“Retrospect is everything… It is the road ahead of you and the horizon behind you.”
Award-winning Canadian playwright and screenwriter Daniel MacIvor introduces us to Alison, a troubled soul struggling to untangle how she got to where she is. Did she know the right people? Make good choices? We meet her friends, lovers and business acquaintances, and travel with them (and her) through the darkly funny contradictions and confusions of a modern life lived, to find out what it means to be happy in all this messiness.
Paul Hardy, director of Alumnae Theatre’s production, describes You Are Here as “MacIvor’s love letter to Alison – he’s created such a real person, flaws and all; it’s a rare thing.” The play is concerned with the ironies of human existence – it’s set in what Hardy calls “the playground of the afterlife,” and addresses such questions as: What happens if we get our heart’s desire? And does knowing something “then” negate the “now”?
The designs emphasize the odd; white splashing on colour. Set and lighting designer Ed Rosing reflects MacIvor’s abstract script with a very spare, symbolic set – note the giant sandbox! The multi-hued lighting also conveys the surreal “no-place” setting, with painterly shadows and colours triggered by Alison. Scott Penner’s costumes complement the abstract environment, and are rich with stark contrasts. The soundscape is filled with melodic noise and original compositions by sound designer Angus Barlow.
Nova Scotia-born Daniel MacIvor is one of Canada’s most prolific and influential post-modern playwrights. He was a co-founder of the innovative Toronto theatre company da da kamera, and co-creator (with director Daniel Brooks) of such groundbreaking works as House, Monster, Here Lies Henry and In On It. Among his many awards, he has earned a Genie Award for the screenplay adaptation of his play Marion Bridge (2004), the Governor General’s Award for Drama in 2006, and the prestigious Siminovitch Prize in Theatre (2008). This year, he is represented in the Toronto International Film Festival with his screenplay for (and on-screen appearance in) the Bruce McDonald-directed rock ‘n’ roll film Trigger. (Coincidentally, there is a film in TIFF with the title You Are Here, but it’s not MacIvor’s – it was written and directed by Daniel Cockburn.)
Alumnae Theatre Company’s production of You Are Here features Jamieson Child, Joseph Cochrane, Cameron Johnston, Seema Lakhani, Will O’Hare, Alyssa Quart, Michael Vitorovich and Tabitha Keast as Alison.
You Are Here runs September 24 – October 9, 2010 on the Alumnae Theatre main stage; there will be a talkback after the matinee performance on Sunday, October 3.
For reservations: call 416-364-4170 (box 1) or visit the website: firstname.lastname@example.org