16. E. Cecil-Smith condemns the government response. 1934 (March–April). 19. E.W. Harrold reviews the published edition of Eight Men Speak, Ottawa Citizen, ...

Explanatory Notes

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pp. 93-102

Textual Notes

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pp. 103-106

Works Cited

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pp. 107-113