It's rare for a playwright to have two productions running simultaneously in town, but that's the case for David S. Craig.
The Neverending Story is currently playing at Young People's Theatre (see review here); Tough Case has two free performances on Saturday (March 10), each followed by a Q&A, before heading out on an Ontario school tour. Both shows are Roseneath Theatre productions.
Tough Case deals with restorative justice, an approach that focuses on the needs of victims, offenders and their community rather than legal principles or a simple punishment of the offender. Fostering dialogue between the two parties, restorative justice has offenders take responsibility for their actions and makes victims an active part of the process.
Craig was commissioned to write the play by Jennifer Llewelyn, a world authority on restorative justice and the head of a Nova Scotia organization devoted to implementing it. He spent three weeks in Nova Scotia speaking with judges, prosecutors, young offenders, victims of youth crime, restorative justice workers, parents and police.
At the play's centre is Nessa, a restorative justice worker whose childhood in a tough Halifax housing project allows her to connect with Dane, a 16-year-old who's vandalized the house of Grace, an elderly widow. Nessa fights prejudicial attitudes and anger to bring Dane, Grace and the other characters together to talk and start the reconciliation process.
Tough Case premiered last spring and toured to every high school in Nova Scotia; in June, it was part of Halifax's International Restorative Justice Conference.
The Ontario production, directed by Richard Greenblatt, features Burgandy Code, Lisa Codrington, John Cleland, Linda Goranson and Kevin Walker.
F as in feminist
As part of International Women's Day, 360 Productions and the U of T's Centre for Women's Studies in Education (CWSE) present the local premiere of The F Word.
Written by Jennifer Phillips and directed by Loretta Chen, the production was a success at last year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival and nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award. Last year Phillips and Chen collaborated on a Toronto staging of The Vagina Monologues.
The current show is a compilation of women's stories drawn from world events as well as personal histories. Its topics range from obsessions with shopping and sex to more intense issues such as abuse and child sex trafficking.
The first two performances, tonight and Friday (March 8 and 9), are benefits for CWSE and Sistering, a drop-in centre for women on the street.
How inspirational is it for a playwright to work in a historic castle?
Viewers will see when Driftwood Theatre holds its annual funder, Trafalgar 24, at Whitby's Trafalgar Castle.
On Friday (March 9), 29 artists gather there to create, rehearse and perform six new plays over a period of 24 hours.
The competing playwrights include Kevin Craig, Lucy Brennan, Kevin John McDonald, Trenna Keating, Adam Sikora and the musical team of Suba Sankara and Lanie Treen.
A dozen actors - among them Mark Crawford, Madeleine Donohue, Andrew Pogson, Janick Hebert, Emma Mackenzie Hillier, Christopher Kelk, Michael Rawley and Pierre Simpson - will be directed by Steven Gallagher, Sarah Kitz, Peter van Gestel, Annemieke Wade, Laura Roald and Geoffrey Whynot.
Audience members can bid, via a live auction, for a seat on the jury that picks the winning play. In addition to the performances themselves, there's also a silent auction and pre- and post-performance receptions.