Dog and Wolf & Killing the Boss
Paperback, 218 Pages
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Two plays by award-winning playwright Catherine Filloux focus on societies torn by war, and how individuals try to live with the trauma in aftermath and/or fight tyrannical power however they can. This book features an introduction by Brandeis University Professor Cynthia E. Cohen.
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Oct 26, 2013Award-winning playwright Catherine Filloux’s recent play Dog and Wolf shows Jasmina, a traumatized Bosnian human rights activist, seeking asylum in the United States. Jasmina wins the heart of Joseph, her wheelchair-bound American lawyer. As Joseph prepares Jasmina for her asylum hearing, her vulnerability and humor wear through his professional shell. His wounds are not foreign to her. Their dialogue reveals mutable boundaries between male and female, ability and disability, the native and the foreign, private and public. What could be either tame dog or threatening wolf in dusk’s ambiguous light symbolizes the global challenge of authentic sight. For the audience, Joseph’s physical disability can embody Jasmina’s psychological scars. This embodiment empowers them both. Visibility touches invisibility. Jasmina confides in Joseph: “Here I cannot make mayonnaise even. Hand shakes adding oil to yolk. Between liquid and solid. Mess.” The contrast “between liquid and solid” reflects the... More > dog-and-wolf question: at which point does the transition from day to night—unable to able, liquid to solid—most affect us?< Less
Mar 18, 2013This book contains two very fine plays by Catherine Filloux, both about people living with the aftereffects of genocide. In Dog and Wolf, a Bosnian woman named Jasmina seeks asylum in the United States after the Bosnian Genocide, and in Killing The Boss an American playwright, Eve, tries to teach in a Cambodia governed by the corrupt and despicable Prime Minister Hun Sen. On display in these plays is Catherine Filloux's excellent ability to create subtle and complete characters. Filloux writes for humanitarian purposes, but instead of only reporting she also invents marvelous people who are both devastated and strengthened by the trauma they have faced. Jasmina is the best part of the two plays--she has lived in both Bosnia and the western world, and the real effects of her trauma do not override her intelligence, wit, compassion, or rage. She evades any stereotype and is a delight for any reader. Instead of pitying her suffering, I identified with her strength, and that moved me much... More > more than it would have if the author was less skillful and devoted than she really is. Both plays contain both Bosnians or Cambodians and detached westerners. They also center on a single character (Jasmina or Eve) able to cross between these two worlds. The plays are really meant to bring these two groups together, so that an audience understands the shared humanity between, for instance, an actor in New York City and a Cambodian motodriver. As a New Yorker I know how easy it is to become detached from the rest of the world, and these plays are a needed remedy. Both plays are bold. They play with theatrical conventions by using dream scenes and meta-performance, and they also have lots of fun with language--for example, the way Jasmina's humor is filtered through her not-quite-fluent English is odd and beautiful. Dog and Wolf is the more subtle of the two plays, and Killing the Boss the more broad and thrilling, but both are emotional, passionate, smart, and successful. I recommend these especially to anyone interested in political or world theater, and also to anyone eager to read confident, innovative plays with heart.< Less
Jan 4, 2012Catherine Filloux’s plays Killing the Boss and Dog and Wolf confront a spectrum of grappling questions and harsh realities that deal with our rights as citizens during times of severe injustice. Killing the Boss tells the story of an innovative American playwright who is obsessed with working towards equality as a teacher in an unnamed Southeast Asian country that was recently inflicted with genocide. Once her frustrations lead her to a violent encounter with the country’s prime minister (referred to as ‘the Boss’,) she goes missing, leaving her husband, parents, and an Ambassador to work together in an attempt to uncover her status. Throughout the character’s journeys, the audience is presented with a multitude of compelling perspectives, allowing them to address questions such as what it would take to dismantle a country from a dictator’s ‘one-eyed version of truth,’ to how someone could see human beings in New York as ‘strange creatures,’ and how these perspectives develop and... More > relate to one another. The play also confronts the issue of not only unequal distribution of wealth, but of corruption and unequal distribution of opportunity. Killing the Boss encourages the viewer to address these questions and see international human rights issues from many perspectives. Dog and Wolf confronts many questions in regards to human rights by presenting a relationship between Jasmina, a human rights worker and refugee from Bosnia, and her lawyer, Joseph, who helps her attempt to seek asylum in the United States. As in Killing