The Playgoer: Toronto Theatre's Political Season

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Toronto Theatre's Political Season

Toronto Star reports on the back-to-back openings of three Iraq and Middle-Eastern themed plays. Including Rachel Corrie,previously cancelled by Canadian Stage, but finally getting its Toronto debut. As is Stuff Happens.

But less known is the world premiere of Canadian playwright Judith Thompson's Palace of the End.

Thompson has picked three people whose lives were destroyed by the war in Iraq and given them a chance to speak their minds. Lynndie England is the U.S. soldier who was convicted of abusing detainees at Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison, David Kelly was the British weapons expert who allegedly committed suicide after being involved in a government scandal, and Nehrjas Al Saffarh was a member of the Communist party of Iraq who suffered under Saddam Hussein's regime and died when Americans bombed her home during the initial Gulf War.

It's about time Canadian playwrights got more exposure--and productions!--in the States. Maybe this is a place to start?

Attention Culture Project....


frank said...

I've read an earlier version of the Lynddie England section of Thompson's piece, which was presented by itself a couple of years ago and which I talked about in my Masters thesis. It's pretty remarkable. It's frustrating that Thompson (and other worthy Canadians) get so little play here.

Thanks for mentioning it. onulgxi

Dennis said...

This played a good run at the NoHo Theatre in Los Angeles, got at least one Ovation Award Nomination and good reviews.

Anonymous said...

"It's about time Canadian playwrights got more exposure--and productions!--in the States."

News flash: Toronto is in Canada.

Playgoer said...

Yeah, anon, I know where Toronto is. I hope upon re-reading the sentence, though, you'll see that believing that Toronto is in Canada and believing Canadian plays should be done in the US more are not mutually exclusive.

But apologies if my phrasing wasn't clear. The "it's about time" looks forward, not back.

everest said...

Fantastic new play - Canadian production of 'Someone To Watch Over Me'. Done by new Canadian sensation Tegan Shohet ( see T Star srory last week).
Features RH Thomson, David Ferry together !!!- sensational and also Ryan Hollweg is very good in such great company.
Run don't walk to this one - must see this but go this week - it ends on 13th.