Pacific Theatre presents a Cave Canem production
by David Gow
“In an ideal world, I’d see you eliminated. In this world, I need you more than anyone.”
Are there limits to forgiveness? In Toronto, a young skinhead is charged with a racially motivated murder. Danny Dunkelman, his assigned public defender, is Jewish. As Danny attempts to prepare Mike for trial, he finds himself questioning his own ethical role – and the boundaries of his empathy. Pacific Theatre presents Cherry Docs, a guest production from Cave Canem Productions.
Canadian David Gow wrote the play in 1998, but the Neo-Nazi rhetoric Michael parrots and Danny’s struggle to achieve justice in the face of a hate crime are chillingly relevant. “Increases in hate-based crime can be tied to escalation in neo-nationalist rhetoric. Frighteningly, this rhetoric sounds like it always has – the same old words, the same old ideas,” says director Richard Wolfe. “Simultaneously, some look to alternative models of restorative justice to heal fractured communities. Cherry Docs is not afraid to look at all sides of a difficult question.”
The team behind Cave Canem Productions is no stranger to dissecting human morality. Last year they staged The Lonesome West, Martin McDonagh’s tar-black comedy about forgiveness, and Cherry Docs presents an opportunity to ask similar questions in a more dramatic frame. Danny (John Voth) and Mike (Kenton Klassen) are the only characters in the play – an ambitious task for both performers. “I’m excited about the play because it’s not easy,” said Voth, who last appeared on the Pacific Theatre stage in a rather different capacity for The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. “It asks necessary questions: what is the effective answer to hate within a society? Is it possible for people whose evil is evident to change, and how can sustainable change come about?” Klassen admitted to some trepidation about wading into such dark territory, but is excited about the work. “I’m filled with a strong sense of purpose going into it,” he said. “The questions Cherry Docs poses are of vital importance.”
Gow’s play generates a constant thrum of potential hatred, powered by thousands of years of violence and bigotry. But that tension is wrapped around a human core of possibility: for forgiveness, accountability, and true change.
Cherry Docs opens Friday, April 5th and runs through April 28th at Pacific Theatre.
Praise for CHERRY DOCS
“Gow’s belief that we must confront the hatred within ourselves and our society is troubling, touching and convincing.”
– The Globe and Mail
“If you see Cherry Docs – and you should – you’ll be thinking about it long after you leave the theatre.”
– The Boston Globe
Praise for CAVE CANEM and THE LONESOME WEST
“Marks an auspicious start for one of our city’s newest indie theatre groups […] John Voth and Kenton Klassen are absolutely terrific.”
– Vancouver Presents
Jessie Nominations: Outstanding Actor (John Voth), Outstanding Actor (Kenton Klassen), Outstanding Production (Small Theatre)
Directed by Richard Wolfe. Featuring Kenton Klassen and John Voth. Produced by Brandon Bate. Lighting Design by Phil Miguel. Set Design by Sandy Peters. Sound Design by Matthew MacDonald-Bain. Costume Design by Julie Edgeley. Stage Management by Madeline Walker.
|Details:||CHERRY DOCS by David Gow|
|When:||April 5-28. Wednesday-Saturday at 8pm with 2pm matinees on Saturdays. Pay-what-you-can preview April 4. Additional matinee performance Sun Apr 28 and no 8pm performances April 25, 27.|
|Where:||Pacific Theatre, 1440 W 12th Ave (at Hemlock), Vancouver, BC|
|Tickets:||$20-36.50 (not incl. HST). To book visit pacifictheatre.org or call 604.731.5518|
Media release and image provided by Julia Lank, Pacific Theatre.