Social Studies

by Trish Cooper
November 21, 2013 - December 08, 2013
Preview - November 20, 2013

World Premiere

"Bravo! I just saw SOCIAL STUDIES tonight and loved every awesome minute of it. I related in so many ways to all the conflicted white characters and, having travelled to South Sudan and befriended many Sudanese folks, felt that Richie Diggs' performance was bang-on authentic. Congratulations to Tricia Cooper, Debbie Patterson, Alix Sobler and everyone else who made this five-star show happen." -- from audience member Kaj Hasselriis

When Jackie moves back to her childhood home after separating from her husband, she thought her biggest problem would be readjusting to life on a smaller bed. She didn’t realize her mother had actually given that bed away to a Sudanese refugee. Now she has to decide how to get on with her life under these new circumstances and figure out who she is within this new family dynamic, especially with Deng now firmly ensconced as the favourite “son”. But the former “Lost Boy” is not all that he seems, and the entire family – Jackie, her “earth goddess” mother and her sixteen year old sister – learns something about making assumptions. Cultural differences, language barriers, and the self-conscious earnestness of the "well-meaning" combine to deliver a scathingly comic look at Canadian values.

Running Time:   Approximately 2.5 hours, one intermission

"Robert Metcalfe’s production does the outstanding new script full justice. Veterans Sobler and Stephenson Kerr turn in superb performances, but so do Hill and Diggs, both making their professional stage debuts here. All four display sharp comic timing, and versatility in handling the play’s deeper moments." -- CBC Manitoba Scene  (read the whole review)

Four Stars "...engaging new comedy.,.." " entertaining lesson about a family trying to be good but, amusingly, not always getting it right." -- Winnipeg Free Press  (read the whole review)

"’s hilarious and heart-breaking all at once." "Everything about this play works, from the script to the set to the performances..." -- The Winnipeg Review  (read the whole review)

Bob says:  “Trish Cooper is a member of PTE’s Playwrights Unit, and, with her first full-length play, has created a story that is all about assumptions, especially those we make about other cultures. She goes further and questions the assumptions that the middle class makes about what they can expect out of life, with very witty results.”

>> Video:  Bob talks about Social Studies

>> Video Gallery:  The cast chats about creating characters, working on a world premiere, and what makes this play so funny

>> Video:  Sneak Peek Scene Excerpt -- "What is a 'Deng'?"

Directed by Robert Metcalfe
Set & Costume Designer – Carole Klemm
Lighting Designer –Sean Neville
Original Music Composed by Greg Lowe
Projection Design -- Wayne Buss!
Stage Manager – Melissa Novecosky
Assistant Stage Manager – Leslie Sidley
Dramaturge -- Rick Chafe

Richie Diggs                             Deng
Jenna Hill                                  Sarah
Alix Sobler                                 Jackie
Marina Stephenson Kerr        Val                                             


Trish is a member of the Group of 7 -- seven women whose plays are being premiered on five Winnipeg stages this theatre season.

>> Learn more about the Group of 7 on the THEATRE ++ WINNIPEG Facebook page

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