by Lynn on May 10, 2018

in The Passionate Playgoer

Two from the Riser Project

Everything I Couldn’t Tell You

At the Theatre Centre, Toronto, Ont.

Written by Jeff D’Hondt

Directed by Erin Brandenburg

Set by Michel Charbonneau

Lighting by Andre du Toit

Costumes by Isidra Cruz

Sound and composition by Andrew Penner

Videographer, Tess Girard

Cast: Cheri Maracle

Jenny Young

PJ Prudat

Megan is an Indigenous woman suffering terrible mental distress due to a trauma. Her present therapist, Dr. Cassandra Barry, is no help. She is brittle, impatient and has her own mental issues. Megan wants an Indigenous therapist who is fluent in Lenape to treat her. Enter Dr. Alison Brant. Dr. Brant also has her own mental issues. The three deal with Megan’s mental therapy with patience, consideration and hope.

Jeff D’Hondt’s play is dense with anger, cultural issues, the thorny world of mental therapy and how to help a patient who seems beyond hope because of her rage at the world and her reluctance to be helped.

The acting is strong. PJ Prudat as Megan is a raging fury who is obviously troubled. She does have variation in her anger. Jenny Young as Dr. Cassandra Barry gives her lines in a clipped, deliberately cool manner. No one messes with this woman, who has her own issues. Cheri Maracle as Dr. Alison Brant is stoical, calm and obviously a caring therapist.

While Erin Brandenburg’s production is full of technology, projections, graphics, pulsing lights, and vivid videos at the inner workings of the brain, I found it too distracting for a play that needs careful revision and clarifying. Less technology and more blue pencil to edit please.


Speaking and Sneaking

Written and performed by Daniel Jelanie Ellis

Directed by d’bi.young anitafrica

Set and costumes by Rachel Forbes

Choreographer, Brian Solomon

Sound by Jesse Ellis

Lighting by Andre du Toit

Daniel Jelanie Ellis is a wonderful actor/performer who has created a character from Jamaica that exemplifies the dream of moving away to “foreign” (Canada) to reap its many benefits. He was first taken there by his grandmother. She moved back by he remained. Over time he got his citizenship. He made is living doing menial jobs in a grocery store, doing on-line sex and other jobs. His family back home kept asking for money and he felt obliged to help them even though he didn’t have the means.

Daniel Jelani Ellis is an engaging, energetic, very funny actor who puts a lovely spin on the Jamaican patois and also clearly realizes the myth and the reality of living in the imagined glow of “foreign.”

Both shows play until  May 11, 2018.


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