Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.
August 8, 2011, by
1 comment

Three reasons not to stay home

by Michael Wheeler

1 – Three shows left, each with something unique to offer

Post-show panel presented in the Conversation Room at the Great Hall by The Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

Aug 10th @ 7:30pm show – 9pm panel

Emily Burke, managing editor, The Mark News

Tommy Taylor, playwright/performer of You Should Have Stayed Home
Ajamu Nangwaya, labour lawyer specializing in police accountability
Nathalie Des Rosiers, General Counsel of Canadian Civil Liberties Association

Midnight Show: 40 people in the cage

Aug 12th @ midnight

Photo by Will O'Hare

About a month ago we made the decision to put forty people in the cage with Tommy for a portion of the show. Our approach to the piece changed in a lot of ways after that, including putting a desk in the middle of the stage, so we ended up needing about 27 performers to make room for our new approach.

Beyond the practicalities of bodies in space, we felt it was the right decision artistically as what we were creating wasn’t living anywhere close to realism.

Why 40? Because that is the number of people who were in Tommy’s cage, which is the exact same dimensions of our set at The Eastern Avenue Detention Centre.

So we have decided to pursue this approach for one show only – The Midnight Show! Joining our volunteer detainees will be members of the production team, friends of the show and some members of the theatre community. For one night only, lets look at what 40 Canadian citizens stuffed into a metal cage with no access to water looks like.

Final Show

August 13 @ 10pm

This is probably our best show time and the last show of the run. It’s gonna be packed. Buy in advance, or show up early to get in. They hold 1/2 of the tickets to be available at the door 1hr before the performance.

Photo by Will O'Hare

2 – The critical response thus far

Globe and Mail theatre critic J Kelly Nestruck tweeted immediately following the opening night show

So far we have received two reviews for the show and they are, well, contradictory. Meyerhold would be proud!

NOW Magazine‘s Jordan Bimm reviewed the show, giving it NNN, but was disappointed with the show’s choice to have Tommy tell his story instead of live it in terms of performance style.

The adaptation could go further – with more parts acted than recounted – but as it stands this is a sad but important piece of Canadian history.

Meanwhile  S. Bear Bergman reviewed the show for  Mooney on Theatre (which does not rate shows out of 4 or 5) and was enthusiastic about the choice, comparing the performance style to Spalding Gray:

Tommy Taylor’s You Should Have Stayed Home, which has more than lived up to its pre-SummerWorks hype…You Should Have Stayed Home is in many ways the truest testament to the power of a likable narrator.

So there you have it, the only way to weigh in on this is to come check it out.

3 You Should Have Stayed Home vs You Should Have Stayed AT Home

Back in the winter, Tommy was interviewed as one of four subjects that were focused on in a CBC Fifth Estate documentary about G20, during which Tommy told CBC about his plan to make a play about his experience. Low and behold – when the show airs, it shared the same name as the play Tommy was planning on creating (plus the word AT).

We’re not complaining – this was a great publicity boost for the show and the documentary was very well received. So much so that it was just nominated for a Gemini award for best writing in a documentary. Congrats to journalist Gillian Findlay on her nomination for bringing some of the consequences of G20 Toronto to viewers across the country.

You can watch the full Gemini-nominated doc on the CBC website here.

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One comment:

  1. Verne says:

    I’m gonna see if I can skip out on running my other show so as to sit in on the CCLA panel discussion – very exciting.