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Seeds
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Part courtroom drama and part social satire, Seeds presents an intelligent portrait of farming and scientific communities in conflict and at the same time penetrates the complex science of genetically modified crops. The play documents the 2004 Supreme Court of Canada showdown between Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser and biotech multinational Monsanto Inc., a David-and-Goliath struggle that cast Schmeiser as the small-farmer underdog fighting the unscrupulous major corporation. Monsanto accused him of growing their genetically patented Round-up Ready canola seeds on his property without paying the licensing fee they require. Through a suspenseful labyrinth of legal conflicts regarding patent rights, scientific showdowns about GM food and property clashes between farmers and the biotechnology industry, Seeds asks the essential question: "Can you patent a living thing?" Or as Schmeiser famously asked, "Who owns life?" A most interesting aspect of the play is the ambiguity around the hero Percy Schmeiser. Is he a victim or an opportunist and self-publicist? Certainly, he's no innocent; as he keeps telling us, he's an experienced politician, in fact an ex-mayor. He's a believer who knows how to frame his beliefs to advantage. He can be grand and he can be petty -- and as such he is antihero as much as hero. Named the top play of the decade by Rover Arts in its review of English theatre in Montreal between 2000 and 2010, Seeds takes us back to the seminal moment when a single farmer stood up to international agribusiness and almost won. Cast of 4 women and 3 men.
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Promotional Information

Advertising in Canadian Theatre ReviewProduct placement in bookstores during production runsSocial media campaign (web, Twitter, Facebook) Promotion on the author's website (porteparole.org) Publicity and promotion in conjunction with the author's performances and speaking engagements

About the Author

Annabel Soutar is the artistic director of Porte Parole, a Montreal theater company dedicated to creating and producing original documentary plays about contemporary social and political issues. Her first play, Novembre, debuted in 2000. Since then she has written 2000 Questions (2002) and contributed to Sante! (2003), a seven-part documentary series about Quebec's health care system. Her more recent docudrama, Sexy beton (Sexy Concrete) (2009/2010), explored the collapse of the de la Concorde overpass in 2006 and the culture of corruption in Quebec's construction industry. Sexy beton was named a finalist for the prestigious French playwriting award Le Prix Michel-Tremblay in 2011.

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