|Publisher:||Talon Books Ltd||Published:||May 15th 2014|
Eighteen-year-old Connor, an aspiring author whose fantastical stories foretell his growing struggle with depression, can't wait to be free of his adverb-wielding, solve-it-all mother, Sharon. But six weeks after leaving for university, he drops out and returns home. Dan Mulano is an infatuated new dad and well-meaning police officer whose selfishness is veiled by the outward display of principle" and the lofty aspirations he holds for his family. His wife, Janie, a former addict and exhausted new mom, struggles to cope with the challenges of recovery in the midst of her battle with postpartum depression, which Dan dismisses as "just hormones." A precipitous incident brings the two families together. When Connor's erratic behaviour at an underground train station requires police intervention, Dan responds to the call and makes the arrest, but the teen's jaw is broken during the incident. Is it police brutality or self-harm? For Sharon, thereis no question; she portrays Dan as a reckless cop in the media, while he remains silent, refusing to break protocol and tell his story. Inspired by an event in British Columbia that shattered the public's confidence in the police - the 2007 Tasering death of Robert Dziekanski during his arrest at the Vancouver airport - The Valley dramatizes the volatile relationship between law enforcement and people in the grip of mental illness. In addressing this fraught relationship, award-winning playwright Joan MacLe¡¡od empathizes with both parties, each of whom is guided by good intentions but equally challenged by their own ¡cultural biases and flawed humanity."
A multiple Betty Mitchell, Chalmers, Dora, and Governor General's Award-winning playwright, Joan MacLeod grew up in North Vancouver and studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia. MacLeod has since published nine acclaimed plays, which have been translated into eight languages with productions throughout the world. MacLeod developed her finely honed playwriting skills during seven seasons as playwright-in-residence at Toronto's Tarragon Theatre, and turned her hand to opera with her libretto for The Secret Garden, which won a Dora Award. She has also had many radio dramas produced by CBC Stereo Theatre, including Hand of God, a one-hour drama adapted from her play Jewel, and has written numerous scripts for film and television. She currently teaches at the University of Victoria.