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  • By
  • Genre: Drama
  • Casting: BIPOC
  • Breakdown: 1M+1W, 2M, 2W
  • Publisher: Link


Wajdi Mouawad’s writing is powerful; a beautifully penned story that paves a path to a mother’s unspeakable pain. The closer Janine and Simon get to finding the source of her silence, the closer they are to uncovering a tragedy so horrific it will engulf the world they know. Continuing his quest for sense and beauty, Wajdi Mouawad has plunged into the turbulent depths of writing to discover, washed up midst the sand dunes, fiery tales lost in the mists of time. Making their way through the dunes are Nawal’s twin children, Janine and Simon, who want to solve the mystery of their origins. In retracing the bitter history of their mother, other characters come into the story—witnesses or key players able to assist in the investigation. Carried aloft by poetic language, the inquiry pursued by Janine and Simon unfolds in a dreamlike atmosphere that cultivates the mystery surrounding a knife thrust into the heart of childhood.

Character Breakdown

Nawal (shown at various ages from 14 to 65, a young girl, native of a Middle Eastern country, a woman who sings)
Janine (daughter of Nawal, university lecturer in Mathematics)
Simon (son of Nawal, amateur boxer and twin brother of Janine)
Alphonse Lebel (notary in charge of the will of the deceased Nawal)
Antoine Ducharme (once, the male burse to the aged Nawal; now, a theatre technician)
Sawda (friend of young and middle-aged Nawal)
Nihad (a psychopathic killer)

Teacher Notes

Great dramatic structure. Great haunting piece of theatre. Very intense dramatic scenes with a quite dark and dramatic family secret. The characters are well-drawn. Watch for themes involving a search for identity and heritage, revenge and reconciliation, loss and redemption, and finally the Oedipal story.