FICTION

Now That We’re Men: A Play and True Life Accounts of Boys, Sex & Power

Dottir. Jan. 2020. 200p. ed. by Katie Cappiello. pap. ISBN 9781948340182.
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Gr 9 Up–Feminist playwright Cappiello attempts to capture the voices of five young men in her new work. The play comments on tough subjects including sexual assault, toxic masculinity, race, and class. Between each of the six scenes are confessionals, which Cappiello notes in her stage directions should be addressed directly to the audience with the house lights up, breaking the fourth wall. In many cases, the characters in the play use derogatory language toward women, and there are multiple cases of sexual assault described by the characters, at times with no voice of reason to call out the perpetrator. One such example is in the final moments of the play, when a character brags that he “finally had sex with Rebecca” while she was “Passed out… f---ing wasted.” The show closes on this note, with none of the other men in the room speaking up against the assault. In some instances, dialogue seems inauthentic, and Cappiello is not quite able to capture the voices of young men. The standout feature in this text is a collection of short essays after the conclusion of the play, which bring different voices to the conversation, including personal stories from some of the men who originated these roles in the inaugural production. Educators may also find the discussion questions useful in the classroom.
VERDICT This book brings up important discussion topics that would be well utilized in high school English and theater courses, but may not be a first pick for general library collections.

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