the Boss, the viewer has the opportunity to experience a plethora of perspectives regarding international human rights issues, the US legal system, and the strength of culture. Dog and Wolf provides the viewer with an intimate look on a woman whose culture is often stereotyped and sculpted into a generalized identity, and emphasizes the necessity of ridding pre-conceived notions and understanding the multi-dimensional nature of culture. Importantly, the same is done with Joseph, allowing the viewer to see the Western world from an exterior perspective. Like the meaning behind the phrase ‘Entre chien et loup’ [between dog and wolf], the play clearly presents the subtleties within the differences, and more importantly, the similarities between Joseph and Jasmina, and how their multi-layered situations are anything but cut-and-dry. Through their discourse and actions, the audience joins both characters as they are forced to confront their pasts. Killing the Boss and Dog and Wolf encourage necessary conversations from their viewers. Both plays present large-scale human rights issues at an intimate scale, allowing the audience to see the implications of issues such as genocide and inequality from a multitude of personal perspectives. Filloux’s Killing the Boss and Dog and Wolf do an excellent job of providing their viewers with knowledge about their core issues, while they simultaneously serve as a launching pad for action and conscious thought in regards to human rights and inequality on a global scale.< Less
Jan 4, 2012Dog and Wolf and Killing the Boss are two beautifully written plays By Catherine Filloux in which characters struggle against authority and corruption, while try to find sense in a confusing world. In the end, although justice may not clearly be seen, the characters find strength through companionship. Killing the Boss is a roller coaster ride of a mystery, where every answer leads to more questions. Eve, the play’s protagonist, is a writer/teacher lost in more ways than one. Her immense passion for the country she loves leads her to risk everything in order to save it from the hands of a cruel tyrant. Meanwhile, her family struggles to understand her actions while attempting to find her. Their story deals with the journey to find ones cultural identity, and the effects our actions have on the ones we love. In Dog and Wolf, the play’s two main characters, Joseph and Jasmina, face many of the same struggles as Eve and her family. Jasmina and Joseph are both haunted by the shadows of... More > their past. Eventually, this leads Jasmina to return to her homeland instead of seeking asylum in the United States. Joseph, her lawyer, follows her in hope of bringing her back. Only when they are able to understand each others pains are they able to trust each other. Their journey shows that although there is much pain and grief in the world, in the end, there is also hope. “KILLING THE BOSS HAS HAUNTED ME EVER SINCE I READ IT. IN SO MANY WAYS, IT REFLECTS THE COMPLEXITY OF HOW GOOD THINGS DON'T ALWAYS TRIUMPH; THE ACHING SORROW WHEN THEY DONT. YOU CAPTURED SO WELL THE TERRIBLE POWER OF EVIL TO DESTROY, AND THE EQUALLY WONDERFUL/TERRIBLE POWER OF THE PEOPLE CAUGHT IN AMBIGUOUS SITUATIONS TO SALVAGE WHAT THEY CAN, AND STILL LIVE TO TRY AGAIN. THAT WHOLE EXPERIENCE SHINES IN MY MIND LIKE A LANTERN OF LIGHT IN A DARK TIME.” Rosemary Knower< Less
Oct 27, 2011In Dog and Wolf, Catherine Filloux leads us on a journey that is both magical and uplifting, and at the same time disheartening and brutal. The play gives voice to Jasmina, a Bosnian woman who has suffered a crushing series of losses from years of war and brutality. I usually don't take this kind of theatrical journey, and instead find other ways to bear witness to the ruthlessness of our times, but Filloux has found a way to help us look at the vagaries of human life and at the beauty and wretchedness that our species creates. I am grateful to her for that, and for the impact the play had on me. Dog and Wolf plays around with power relations in irreverent, almost comically unexpected ways. Filloux could have portrayed the immigration lawyer, Joseph, for instance, and his client Jasmina, in characteristically fixed roles in order to make a point, and more easily identify who is abusing whom. But the dialogue in this play is more confusing than that, and harder to pin down as a result.... More > I was on edge as Jasmina would not play the acquiescent role I thought would work best for her. But nothing, it turns out, is one way or the another in this play. Jasmina and Joseph remind us that the same human beings who tear each other apart, are also capable of writing something as beautiful as Dog and Wolf. That not only helps me look longer at the things Filloux points to, but to be more intimate, and hopeful, with all that is going on in the world. It is best to look around us, as Filloux so artfully demonstrates, with a creative and accepting eye.< Less
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- Catherine Filloux (Standard Copyright License)
- First Edition
- NoPassport Press
- February 25, 2011
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 0.84 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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