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Dave Carley
Toronto, Playwrights Canada Press, 1993.
95pp, paper, $10.95, ISBN 0-88754-512-2. CIP

Grades 12 and up / Ages 17 and up

Reviewed by Pat Bolger

Volume 22 Number 3
1994 May/June

Taking Liberties introduces residents of a medium-sized Ontario city over the years from 1955 to 1995. In brief monologues, the characters try to find the way out of a moral dilemma: a Jew feels obliged to defend the rights of a Holocaust-denying high school teacher; a young husband struggles with his homosexual desires; his friend, a newspaper editor, publishes his name with the others in a police report. The first and last sections, which deal with a female university dean defying affirmative-action hiring policies, provide the key to the inter-relationships among the characters. Any of these monologues would spark lively discussion of values, among mature teenagers, and a high school student's defence of  The Diviners will be popular with theatre arts students.

Into maroons stock characters--a nun, a businessman, a career woman and a young man-in a traffic jam on the 40l that lasts for months, forcing them into an uneasy alliance in the struggle for survival. The basic premise is funny, and Carley lampoons social trends with considerable skill, especially in the surprise ending. The dialogue is realistic in today's four-letter fashion, with the nun easily winning the foul-mouth sweepstakes.

Ironically,  Into provides librarians with a mild sample of the dilemmas that Dave Carley presents so effectively in  Taking Libeties.

Pat Bolger is a retired high school teacher-librarian in Renfrew, Ontario

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