Canada. 1940. In a time and country fraught with the uncertainties of war, Prime Minister MacKenzie King calls for the destruction of any “subversive elements” on the nation’s soil. The Act is supported by the majority of Canadians: anxious, patriotic and “intolerant” of fascism. After Canada officially declares war with Italy, Romano, a recent immigrant, is arrested without charge in his own home. Torn from the arms of his terrified and pregnant wife Maria, Romano is held against his will with hundreds of men of Italian descent at a prisoner-of-war camp in Petawawa, Ontario. These individuals were never officially charged with any crime. Playing out the ironies of a government acting “to protect its citizens,” Paradise by the River details the struggle to preserve morality in a nation and in a time seemingly intent on its demise.
Cast of two women and eight men.
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About the Author
Born in Montreal, Italian-Canadian playwright Vittorio Rossi grew up in the district of Ville-Émard and graduated from Concordia University in 1985 with a BFA specializing in theatre performance. He has written several screenplays and directed a film version of his play Little Blood Brother. In 2003 he taught screenwriting at the University of Sherbrooke. His talent extends to acting as well, with screen credits in both television (Urban Angel) and film (Le Sphinx, 1995; Canvas, 1992; Malarek, 1989).
Rossi has established himself as a significant playwright in the national theatre community with his award-winning plays.