The conversation with our communities never ends, so at Informal Upright we are always working on something. Here are just a few things we're anxious to share.
by Ciarán Myers and Karen MacLeod
In the spring of 1847 Ireland was so devastated by the potato famine that its population has yet to recover fully. Still 20 years from confederation, Grosse Ile, a small island outside Quebec City was the final port for most emigres fleeing the country. The thousands of Irish buried there now make up the island's topography--and helped to shape Canada's policy on immigration. This is the journey of three such immigrants: Sheila, a middle-aged country woman; Colin, a teenager from Ireland's east coast; and Lucy, the youngest of the three, from Galway (the good part).
Lucy: We’ve been at sea for a full cycle of the moon. It’s dark right now. So more than a full cycle. But I haven’t seen Sheila bleed. Not this whole time. Maybe Daddy didn’t mean we’d bleed blood, maybe we’d bleed something else. Tiny parts of our soul slipping out of us like beautiful fingernails and settling into the rocks and moss until they grow enough to turn into fairies.
I can see his body gliding down into the sea. Like snow.
by Ciarán Myers
Hamburger is a comedy about sexual politics in the workplace. A couple, separated by 12 years between them, struggle with the economic immobility of their generation. While Arie finds passion in his impressive ability to sell hamburgers at pace, Lib struggles through her academic shortcomings in hope of better employment in the future. Work, importantly, is a place that neither character can reasonably leave—they are forced by their social class to bear each other’s presence until their day is done. Within the artificial intimacy of this pressurized environment, the struggle of class represents itself as a struggle for power. And, while at work, Lib and Arie have no ladder to climb but each other.
Arie: Please. Lib. It’s a freshly ground, medium rare, lightly peppered little burger with lettuce, French mustard, and pickle. I made it myself. Thinking of you the whole time. I mean, this burger is thinking of you. It was made for you.
Lib: Piss off, Arie.
The playwright gratefully acknowledges the support of the Stratford Festival's 2016 Playwright's Retreat in the writing of Grosse Ile and Hamburger.
Further development of Hamburger was supported by the Ontario Theatre Creator's Reserve graciously recommended by Pat the Dog Theatre Creation.
Further development of Grosse Ile was supported by the Ontario Theatre Creator's Reserve graciously recommended by Talk is Free Theatre.