Review: Project: Humanity’s “The Middle Place”

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Was at the Canadian Stage Company’s Berkeley Street Theatre tonight to see a performance of “The Middle Place”.  The show is the result of a partnership between a playwright and the residents of a homeless shelter for youth.  As part of Project: Humanity, playwrights and artists wanted to shed light on the issue of homelessness through a play based on the stories of several young people. J, and mom, do I have your attention!? Haha.

Youth Without Shelter (YWS) is a referral agency and an emergency residence for youth.  It’s located in Rexdale, in Toronto’s west end.  So, after a series of interviews, spanning two summers, a play was developed in a style known as “verbatim theatre”.    Imagine an attempt at theatre meets documentary.

This play is particularly interesting to me because it’s toured different theatres and theatre festivals, but it has also been performed at 21 different high schools in the Toronto area. First and foremost, it was performed for the residents of the shelter.

The acting was strong.  The playwright played himself, interviewing the four actors who embodied several personalities each.

Of course, I couldn’t help but think of my mother and my older sister, who have experience in this line of work…what would they think, if a theatre troupe approached them and asked to do this type of project?

The show will be at Canadian Stage company until March 12, 2011, before going on tour for the spring.

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About weywardsisters

The Three Weyward Sisters first appeared in Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. It turns out we have more in common with these “weird” sisters than we thought. In the Shakespeare play the sisters represent darkness, chaos and conflict. We’ll leave it up to you to decide which of us represents each. They also usually show up to mark impending doom. Well, we certainly hope that our presence on this little corner of the Interwebs doesn’t mean impending doom for anyone. However, we find our commonalities with the witches in other ways. To be weyward means to be willful, disobedient and to turn away from what is “right or proper”. Those who know us would whole heartedly agree – we are three weyward sisters. We are three headstrong, stubborn (some more than others), obstinate and willful sisters. Read at your own risk.

One response »

  1. If I was approached to do this…I would cringe first.
    I currently work at a place where we (ever so slightly) exploit our clients’ stories to get money and publicity. I hate being a part of that big bad machine.
    So I would have several questions about how this project would happen, who would do the asking, and who (ultimately) had controla and if any of those youth who’s stories are being used to illuminate the audience had input on the creative process.
    ~J

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