Photo from the play Zaydok showing a man holding a woman.

Zaydok has an active fantasy life and a messed up real one. Which was a fair reflection of my own life at a certain time. But not now. Not at all. These days, I’m not at all like Zaydok. Now I’ve become a very normal person. Like you.

Production History

Touchstone Theatre/New Play Centre production, October 87;
Staged Reading, New Dramatists, New York City, June 88;
Western Canada Theatre Company, October 88 (1988 Jesse Award nomination for Outstanding New Play)


“Words, words, with secret thoughts going on behind all the time…Zaydok, Dennis Foon’s new play, is about the average schnook and the baggage he carries around with him: mid-life expectations, a conscience consisting of received values (his parents’), the rules of the rat-race. Zaydok, the titular hero, was always a little weird. Even in childhood he would stare at the ceiling and drift away from whatever was happening around him into fantasies of wish-fulfilment, revenge, or a martyr’s agony. He’s still doing it at age 35, insecurely married to a real estate agent, up to his neck in debt, teaching in a faithless educational system and wondering what ever happened to that exciting hippie girl who wanted him to fly off with her to Katmandu with just a passport for luggage. Worst of all, here he is, a grown man with a kid’s guilt, and his parents, Sally and Joe, still have the pass-key.

In fantasy, his mother will always be at the kitchen sink violently paring a carrot when she’s heated up about something and he’s inherited her way of thought so that he can flay himself with it.Guilty about his feelings of attraction to another woman, he dreams up an image of his mother calling the woman a slut and a tramp while the carrot chips fly like shrapnel. In another scene, Sally and Joe are toting up the financial cost of rearing him from the cradle only to see him throwing his life away—the torture test. Change of lighting and this translates into Joe breaking Zaydok’s fingers and Sally egging him on: “Break his other hand, Joe.”

Roy Surette’s direction is lively and James Rankin’s performance as Zaydok is lithe but too cartoonish. Excellent performances by Duncan Fraser as Crabbe, the school principal, Nicholas Rice as Joe and Susinn Mcfarlen as Sally, with good work from Elizabeth Dancoes as the other woman and Claire Brown as the wife.”
—Lloyd Dyck, The Vancouver Sun

Visit The Playwrights Guild to order a copy and for performance rights information

Contact Michael Petrasek at Kensington Literary Representation for performance rights information.