WATCHING GLORY Begins 5/15 at Canadian Rep Theatre
Canadian Rep Theatre is currently rehearsing for the Toronto presentation of its world premiere production of Watching Glory Die written and performed in a solo tour de force role by Judith Thompson, one of Canada's most celebrated playwrights. Recently showcased at The CULTCH in Vancouver and directed by Artistic Director Ken Gass, this riveting portrait of three women inextricably linked by tragedy starts performances May 15 and runs to June 1 at Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs. Tickets are available by calling 416.368.3110 or by visiting www.canadianrep.ca .
Glory is a troubled 19-year-old inmate, incarcerated for very minor offences at age 14, whose compulsive, rebellious nature leads to a non-ending, ever-spiraling clash with Corrections Canada. Rosellen is the girl's suburban adoptive mother, desperately trying to stay connected to her daughter in the maze of prison bureaucracy. Gail is a working-class prison guard, struggling to walk the line between her 'orders' and her conscience.
Though deliberately fictional, Thompson tells a devastating story inspired by the real events surrounding the death of Ashley Smith who asphyxiated herself while seven prison guards watched on video monitors. Watching Glory Die forges the kind of visceral lyricism that is the hallmark of Judith Thompson at her most powerful. "The impossible is happening in our country," says Thompson who takes to the stage for the first time in three decades for this production.
This production of Watching Glory Die marks the launch of Canadian Rep Theatre's 2014 Spring Season, which also includes George F. Walker's Dead Metaphor, running at the Panasonic Theatre May 20 to June 8, as part of the Off-Mirvish Season.
A highly esteemed Canadian playwright, Judith Thompson is the author of 20 published and produced plays - many of which have been produced all over the world in many languages - including The Crackwalker, White Biting Dog, I Am Yours, Lion in the Streets, Sled, Perfect Pie, Habitat, Capture Me, Enoch Arden, Palace of the End, Such Creatures, The Thrill and Watching Glory Die, as well as adaptations of Hedda Gabler and Elektra. Elektra in Bosnia was performed in Hydra and Athens, Greece as part of the 2012 international Women & War Project. She has also authored two feature films, Perfect Pie and Lost and Delirious, as well as several made-for-TV movies including Life With Billy and numerous radio plays. She is the director/creator of the verbatim theatre pieces body and soul, Sick, Rare and is currently in rehearsals for Borne. She is the recipient of two Governor General's Literary Awards, is an Officer in the Order of Canada and received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012. In 2007, she was awarded the prestigious Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts and in 2008, The Susan Smith Blackburn Award and Dora Mavor Moore Outstanding New Play Award for Palace of the End, which also garnered her the 2009 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. She has been a professor of theatre at the University of Guelph since 1992. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two dogs, two cats and a shifting number of her five children.
Ken Gass is the founding artistic director of Canadian Rep Theatre and Factory Theatre (1970-79, 1996-2012). Gass has directed numerous notable productions including The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway, Belle by Florence Gibson (Best Director Award, Ottawa), The Leisure Society by Francois Archambault (Dora Award, Outstanding Direction), Apple by Vern Thiessen, The Tiger of Malaya by Hiro Kanagawa, A Short History of Night by John Mighton, fareWel by Ian Ross and several acclaimed revivals of plays by George F. Walker including Better Living, Escape From Happiness, Beyond Mozambique and Tough! Gass is the winner of the Premier's Award for Excellence in the Arts, the George Luscombe Award for theatre mentoring, the Toronto Theatre Critics Award for contribution to Toronto Theatre, the Toronto Arts Award and is a recipient of the prestigious Silver Ticket Award. He recently directed Pacamambo by Wajdi Mouawad for Canadian Rep's re-launch in January this season.
Set and costume design is by Astrid Janson, lighting design by Andre du Toit, projection design by Cameron Davis and sound design is by Debashis Sinha. The associate director is Nicky Guadagni and the stage manager is Nan Shepherd.
Canadian Rep Theatre presents the world premiere production of Watching Glory Die Written and performed by Judith Thompson Directed by Ken Gass Set and Costume design by Astrid Janson Lighting design by Andre du Toit Projections designed by Cameron Davis, Sound design by Debashis Sinha Associate Director: Nicky Guadagni May 15 to June 1, 2014 (Media Night May 21) Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs, 26 Berkeley St., Toronto Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 2pm Tickets: $18-$42 (some discounts for students, seniors and arts workers) Tickets are available by calling the Box Office at 416.368.3110 or visiting www.canadianrep.ca.