Your cart is empty.
The book cover for New features an old black and white photo of a South Asian woman walking on a paved sidewalk in a long trench coat looking up at her surroundings. This photo is overlaid on top of a colour photo of downtown Winnipeg with cars driving on a busy street and yellow curved decorative lights on street lamps. The title of the play and author’s name are in red and black text.

Read an excerpt from New

By Brandon Crone Date: April 11, 2024 Tags: Excerpts

It’s 1970s Winnipeg—a time of revolution and radical possibilities—and an apartment building of Indian immigrant friends is about to be transformed by their latest arrival. A young Bengali Muslim woman, Nuzha, has just married Qasim over the phone at his mother’s insistence, and can’t wait to start her new life with him. But Qasim struggles to let go of his true love, a Canadian nurse named Abby, making him an emotionally and physically distant husband. Broken-hearted but full of pluck, Nuzha finds comfort and adventures on her own terms by exploring everything her new community has to offer. From braving the bus schedule to building close relationships with Qasim’s friends, Nuzha’s discoveries are thrilling, enriching, and crack open new possibilities for everyone.

From the creator of the powerful solo show Crash, Pamela Mala Sinha’s New is an evocative, emotionally astute comedy about the complex nature of love and sacrifice, joyful togetherness and piercing loneliness, and what it means to create entirely new ways of life through our willingness to tread uncharted territory.

Read the first few pages from the play below.


QASIM’s place. Evening.

QASIM—in boxers, smoking profusely—is on the couch, phone in hand, its coil stretched from the kitchen. A near-empty bottle of whisky, a shot glass, and ashtray are on the table before him.

He is a disaster.

QASIM: (very loud) I’m here.



He pours out a shot.

Whatever dowry she wants—what does she want? Well ask her.

He throws back the shot.

Of course she can decide later.


No—you tell him.


(panicking) I don’t want to talk to the mullah, Ma— Oh! Salaam—yes, this is Qasim.

(to the mullah) Yes I agree that Nuzha can decide her own dowry . . .

He lights up a cigarette—

(loud, frustrated) I just said I agreed. Why do I have to—

Surrendering, he repeats after the mullah while smoking—

“The payment of the dowry will be determined by the bride . . . presented to her by me . . . when she arrives in Canada as—as a demonstration of my commitment.”

He goes to pour out another shot but sees the bottle is empty.

Can I speak to my cousin Salim for one minute?


The tall ugly one.

Phone in hand, he goes to the bar in search of a new bottle—

Hey, man, can we get this done?! Ma’s making me crazy . . . hello—Salim?!

(yells at them) Stop passing the phone around, you guys!

(to the mullah) Oh, sorry—yes, Mullah-ji, I have it here.

He goes back to the coffee table and picks up the aerogram letter, shaking cigarette ash off it.

(reading) “I accept marrying your . . . ” sorry? Yes, Mullah-ji, of course, her first.

As the contract is made on the other end of the line, Qasim unscrews the cap from a bottle of vodka he’s found and takes a swig.

(mid-gulp) Now?

He reads the contract:

“I accept marrying your daughter, Nuzha Sakila, giving her name to myself in accordance with the Islamic Shari’ah, and in the presence of the witnesses here with the dowry agreed upon. And Allah—”

He looks at the bottle in his hand . . . then puts it down.

“And Allah is our best witness. Qubool hai. Qubool hai. Qubool hai.

He returns to the couch, letter in hand, depleted.


I’m signing it right now.

He casts the letter on the coffee table, not signing.


Is Ma there? Can you please put her on.


Hi, Ma . . .

(angry) NOW why are you crying?!


Why is she crying, Salim?

(to Ma through the phone) Well if she’s so happy, tell her to eat something, for god’s sake! I’m not getting off until I know she’s eating . . .


Good. What?!

He stands, in total panic.


He is frozen through the following, barely able to speak.

Salaam alaikum . . . I’m fine.


And you?


Yes—I have it.

He reluctantly picks up a photo from the table.


It’s . . . you’re . . . very nice.


(lying badly) Nice to hear your voice too.


Find out how the plot unfolds by ordering your copy of New today!