New Canadian Kid

Photo from the play New Canadian Kid

When I decided to write a play about the immigration experience, Jane Howard Baker suggested that in writing the play, I reverse the languages. Create a kind of gibberish that the Canadians speak, and let the immigrants speak English, so we see the experience from the newcomer’s point of view. Two of the original actors, Wendy Noel and Colin Thomas, helped discover how wordplay and other languages could fit into the gibberish, which soon became a language in its own right. The play, produced again and again, continued to evolve, with comic geniuses like Peter Anderson and Colin Mochrie further developing the jokes and language. I kept directing it, and refining it, until it became a wonderful piece of physical and verbal comedy that has lot to say about being the new kid. It’s been performed all over the world in many languages, and I’m told it’s one of the most produced Canadian plays in history.

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Over one hundred productions by professional companies in every Canadian province, England, Sweden, Hong Kong, Denmark, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia and throughout the United States, as “New Kid.”

Chalmers Award Finalist, 1983;
Best Production, 1997 Dublin (Ireland) Theatre Festival;
British Theatre Award 1985


Review of New Canadian Kid