THE COMPANY’S FRINGE HISTORY
Director Jillian Rees-Brown has assembled a stellar cast, many of whom are previous fringers. Jillian herself performed in “You Mean Now?” which was the critic’s pick in the 2009 Fringe.
Helly Chester (who plays Susanne, the eldest daughter) directed a sold-out show at last year’s Fringe called “Murder in the Cottonwoods” by Colin Sharpe.
Peter Nelson (who plays Jake, the eldest son) has performed in several prior Fringe productions with decent notices. In Lifeboat, Peter played a sociopath in a remake of the old Hitchcock movie.
Andrea Davis (who plays Annie, the middle daughter) co-wrote and starred in a 1997 Fringe hit called “Cement Shoe Tarantella”, with good houses and reviews.
Jorie Morrow (who plays the Social Worker, Janet Peters) had the past hits “Hey Good Lookin’”, “Women” and “SNAP” at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Jorie says, “I work and play in healthcare where these difficult questions of life and death are dealt with on a regular basis. This play will help and support people to get in touch with their feelings…a necessary, noble and worthwhile cause. To work with such an amazing team will be an honour and a joy.”
Jess Abramovitch (who plays the Ethicist, Simone Hart): was in a musical called “Act Now”, which was really well-received and won “best of the fringe”. She was also in another Fringe which did really well “The Attic, the Pearls & Three Fine Girls”.
Andrea Davis (who plays Will’s middle daughter) has enjoyed a distinguished theatre career (Romeo & Juliet/Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Intimate Apparel/Grand Theatre) while appearing in numerous TV series (Mary Kills People, Orphan Black, The Girlfriend Experience).
Jillian Rees-Brown (Director) received the 2017 Cayle Chernin Award for Media Development and a Torgi Literary Award for Narration of “River Thieves”.
Bill MacDonald (who plays Will, the patriarch) is a seasoned film (Hush Little Baby, A History of Violence) and TV actor (Rookie Blue, Puppets who Kill, Earth: Final Conflict).
Peter Nelson (who plays Jake, the eldest son) was awarded a Thea as best actor in a comedy for his portrayal of George in Moon Over Buffalo.
Jill Niedoba (who plays Dr. Dyer, the psychiatrist) was in the company that won Best Cast/Ensemble (2016 Entertainment Awards) for “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” by Stephen Adly Guirgis for UNIT 102 Theater Company.
Gregory Diakun (Composer) received a gold record for his arrangements and performances on the first record in a Disney series, Disney's Lullaby Album.
(plays Susanne, the eldest daughter)
The topic is current and important…So many dramatic conflicts in Living Will; direct conflict between family desires and the medical profession, inner conflicts of family members struggling to make moral decisions they can live with ... So much is going on that's political and personal to everyone.
Living Will receives its premier at the 2018 Toronto Fringe so has no press history. Here are quotations from some of our company:
Q: What inspired you to work
on this play?
(plays Simone Hart, Ethicist)
I read this script it really struck a chord. I was initially called in to read for the role of Mollie and I really related to her sort of denial of not wanting to discuss “morbid” things or to just prefer to not think about the fact that her parent is aging and that these important things need to be discussed. Now cast as Simone, it’s a really interesting part to play because it makes me think about things from so many different perspectives.
Director Jillian Rees-Brown
The beautifully written script, and I relate to the subject matter. Currently my own family caring for an aging parent. This play also highlights how difficult decisions can be even when a Living Will is in effect. The story is very moving and informative too. The wonderfully talented people that are interested in working on this project are inspiring. I am awed with the calibre of people involved.
(plays Annie, the middle daughter)
I wanted to be involved in this production because the subject matter is very close to my heart right now. Living Will is a beautifully written play and I love the role of Annie. I think this play will resonate with a lot of people. In fact, just this evening I spent time talking with 2 people who are dealing with ageing family members with dementia. Living Will shows the many different facets of what family members who are dealing with dementia go through, and how “what’s best” is often in the eyes of the beholder. I hope that this show will help people see that being open-minded, flexible and compassionate can sometimes help more than any opinion or decision.
(plays Jake, the eldest son)
Quite simply, it is something that is personal to me on several levels. It is an important conversation to have.
(plays Dr. Dyer, the psychiatrist)
This is a very delicate subject that is going to affect a large sum of people very soon, if it hasn’t already. The conversation is only getting larger and more complicated…I wanted to be involved with this project because the subject matter has been something I have been hit with recently with my partner’s parents…They have outlived all of their friends, one is in constant pain, the other’s mind is slowly fading. It’s a horrible thing to witness. I think it’s a conversation worth having, and I believe this play has a lot to say.
(plays Mollie, the youngest daughter)
I’m drawn to family dramas and this play shows a family moving though a very difficult time in a compelling way.