How it Works


Daniel MacIvor

About the Book

Daniel MacIvor’s How It Works introduces us to four unforgettable people: Al, his ex-wife Donna, his new partner Christine, and his troubled daughter Brooke. Brilliantly weaving past and present, the play illuminates these four lives as they come to terms with their own stories.

“As far as I can figure, the way that it works is this: everyone has something that happened to them. The thing that we each carry. And you can see it in people, if you look. See it in the way someone walks, in the way someone takes a compliment, sometimes you can just see it in someone’s eyes, in one moment, of desperation, of fear, in one quick moment you can see that thing that happened. Everyone has it. The thing that keeps you up at night, or makes you not trust people, or stops love. The thing that hurts. And to stop it, to stop the hurt you have to turn it into a story. And not just a story you play over and over for yourself, but a story that you tell. A story’s not a story unless you tell it. And once you tell it, it’s not yours anymore. You give it away. And once you give it away it’s not something that hurts you anymore, it’s something that helps everyone who hears it. It’s the kind of thing that’s hard to explain. It’s probably best if we just show you how it works.” —From How It Works


“…a spiritual experience as MacIvor invokes the power of storytelling to heal broken lives.”
Chronicle Herald

About the Author

Daniel MacIvor was born in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia in 1962. He has been creating new theatre since 1986 and was for twenty years Artistic Director of da da kamera, an international touring company based in Toronto, which helped change the way theatre is developed in Canada. His published work includes: See Bob Run, Never Swim Alone, House/Humans, Monster (Scirocco Drama), Here Lies Henry, You Are Here (Scirocco Drama), In On It (Scirocco Drama), and I Still Love You: Five Plays. He works with theatres across Canada and the United States including New York’s Urbanstages and Nova Scotia’s Mulgrave Road Theatre. He has been the recipient of several Dora Mavor Moore Awards, two Chalmers Awards, and an Obie Award.

DRA013000 Drama/Canadian
96 pp, 5.5 x 8.5 in