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The Little Years

The Little Years

John Mighton

Playwrights Canada Press

The Little Years may well be the best new play ever presented at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.” —Robert Cushman, The National Post


The Little Years has been polished into a gem.” —J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe and Mail


“In a world where every artist seems to be called upon to justify his existence, Mighton proves that even if its creation is accidental, the value of art can be huge.” —John Coulbourn, The Toronto Sun


Growing up in the 1950s, Kate is fascinated by time and space, interests dismissed as unbecoming to a young woman of her time. While her brother William achieves literary renown, her family struggles to reach the brilliant Kate as she grows from precocious teen to troubled woman.


Kate possesses the makings of a gifted mathematician with an enthusiasm for exploring the mysteries of space and time. But this is the 1950s and women are routinely laughed out of scientific circles. Besides, every family has its star, and Kate’s brother already holds that distinction. Hindered by prejudices against women, Kate is confined to a life of unfulfilling jobs, leading her to become bitter and unhappy. The Little Years confronts the impact of chauvinism and explores the nature of fame, the value of art, and the passing of time.


John Mighton is a mathematician, author, playwright, and the founder of JUMP Math, a successful school program designed to tutor children who are having difficulties in math. John has written an inspirational book based on his experiences with JUMP called The Myth of Ability: Nurturing Mathematical Talent in Every Child, published by House of Anansi Press. He also released a follow-up book to The End of Ignorance. Mighton completed a PhD in mathematics at the University of Toronto and has lectured in philosophy at McMaster University. He held an NSERC postdoctoral fellowship for research in graph theory and knot theory at the Fields Institute and is currently an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto.


Mighton’s plays Scientific Americans, Possible Worlds, A Short History of Night, Body and Soul, The Little Years, and Half Life have been performed across Canada, as well as in Europe, Japan, and the United States, and have won several national awards including the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for Possible Worlds and A Short History of Night in 1992, and for Half Life in 2005. John was also the recipient of the 2005 Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize. Mighton’s play Possible Worlds was made into a full-length feature film directed by renowned director/playwright Robert Lepage. He is currently adapting Brian Greene’s book The Elegant Universe for the Lincoln Centre with Robert Lepage.

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