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THEATRE PREVIEW

APRIL 2019 | Volume 178

 

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  Actors in HELLO. Photo: Igor Santizo.

HELLO
by Susanna Uchatius 
Theatre Terrific
Firehall Arts Centre
May 22-June 1
$20-$30
www.firehallartscentre.ca or 604-689-0926
 BUY TICKETS

In the 1960s, celebrated American playwright Arthur Miller had a son, Daniel, who was diagnosed with Down syndrome. But you won't find any mention of Daniel in Miller's memoir, speeches or even in the obituary of his mother, famous photojournalist, Inge Morath (Mutti). The family never publicly acknowledged Daniel's existence. HELLO: a secret historical exclusion! follows the story of Daniel, who grew up in an isolated institution, never attended his sister’s birthday parties, never learned to read and was never a part of his birth family’s international portrait. How would Daniel see his mother, his sister, his father and his place in the world? HELLO is seen through Daniels eyes.

Theatre Terrific has been a part of the fabric of theatre in Vancouver for 34 years. Since 2004 Artistic Director Susanna Uchatius, honors the companies mandate to pioneer inclusive opportunities for artists of all abilities to develop performance skills and collaborate in the production of theatrical works. Through this work, Theatre Terrific challenges audiences to be open to the impact of thought-provoking art.

When playwright Arthur Miller and his last wife, Austrian photojournalist Inge Morath, married in 1962, they had a beautiful daughter. In 1966 they had a son who was born with Down Syndrome. Daniel never lived with his family. Instead, he was shut away in an overcrowded, understaffed institution akin to bedlam. For over forty years the general public never knew there was a Daniel Miller. HELLO is a work of intimate family discovery through the eyes of Daniel. Singing, dancing, family feuds, friends, food, and moving furniture are woven together with moments of astounding truth paired with equally astounding denial.

Daniel is played by director Susanna’s own daughter, Alex Edwards, who was born with brain damage that affected her cognitive, speech and some motor skills. "I have brain damage and sometimes I have a hard time saying words," said Alex in an interview with CBC News. Susanna and Alex spent the early years of Alex’s life developing a language through physical actions. "I'm always humbled by Alex. She is one my best teachers." Susanna said in the interview.

HELLO asks many questions: Why did Mutti (Daniel’s mother) say nothing? Why did nobody, including the powerful cultural and artistic community that surrounded the Miller family, say anything? What if Daniel could step back in time, before he was born, to his birth and onwards? What if Daniel could watch the family story unfold? What would Daniel see, what would he say and what might have happened? Ultimately, when all is said and done, the final questions are: Does this matter...and if so why? Or if this does not matter...why?

Artistic Team: Playwright and Director Susanna Uchatius, Technical Director/Mask Design Bill Beauregarde, Collaborative Music/Sound Design Angelo Moroni, Mary Jane Paquette, Lighting Design Chengyan Boon, Choreographer Menka Negrani, Graphic Design Igor Santizo, Stage Manager Jethelo E. Cabilete, Cast Alex Edwards, Monique Bourgeois, Keara Barnes, Tamara McCarthy, Francis Winter, Mary Jane Paquette.

Tickets:

Tuesday & Wednesday: $30 regular / $25 students & seniors
Thursday-Sunday (both show times): $33 regular / $28 students & seniors
Under 30: $20 all performances with proof of age

 

 

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Vancouverplays: Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews

vancouverplays

Vancouver's arts and culture website providing theatre news, previews and reviews

 

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