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The Sound of Cracking Bones



The Sound of Cracking Bones by: Suzanne Lebeau

February 14-28 (English); 3-7 mars (Français), 2015


Translated by: Julia Duchesne & John Van Burek

Directed by: John Van Burek 

Set & Costumes by: Teresa Przybylski

Composer: Debashis Sinha 

Lighting Designer: Jason Hand 

Cast: Patricia Cano, Caity Quinn, and Harveen Sandhu

The Sound of Cracking Bones is the story of thirteen-year-old Elikia, a resilient, courageous girl who leads innocent eight-year old Joseph on a harrowing escape through the jungle toward a hoped-for freedom.

Set in a war-torn country, which could be in Africa, Latin America or South Asia, the story takes us to the very heart of Elikia and Joseph’s life as child soldiers caught in the grip of ruthless warlords.

Their story is later brought to light by Angelina, the nurse who rescued and cared for them, as she testifies before a tribunal charged with examining the issue of child soldiers.

It’s only because of her testimony that the reality of these children - like so many others’ - is revealed to us. In turn, we see how the comfort of distance and time can dilute empathy with indifference.

Unsettling yet life-affirming, The Sound of Cracking Bones is an intimate portrayal of a global issue.


Contextualizing The Sound of Cracking Bones


Through The Sound of Cracking Bones, Suzanne Lebeau gives us a Canadian perspective of this pressing world issue. Having already been translated into seven languages and performed all over the world - with resounding success – we now hope to create a vigorous dialogue and stimulating educational experience for students and adults in Toronto.


Kenneth Carano and Robert Bailey pointed out in "Social Education" (Oct., 2012), "The forceful induction of children as child soldiers is an abhorrent violation of human rights. [In] preparing students for global citizenship in a rapidly changing world, social studies education proves an ideal forum to expose students to important world issues and challenges. Competent instruction motivates students to become engaged in finding solutions that can improve the future of the world. The application of the framework of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child facilitates the identification of children's rights and exposes violations against child soldiers in significant ways." 



Children’s Rights, Citizen Participation, Citizenship Responsibility, Children, Military Personnel, Civil Rights, Global Approach, Social Studies, Web Sites, Writing Assignments

Suzanne Lebeau

Suzanne Lebeau, author of more than 25 original plays and many translations, is recognized as one of the pre-eminent playwrights for young audiences in the world today. Already, with public readings of The Sound of Cracking Bones / Le bruit des os qui craquent, she received the Prix des Journées de Lyon des auteurs de théâtre (2007) and la Distinction de la Comédie-Française (2008). The production of the play earned her le Prix Collidram (best play of the year, selected by French high school students) and here at home, the Governor General’s Award for Theatre (2009). Le bruit des os qui craquent was first staged in Montréal at le Théâtre d’Aujourd’hui in 2009. It went on to receive a production at the world-renowned Comédie-Française in February, 2010. These numerous distinctions underline the impact, depth and quality of Suzanne Lebeau’s artistic approach. For 35 years, this Quebec author has been questioning, directly and with great sensitivity, the place of children in the world. The Pleiades production of this play will mark the English language world première.


Study Guides

English   |   Français

Photography: Cylla von Tiedemann

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