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Overboard charts the struggle of a small, family-run Parisian toilet paper manufacturing firm against the forces of a giant American multinational corporation. It explores the political and social instability of France in the 1960s, and its multicultural world vision encompasses savage Scandinavian gods, free jazz, avant-garde performance art, and a priceless collection of snuff boxes.

Michel Vinaver, formerly C.E.O. of Gillette in France, Belgium, and Italy, completed Overboard (Par-dessus bord) in 1969. The play is substantially autobiographical—its narrator, Passemar, is a business executive but also a playwright, whose fictional characters are no longer willing to act according to his creative decisions. Overboard is considered the greatest work of one of France’s most important living dramatists.