This week is all about theatre

This week I’ve got theatre on the brain because I’ve got theatre on the schedule. It’s a busy one: at Pacific Theatre we’re opening RE:UNION, a new play by Sean Devine, and at Rumble Productions we’re in the second week of rehearsals for SNOWMAN by Greg MacArthur. Two great plays by two Canadian writers.

Normally I would never write a blog post about shows I’m being paid to publicize. It seems a little… well, not very classy. However, with these two I can’t really help it because I am incredibly excited about both of them.

First up: Pacific Theatre and RE:UNION.

Re:Union is a fictional story based in historical fact. In 1965 a Quaker named Norman Morrison burned himself to death outside the office of Robert McNamara to protest the Vietnam War. He brought his baby daughter with him and it is unclear if he intended for her to be a part of his sacrifice or not, but she did live. The play takes that event and imagines Emily Morrison (the daughter) in the wake of 9/11, struggling to carry her father’s legacy of sacrifice and pacifism in the light of a new war in a new millennium. This play is inventive, poetic, theatrical, and boils down to one compelling story. It opens this Friday night and I could not be more excited.

Second on the docket: Rumble Productions and SNOWMAN

This one’s pure fiction, and a lovely piece of fiction at that. Set in a small Canadian town on the edge of a glacier, a young man discovers the body of a long-dead neanderthal in the ice. The result is a dark and haunting comedy – think Twin Peaks or Fargo. You can’t help but laugh as these all-too-human characters make bizarre decisions after making this discovery. I knew I would like it after I read the script, and I knew that I would love it after sitting in on the first read through.

Sometimes working in theatre can be a bit of a slog: big stress, big pressure, little payback. Sometimes we have to put on shows that aren’t very exciting to make a little money. Sometimes we think a show is going to be exciting and it flops. When I get a chance to be a part of two productions like these, however, I know that I am doing the right thing. How do you know when you’re doing the right thing?