British Journal of Canadian Studies

Italian-Canadian theatre in the spotlight of multiculturalism: La Storia dell'Emigrante (1979), a case study

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2013), 26, (2), 213–234.

Abstract

The present article looks at Tony Nardi's La Storia dell'Emigrante (1979), which was the first theatre work by an Italian-Canadian playwright to win the Ontario Multicultural Theatre Festival as Best Original Canadian Play, in 1982. La Storia dell'Emigrante is first situated in the historical and biographical circumstances under which it was produced. A close reading of the play follows (with interpretations) which make clear its significance to both the playwright and the Italian-Canadian communities at the time. The case study approach allows in-depth exploration of a neglected area in Canadian theatre history in an attempt to contribute to a reformulation of the scholarly debate around multicultural theatre and multiculturalism. It ultimately suggests that the lack of critical attention to Italian-Canadian theatre, which mirrors the lack of attention to the Italian-Canadian community in the first place, is also rooted in an insufficient appreciation of specific aspects of Canadian history.

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Lomartire, Simone