Contemporary Canadian Literature with a Distinctly Urban Twist

Anvil Press

Tortoise Boy: A Chamber Play

Tortoise Boy: A Chamber Play

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Four disparate people confront each other—their memory and their responsibility—at the emergency room of a hospital when brought together by the crisis of a teenager suffering a psychiatric episode.

Tortoise Boy is a “chamber play,” four monologues, or mon-dialogues, if you will. Through these four voices, four instruments—a quartet—these characters confront numerous existential quandaries: Can we have a future without a past? Is there meaning to a past that has no future? When do our memories open doors, and when do they close them? What’s best forgotten? What’s indelible? The ancient Greeks believed that memory is the mother of the muses, and the words memory, muse, and music all share a common root.


  • Publication: Nov 2008
  • ISBN: 9781895636956
  • Pages: 64 pp
  • Size: 5.25 x 8.25 inches

Charles Tidler is a poet, novelist, librettist, spoken jazz artist and, playwright who has written scripts for stage, radio, TV and film. Recent stage plays include Tortoise Boy (Belfry Festival .04) and Rappaccini’s Daughter (Phoenix Theatre, U of Victoria, 2003). Red Mango, a blues play, was a box office and critical hit at the Belfry Theatre in 2000 and has been published by Anvil Press.

Honors include National Radio Awards, a Chalmers Outstanding Play Award, Canada Council and B.C. Arts Council awards, and a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. A novel Going to New Orleans was published to critical acclaim in 2004. A second novel, Hard Hed was published by Anvil in 2012.

Charles has worked for 20 years as a dramaturge and teacher of creative writing at North Island College, The University of Victoria, Camosun College, Canadian College of Film & Acting, The Banff School of Fine Arts, The Kootenay College of Arts, Playwrights Theatre Centre, Intrepid Theatre, Theatre BC, and The Belfry Theatre.

Charles grew up in Indiana, studying literature and philosophy at Purdue University. He has lived on the west coast of Canada since 1969 and is the father of two sons. He makes his home in Victoria, BC.

Books by Charles Tidler