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James R. Swallows.

Toronto, Addiction Research Foundation, c1983.
32pp, paper, $2.50.
ISBN 0-88868-0864.


James R. Swallows.

Toronto, Addiction Research Foundation, c1983.
71pp, paper, $7.00.
Special package price of $20.00 for 1 director's copy and 10 scripts.
ISBN 0-88868-085-6.

Grades 9 and up.
Reviewed by Louise Griffith.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

Booze is a play in seven vignettes written very skillfully to teach young people about the evils of drink. Developed to satisfy a need in theatre performance for a class at Confederation College in Thunder Bay, the play has been presented very successfully at a number of Ontario high schools. With assistance from Rotary Clubs and a Wintario grant, it has been published and promoted by the Addiction Research Foundation.

In the first scene, "Commencement," two girls who are alone in the house are experimenting with their first drink, vodka. The next, "Friday Night," tells what happens when a couple go out to a lonely parking spot and drink too much wine. "Drunkenness" is a mime where an actor depicts the various stages leading up to passing out. "Party Time" shows us a group of teenagers drinking rum and tequila at an unchaperoned home and what happens when they drive to another location. "Sobering Up" is another mime followed by "Down and Out," a dialogue between two drinkers. One of them combines alcohol and drugs. The final scene "Viewpoints," presents three monologues: one by an actress doing a commercial praising Seagris whisky company for its virtues, one by a doctor discussing how many drinks it takes to produce cirrhosis of the liver, and one by a woman who has given up drinking. She states how important it is to avoid taking one drink.

The director's copy is a very useful supplement with sound suggestions for the novice director unaccustomed to producing plays. The discussion questions given would be very helpful for a teacher whose class has just seen the play.

Booze would be a good play for study or presentation by any group faced with the problems of alcohol whether in high schools, special schools, dramatic arts classes, drama clubs, or community or church groups. The language is admittedly street talk-very relevant for teenagers— but actually no worse than many TV shows. Certain specific or local words are underlined, for example, "CN Tower" and "Ruby Rouge," and it is suggested that local places, popular brands, and current heroes be substituted. There are perhaps some classes and communities that might find the play distasteful, but I am sure that there are many more who would enjoy acting or viewing it. For many nice kids, a realistic look at what could happen might prove extremely salutary.

Louise Griffith, Agincourt, ON.
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