Paradise By The River, production shot

Production shot from the 2010 production of Paradise By The River, written by Vittorio Rossi and produced by Shadowpath Theatre Productions, at the Vaughan City Playhouse.

The play centres on Romano, a recent immigrant, who is arrested without charge in his own home after Canada officially declares war with Italy. Torn from the arms of his terrified and pregnant wife Maria, Romano is held against his will with hundreds of men of Italian descent at a prisoner of war camp in Petawawa, Ontario. These individuals were never officially charged with any crime. Playing out the ironies of a government action “to protect its citizens,” Paradise by the River details the struggle to preserve morality in a nation and time seemingly intent on its demise.

Production shot of Ville-Émard resident and Italian Canadian man Lorenzo (Frank Spezzano). Lorenzo was not interned, but is witness to the discrimination faced Italian Canadians in Montreal during the period. He also offers assistance to Maria Di Cenzo, the wife of internee Romano Di Cenzo, who gave birth to their child during his absence.