This spring is seriously woke at Canadian Stage. Toronto’s famed Berkley Street Theatre brings us not one but two plays by women directors that take an intersectional lens to issues of perspective, race, and identity. If you are looking to experience theatre that is sure to make you think, this is your golden opportunity.
Directed by Rachel Maza, Jack Charles v The Crown is based on the life of its star, the titular Jack Charles. Part of Australia’s indigenous community, Charles uses a breathtaking combination of music and monologues to tell his own life story. He starts as a young man, institutionalized by the state and forced to pledge allegiance to the Queen of the country that colonized his people. As he gets older, Charles develops – and kicks – a serious drug addiction. At times, he resorts to thievery to survive, and he eventually spends decades of his life in jail. Ultimately, Charles finds his way through artistic expression, but the play makes it clear his suffering should never be glorified simply because he managed to triumph in the end.
In the end, Jack Charles v The Crown is a spellbinding theatrical experience that invites the audience to immerse themselves in the lived experiences of a man who has spent a lifetime enduring an oppressive colonial government that was not set up for – or by – his own people.
Directed by Ashlie Corcoran, KISS is a play about the crisis in Syria. Set in Damascus, the entirety of the action takes place in a single living room. But do not let the small set fool you; this play conquers some major questions about life and art.
Without spoiling the plot, KISS provides its audience with an epistemological thought experiment. It asks viewers to consider whether art is indeed a universal language that transcends cultural barriers, or if something is always lost in translation. Bring your most philosophical friends, because this production is sure to spark a debate or two!
Click here for tickets.