Carrying the Calf

Cast: 4f. (Audience. Secondary school and above)
One act.

Indira (17) drags her West Indian friend, Sharon, to a self-defense class.  Sharon would rather spend time with her boyfriend, Calvin. The only other student is Anne, a white single mother of 4. All face a kind of violence in their lives, but divided by age, race and expectations, they prove a handful for Firoza, the South Asian instructor. But when she tells them the ancient story of Fetneh who carried a calf up 60 steps every day for 6 years, the connections begin to be made and strength of spirit is seen to be as essential as strength of body.  The four scenes of the play are linked by katas, the strictly choreographed, powerful sequences of movements that are a central part of karate.

First produced by Straight Stitching Productions on tour to high schools and adult education colleges in 1990. Director: Lib Spry.

Carrying the Calf was published by Theatrefolk, 2003, and is in New International Plays for Young Audiences, edited by Roger Ellis, Meriwether Publishing. 2002

***The production won the DORA Award for outstanding theatre for young audiences in 1990 and Shirley Barrie won a Chalmer’s Award for the script in 1991.

Sample pages

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