ANYTHING BUT ANOTHER THEATRE EVENT
Without hyperbolizing matters, you just gotta bow down at the throne of Chris Abraham.
It’s one thing that the stylistically innovative director has garnered a reputation for pushing out the visual walls of conventional storytelling. Yet this doesn’t explain how he takes a simply scripted, almost technically impossible to stage docu-drama to reinforce the overly analysed hot topic of climate change that lobbies for accountability.
If there was a business case of theatrenomics, he’d be the untouchable Dragon guarding the performance arts den.
This is illustrated in just a few brief scenes on a transcending interchangeable set accompanied by a flood of projected imagery that makes this anything but another theatre event.
Yet it’s Annabel Soutar’s polemical play that respectfully speaks out against senseless government policy that erodes public confidence that allows him to cross into a new creative frontier that’s both inviting and engaging.
This is, after all, a verbatim account she herself has experienced in seeking answers as to why a federally funded scientific research facility in Kenora, Ontario ended up on a budget chopping block despite its great environmental importance. The supposed political perpetrators are called out and the environmental message messiahs are introduced to respond in one long deep dive into the contentious abyss.
Kristen Thompson circulates each scene with a notably unbiased voice with the sensitive material letting Eric Peterson deliver a bold defense for fiscal responsibility and economic growth in an expanding global village.
The best part about The Watershed is that you’re not left with the impression that a Liberal leaning playwright is attempting to change the world. Instead she targets that true nature of ideologues as barriers preventing an environmental leap forward.
Which goes to prove it’s not what you say that captures hearts and minds but rather how smartly you say it.
THE WATERSHED by Annabel Soutar September 20 – October 30, 2016 TARRAGON THEATRE, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto TICKETS $28.00 – $65.00 www.tarragontheatre.com 416-531-1827 CAST Laura Condlln, Bruce Dinsmore, Alex Ivanovici, Tanja Jacobs, Ngozi Paul, Eric Peterson, Amelia Sargisson & Kristen Thomson DIRECTOR Chris Abraham SET & COSTUMES Julie Fox PROJECTION DESIGN Denyse Karn LIGHTING Kimberly Purtell SOUND DESIGN Thomas Ryder Payne STAGE MANAGER Merissa Tordjman