“It’s all too easy isn’t it. . . To destroy the thing you’re too lazy to understand. To take joy in someone else’s downfall.”
We all do it. Schadenfreüde. We laugh at someone’s misfortune. We express our dominance over others, through joy at their misfortune. We know we shouldn’t.
But do we?
This play has captivated my imagination since I first heard Tim speak about it whilst studying in London. When we re-interrogate an existing play from the perspective of a single character, a character who is beat up on for our enjoyment…and turn that interrogation on the audience, what happens? What further happens when you aren’t just doing this with an adult audience, but to teens?
I have wanted to direct this project for awhile. But this spring, in the context of the cuts to education, reverting the Healthy Living curriculum to something that was relevant when I was still in high school. . . I decided now was the time. We are doing an extreme disservice to our young people by not teaching them about bullying, about different sexual orientations, by not teaching them consent. Not to mention avoiding the subject of how much easier and simultaneously more difficult puberty must be when everything you do lives online, and can be there for the rest of your life. One indiscretion, one step across a line, one mistake, and your future can be lost. Or it can be explained away by wealthy or powerful parents. A world, today, where even the most put-together person, may have been bullied. We all wear the scars of these memories, these aggressions, on our skin.
So; we present I, Malvolio. A play which interrogates our relationships to one another, how we the audience are positioned as middle schoolers, encouraged to interact, to question what they’re watching, to be on their phones. . . literally. The play itself, the production, and hopefully your experience, are chaos. Pure chaos, through which we examine relationships, performance, audience, and failure.
The play is performed by the brilliant Justin Otto, who, through his work on this play will help you question the act of watching, the act of laughing….and ultimately the act of judgment on another’s actions.
Come join us at Artscape Youngplace, Fringe venue #24, for a site-specific and interactive production of Tim Crouch’s I, Malvolio, making its Toronto debut. And, if you’d like, add us on snapchat (impel-theatre) to see Justin perform.
Want to know a little more? Check out our interview with Donna G on The More The Merrier for CIUT Radio.
Tickets are available now! 7:30pm nightly from July 3-13 (no Sunday shows).