top of page




  1. Coco
    JULY 7, 2018 AT 2:13 PM
    An insightful look at a topical issue: how do we negotiate our final days? Who gets to decide when we die? Family? The medical establishment? Ourselves? The play examines the control we lose as we age, the power struggle of everyone trying to “do the right thing.” It’s a situation familiar to so many families. Or will be all too soon. A moving and thought-provoking experience.

  2. Marcia
    JULY 8, 2018 AT 9:33 AM
    A brilliant examination of the tough choices we make when caring for a dying loved one. There are no easy decisions and playwright Helen-Claire Tingling has captured this struggle through expert dialogue and a sensitivity that reflects the deep humanity of this topic. With a superb, cast, expert direction and a musical score that adds to the poignancy of this drama this play is a must see!

  3. Kathleen
    JULY 8, 2018 AT 9:57 AM
    This is an outstanding play about a grown family negotiating the challenges and decisions relating to their ailing Father as his health deteriorates. Helen-Claire Tinging has written a play that captures the emotions involved as family dynamics change when decisions are made. The acting is superb. A must see!

  4. Sharon
    JULY 9, 2018 AT 2:35 PM
    An excellent play that deals with issues that we all face as aging adults and as children of aging parents. Solid acting and well paced with time to grapple with the emerging drama. It is both moving and thought-provoking. Go see this play and then take action in your own life.

  5. Julie
    JULY 10, 2018 AT 12:35 PM
    This play captured the very essence of the issues that many families face – or will face – when a loved one is nearing end of life. It also demonstrates that despite having a POA in place, this document proves futile. If nothing else, I hope it provokes a discussion between families and their designated caregivers.

  6. M
    JULY 10, 2018 AT 2:48 PM
    This is theatre that doesn’t just make you feel, but also makes you think; consider; re-evaluate; walk away with gears turning. “Living Will” is incredibly emotionally powerful, but it also provides helpful awareness to difficult situations that all of us must face at one time or another. A truly excellent play.

  7. RH
    JULY 10, 2018 AT 2:54 PM
    The Living Will was an extremely moving, poignant, and thought-provoking production! All of the characters fully embodied the complexity of what it means to be human and cast an important light on a challenging situation. 10/10 would recommend.


  • 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.

Press History

Helly Chester

(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 received its premier at the 2018 Toronto Fringe. Here are quotations from some of our company:

Q: What inspired you to work

on this play?

Jess Abramovitch

(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.

Andrea Davis

(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.

Peter Nelson

(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.

Jill Niedoba

(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.

Asha Vijayasingham

(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.


bottom of page