KW & Beyond
by Irena Syrokomla
Theatre & Company – Mourning Doveby Emil Sher.
What would you do if your child was suffering from an incurable condition, was in constant pain and there was no hope for any change? What would you do if it were your parent, spouse or friend? It is very easy to have a clear stand on euthanasia when it does not apply to you and to judge the individuals trapped in such circumstances, condemning them as murderers. What would you do if it were you?
Mourning Dove, which is running until November 12 at Theatre & Company in downtown Kitchener is based on the Robert Latimer case which shook the conscience of Canadians in 1993. It is my understanding that Robert Latimer is still incarcerated and that the general population has not come to any uniform conclusion about the rights of the terminally ill, be it right to live or right to die. The topic is, and will remain, painful and difficult to discuss.
Now, about the actual staging and production: It is likely the last of the productions directed by former Artistic Director Stuart Scadron-Wattles in Theatre & Company. One can feel his hand in it. The stage design by Dennis Horn is intimate and well thought through, presenting a workshop in a family house adorned with unused puppets and a very symbolic Noah’s Ark. There are broken thoughts like broken dreams hanging above the stage and shelves stuffed with abandoned toys never to be used. The actors, especially Dwight McFee playing Father is heart-breaking. Matt White in the role of a mentally challenged neighbor is equally impressive. Linda Bush as the Mother is somehow the least convincing in her denial and pain. Elise Bauman delivers the central role of disabled Tina by labored breathing and some moaning – off stage. Tina is never shown to us, but we are continually aware of her overwhelming presence through the sound of her breathing, listening to parents talking about her, and when we see the small T-shirt – we get the notion how small she is. The play however dramatic is very subtle, there are no crude statements or actual displays of disability. One has to really know the Latimer case to appreciate it and follow the lead. There are really no surprises: we know what happened and we know how it ends. The question remains: what would you do if you were in this situation? There is no answer, only soul-searching dilemma.
Mourning Dove runs at Theatre & Company till November 12, tickets available at 519-571-0928 firstname.lastname@example.org.
K-W Symphony and its current pains.
Shortly after I reviewed the program of K-W Symphony, the news of its financial struggles broke in the local media. Suddenly, after the opening of the season, printing the programs, selling the subscriptions and promoting new ideas, it was discovered that the symphony is in deep financial trouble: the subscriptions are down, the donations are down and the Ontario Arts Council grants significantly reduced. The Symphony was just about to go bankrupt.
Since that announcement, the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo as well as the Region of Waterloo came through with additional funds, donations came in and the musicians are still playing. What remains to be seen is how long the emergency monies will last and what plans the Board of Directors will offer to continue the operation and avoid future emergencies.
As it has been commented in the press – how was it possible for such a financial crisis to come as a surprise? The level of subscriptions and the financial situation should have been known for some time.
The proposed solution to cut the musicians salaries by 15% is really short-term and mean in its nature, considering their average salary is in the mid 20’s. One of the series Keynotes & Canapes has been cancelled. The public outburst in the local press has been quite something, both pro funding and supporting, and against it.
So, at the moment K-W Symphony is still playing and we will be following it, both in attendance and in news releases. Personally, I wish the Symphony all the best for many years to come! Buy the tickets, donate if you can, and enjoy the music.
Current information atwww.kwsymphony.on.ca or call 519-578-1570.
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