From playwright and poet Shannon Bramer comes Trapsongs, a collection of three dark comedies that navigate the realm of the surreal and absurd.
In Monarita, an intimate friendship between Mona, a frazzled new mother, and Rita, her beloved, estranged friend, is explored. Their interaction is a dance—part ballet, part mud fight. In The Collectors, Hanna Parson is harassed by three ghastly collection agents who force her to confront her debt and isolation as she struggles to create meaningful art in her dishevelled apartment. And in the tragicomedy The Hungriest Woman in the World, Aimee, a former artist, invites her preoccupied, workaholic husband, Robert, to the theatre to see a play about a sad octopus. His refusal sends her on a dark and playful journey into the topsy-turvy world of theatre itself.
Trapsongs is by turns comedic, grotesque, and profane, but is all the while a tender exploration of the human condition in all its hilarious and humbling glory. Although each of these plays is a discrete creation, they contain and hold each other like a matryoshka doll; all of the main characters are trapped within the song of their own lives.
Praise for Trapsongs:
“Bramer’s writing for the stage is magical. It slips the bounds of the real while being so real. What happens to the characters happens to us; we become them.” —Karen Connelly
“Bramer’s plays are remarkably intricate and wonderfully bizarre. The dreamlike vision and witty, absurdist language create beautiful, theatrical paintings.” —Rouvan Silogix, Theatre ARTaud
“Shannon’s work is always original and insightful. It is also very funny. After reading Monarita once I knew I would produce it and I did, just a year later.” —Ruth Lawrence, White Rooster Theatre & Blue Pinion Films
“Shannon Bramer’s writing makes my heart ache and my sides split with laughter. Her characters are so earnest and peculiar and through their endearing absurdity we see a very real, very private part of ourselves.” —Claren Grosz, Pencil Kit Productions
“Bramer’s work is littered with subtexts…fossils to unearth; the optics of beauty, sex work, mental health, and mothering are all here.” —Lyndsay Kirkham, Writer/Teacher/Activist
Shannon Bramer was born in Hamilton, Ontario, and now lives in Toronto. She is a playwright and poet who writes books for human beings of all ages. She is the author of suitcases and other poems (winner, Hamilton and Region Best Book Award), scarf, The Refrigerator Memory, Precious Energy, and Climbing Shadows: Poems for Children, illustrated by Cindy Derby. Shannon also conducts poetry workshops in schools and is the editor of Think City: The Poems of Gracefield Public School. Her plays (Monarita, The Collectors, and The Hungriest Woman in the World) have appeared in juried festivals across the country, among them: New Ideas (Toronto), the Women’s Work Festival (St. John’s), and Sarasvàti FemFest (Winnipeg). Shannon’s plays have all been developed in St. John’s, Newfoundland, thanks to the Women’s Work Festival, where she has returned with a new script-in-progress five times since 2009.