David and Jonathan (BrokenOpen Theatre) – 2010 Toronto Fringe Review

By Crystal Wood

Remember when you were young and just beginning to question the universe? Maybe you still are? It’s something everyone experiences, which could be why David and Jonathan (presented by BrokenOpen Theatre) is likely to resonate with Fringe audiences.

David and Jonathan are two young men whose world changes when they move from a small Mennonite town to attend theatre school in the big bad city of ‘Tronna. They soon learn that the world is different than what Bible camp might have prepared them for, and their self-reflection takes these old friends down increasingly divergent paths.

Henry Fenn-Straatsma plays David, the more outgoing of the two, who’s unhappy to learn that the world doesn’t quite fit into his narrow upbringing. Shadrack Jackman is Jonathan, the quiet one who has to decide if there’s enough room in his life for both homosexuality and religion. Both actors fit their roles well, although they also appeared to stumble over a few second-night jitters.

The playwright, Richard Peters, makes an interesting choice to contrast the worlds of theatre and religion, because they’re so different on one hand and yet so similar on another. There are some nice moments where David and Jonathan use their theatre classroom exercises to explore some of the questions plaguing them.

The religious questioning throughout begins to tire towards the end of the play – if only because it starts to feels like the audience is watching an onstage debate rather than a dramatic narrative. David and Jonathan doesn’t provide any existential answers, but it’s guaranteed to leave you asking questions.

Details:

– Venue 16, Walmer Centre Theatre, 188 Lowther Avenue
– Showtimes:
Sat, July 3 5:00 PM
Sun, July 4 7:00 PM
Mon, July 5 5:00 PM
Tue, July 6 7:00 PM
Wed, July 7 5:00 PM
Fri, July 9 7:00 PM
Sat, July 10 3:00 PM
Sun, July 11 9:00 PM

– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at http://www.fringetoronto.com/index.htm, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)
– Several money-saving passes online are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows