Annotated Bibliography of Saskatchewan Plays
son wore a yellow snowsuit. The colour yellow becomes a colour of death. She also tells of how her husband found his grandfather dead in the garage with a yellow scarf stuffed into the tailpipe of his car. The woman's loneliness is not only a longing for her lost son. She says grief has emptied her and driven her away from her husband, who “cannot put his arms around the shell I carry.” In contrast to the man under his snowmobile, who is trying desperately to stay awake, this mournful woman longs for sleep. The listener is left wondering whether or not she is contemplating suicide.
“The Sea.” Ambience. With Linda Huffman, Stephen Arsenych, and Trulie McLeod. Producer Wayne Schmalz. CBC Saskatchewan, Regina. ARCSK05353T1. 8 Nov. 1980. 16:00. The play is a series three of monologues. A mother, her son, and his wife Nora muse about their lives, their relationships with each other, and their bleak vacation by the sea. The mother is first to speak in the sea-side house. She hates this vacation. It is an annual torture. The mother is angrier at her daughter-in-law than the vacation. She is jealous of this young woman. The old woman is afraid of Nora's youth and strength, fearing, “She will destroy us with her hard body.” There also is a sense of resentment over losing her son to Nora. The old woman complains of Nora using “words I cannot understand.” The second monologue is the son, speaking on the beach. He is watching his wife, Nora, swimming, “Like a little flag out there on the sea.” He puzzles over how Nora can seem so distant; even when she “surrounds me with her hard, sweet skin it always seems I'm looking at her from a distance.” The rift between Nora and her husband is undeniable and an inability to communicate is a major cause of it. Nora's husband claims she “uses her sentences, hard, sharp, and crusted like weapons.” Nora’s separation from her husband is highlighted by his mantra-like repeated phrase, “if she drowns, I won't be able to save her.” It sounds prayer-like. But just what outcome he could be praying for is picked up in the third monologue. The final monologue is Nora's thoughts as she swims in the sea. Nora describes the sea as a warm, nurturing place. She puts a darker spin on her husband's thought as she wonders, “can they see me? Are they desperately afraid I might drown? Do they secretly wish it?” Nora is also aware of how the others see her, asking, “What of Nora? She is the hard one, the impenetrable one.” As the characters muse, they reveal a source of tension. The old woman sent her son and Nora to Europe to find the old woman’s missing runaway daughter. The couple soon exhaust their leads and use the time as a free vacation. The old woman never forgives them. No resolution is in sight as the play ends.