Like There’s No Tomorrow – Architect Theatre’s entry in SummerWorks 2015 – is part theatre, part documentary, and part oral history of the people directly affected by the Northern Gateway Pipeline Project in Northern British Columbia. All of these parts contribute to an informative and entertaining show, using sparse props to full effect in the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace.
In 2012 and 2013, members of Architect Theatre set off to Northern B.C. to research and interview those affected by the proposed Northern Gateway Pipeline. They interviewed many people and gathered many stories and they present part of their interview with Gitxsan Hereditary Chief Yvonne Lattie.
Though it’s only Lattie’s words that are heard throughout the dynamic performance, I felt her voice and stories seemed like a physical presence in the theatre. Lattie describes an ethereal experience during a fast which left a lasting impact and drew her closer to the Pipeline project and its effect on her land and people.
Hearing Lattie speak about the project, I felt a deep human connection, especially when she questions the intentions of government. She explains how the Pipeline will affect more than just those local to it and then asks, “…in the end, who do you think the government will listen to?” She then pauses and answers, “None of us.” It was a pivotal and powerful moment in the show that I feel coalesced not only its message but also everyone in the room who heard it.
Like There’s No Tomorrow is more than just a vocal “performance”, however. With projections performed by Jesse Orr of various scenes Lattie describes as a backdrop, Georgina Beaty, Paula-Jean Prudat and Jonathan Seinen take control of the stage and give us both direct and interpretive performances of the struggles surrounding the Pipeline project. The four interact with clear vision and precision and Orr’s talent and focus at presenting the projections is evident.
It really is a vocal and visual mélange that I feel needs to be experienced as the layers of the show play well with each other, none over-powering the others and each getting their time to tell parts of the overall story.
As the lights go up Orr, Beaty, Prudat, and Seinen take their well earned applause. They explain that Yvonne Lattie’s story was just one of many and invite the audience to have a cup of tea – Lattie’s special recipe – and to review their research material at the stage that contains many more of the stories they amassed and promised to bring back to the city.
These weren’t just performers on stage, but the people who actually experienced the material they presented and that was evident with the care and passion they displayed in relaying that information.
Like There’s No Tomorrow presents a “news story” in a truly human and humane context that leaves its impact beyond the theatre and with such a show, I think that is the most important thing.
Like There’s No Tomorrow plays at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace (16 Ryerson Ave.)
- Saturday August 8th 4:15pm
- Sunday August 9th 2:00pm
- Monday August 10th 7:00pm
- Wednesday August 12th 4:15pm
- Thursday August 13th 9:30pm
- Saturday August 15th 7:00pm
Individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Live Art Series tickets are free – $20. Tickets are available online, by phone at 888-328-8384, Monday – Friday 8:30am-5pm, in person at the SummerWorks Info Booth – located at SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St). Open August 4-16 from 10am-7pm (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee)
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows
Photo provided by the company.