Garnet Harding 's been exploring what it's like to be a perp.
In The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot, he played the title role, the Bible's archetypal betrayer who was, suggests the play, emotionally injured by his act. Now, in Colleen Wagner 's The Monument , he's a soldier and war criminal convicted of the rape and murder of more than 20 women.
For this production by Obsidian Theatre , Murphy's 1995 play has returned to the African setting the playwright intended.
Harding's character, Stetko, is put in the hands of Mejra ( Yanna McIntosh ), who has absolute control over his life or death.
"From an outside perspective, when you deal with atrocities it's easy to paint a perpetrator with the broad brush of judgment," says Harding. "It's been fascinating to get inside Stetko, to see that he's also at some level a victim who's not been able to retaliate to what's been done to him.
"The trick is to bring out the struggle that he has taking responsibility for his action. Taking responsibility is the only way he can go on living."
As an actor, Harding has to find something to relate to in a character like Stetko.
"I've searched for his tenderness and affection, because you can't just go for the cold-hearted, conscienceless sociopath. That wouldn't be an interesting character to play or to watch."
Stetko's problem, thinks the actor, is not that he lacks a conscience, but, rather, good judgment; the impetuosity of youth gets the better of him.
"Stetko has a pack mentality, and the violent streak that we all have takes control of him.
"And while Mejra's anger is justified, there's also a level at which she's closer to abuser than to victim. In rehearsals with director Nigel Shawn Williams , we've been searching for the similarities between the two characters rather than their differences."
See Opening, page 84, for details.
The CBC 's been trying to draw in a younger demographic - just witness the changing of the greying guard over at the Air Farce. First came character comic Jessica Holmes , then first-rate political stand-up Alan Park . Although I'll always love Luba, both are solid additions to the cast.
Now comes The Morgan Waters Show , starring the mid-20s Waters. Pre-empted during the Olympics, the six-minute show returned recently to its 4:34 pm Monday-to-Thursday afternoon slot (as well as 10:34 am on Saturdays), and it's worth a look.
In one episode I saw, Waters - fired by the Mother Corp because of his age - elicited the advice of host George Stroumboulopoulos , who told him about a face and neck cream that would make him look older. Cute. In another episode, Waters tried ways to raise money to pay his rent and resorted to asking pal Ben Mulroney for cash. Okay, but no payoff.
Waters has the likeable, laid-back presence of an Owen Wilson, and he easily disappears into the many outfits he's required to wear. The program's short-scene style of gags and quick situational humour should appeal to back-from-school late-afternoon channel surfers. It's a nice break from the typical talk shows on at that time.
If you're curious about how Waters handles live comedy, he hosts Sunday Night Live's sketch show March 12 at the Brunswick House . See Comedy Listings, page 92, for details.
March break theatrics
Looking for some theatre to take your kids to during next week's March break? You have two good choices at the Lorraine Kimsa Theatre for Young People , one serious and one light-hearted. In the Mainspace, the company's presenting Emil Sher 's adaptation of Hana's Suitcase , a bestseller by Karen Levine . The true story focuses on a group of Japanese children in 2000 who search for the identity of Hana Brady, whose name is found on a suitcase from the Auschwitz Museum. Set in today's Tokyo and in Czechoslovakia during the 30s and 40s, the piece is aimed at audiences 10 and up.
In the Studio you can catch The Man Whose Mother Was A Pirate , adapted by Paula Wing from the story by Margaret Mahy . It's an entertaining piece about a numbers-obsessed accountant whose seafaring mother drags him on an adventure across the oceans. Seems that a break from routine is a good idea. The show is geared to viewers four to seven.
See Opening, page 84.
If you want to see some unusual visual art and contribute to theatre at the same time, Pea Green Theatre hosts the art-auction funder Out Of The Box , featuring works by 19 provocative Toronto artists, including Brenda Guldenstein , Kirsten Johnson , Nina Okens , Jerry Silverberg , Doug Guildford and NOW photographer John Scully . All the work is inspired by the collage box art of Joseph Cornell .
The evening's host is playwright/performer Jonathan Wilson . Funds raised go toward a production of Mark Brownell 's Medici Slot Machine - The Life And Times Of Joseph Cornell , set for a May co-production by Pea Green and Theatre Voce .
See One-Nighters, page 86.