This is How We Got Here - Review Photo

Tamara Podemski as Liset (left) finds a genuinely connected moment with Michaela Washburn as Lucille (right) in This Is How We Got Here on stage in the Aki Studio space until February 16, 2020.  Photo Credit:  Christie Wong.


Ask anyone who has had to prematurely bid farewell to a loved one what it takes to learn to live again and you’ll get a different answer every time.

In Keith Barker’s astonishingly heartfelt and deeply absorbing play This Is How We Got Here, two men and two women realize tomorrow is never found until they learn to come to terms with the sorrow of today.

And if that sounds like a heavy night at the theatre, do think again.  Native Earth Theatre rounds up the perfect quartet to burrow for truth in what it means to be human in a story that’s every bit funny as it is uplifting when compassion is warmly discovered on the other side.

An anguished and disturbed Lucille (Michaela Washburn) and tough as nails Paul (Kristopher Bowman) have parted ways following the tragic death of their son which has inevitably turned their worlds upside down. Tension cannot be avoided in each other’s presence but thanks to the love of others, all does not have to be lost.

Liset (Tamara Podemski) is the mediating sister who acutely cares for her female sibling but finds herself at wit’s end in offering support. Ditto for Paul’s bestie, Jim (James Dallas Smith), who tries his best to provide answers that disappointingly do not appear to exist.

It’s one thing for the playwright to craft such a sound and affecting script showing the role we play in one another’s lives through the good times and the bad. Yet by relying on an intangible tale of a fox to underscore the ‘magic of storytelling,’ he assures us that our personal biographies continue long after we’re gone.

As a result, This Is How We Got Here comes across as a love letter to a departed child in a way that makes audiences one step closer to true essence of existence.



THIS IS HOW WE GOT HERE by Keith Baker AKI STUDIO, DANIELS SPECTRUM, 585 Dundas Street East, Toronto DATES January 29 – February 16, 2020 TICKETS  $15.00 – $30.00 416-531-1402.

CAST  Kristopher Bowman, Tamara Podemski, James Dallas Smith and Michaela Washburn

DIRECTOR Keith Barker

SET Shannon Lea Doyle


COSTUMES Isidra Cruz

SOUND DESIGN Christopher Stanton

COSTUMES Isidra Cruz

STAGE MANAGER Heather Thompson



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