Reviewed by on    Theatre in Ottawa and the region  

It is hard enough to raise a child as a single parent, but try to raise a daughter as a single father, and you face a real challenge. Well-known Canadian poet, spoken word artist and motivational speaker Dwayne Morgan talks about that difficult time when his daughter reaches puberty, and the father takes on the role of the mother. How do you explain the changes her body is going through and how do you deal with other new issues that will come soon? Morgan’s story explores not only a father-daughter relationship, but much more than that. He incorporates in his narrative problems of growing up in today’s wold, such as sexism, racism, and generally cruelty that a sheltered young girl does not know.

Grade 8 is a real gem that touches on relevant problems faced by kids and parents alike. Morgan gives us its male parent angle. He knows everything about boys’ way of thinking, he knows their intentions, and, also, how it usually ends. Not a life he wants for his daughter! He wants only the best for her, but, as he realizes, eventually he has to let go. Told with wit and humour, sincerity and warmth, this story will leave nobody indifferent. Morgan’s voice is melodic and his pace, although sometimes a little rushed, has a quality of poetic rhyming. He captivates the audience, making them laugh and contemplate.