Review: Like a Generation (Coyote Collective)

Interesting cultural critique in Like a Generation, playing at Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace

We are a generation of people raised in front of screens. Multiple screens of different sizes and resolutions ranging from bulbous to flat including televisions, computers, handheld devices and your phone. From Sesame Street as a child to YouTube, and games like Call of Duty, and Angry Birds today; being situated in front of a screen has defined our lives. Coyote Collective’s first stage production Like a Generation takes an in depth look at how screens have affected our lives.

The performance playing at the backspace of the Theatre Passe Muraille is not a linear piece of theatre and often times feels disjointed, puzzling and lacking in structure. The structure that remains is a combination of dialogue pieces, telephone conversations, memories and revelations, and that slightly creepy kids’ show we all remember.

What we are left to piece together are the fractured stories of three individuals whose lives were gravely influenced by societal demands and cultural stigmas as delivered by on-screen media.

Following along with the trails in the story attempting to find some form of cohesion isn’t exactly easy – from my perspective at least. My friend Robyn who accompanied me to the show struggled as well especially in her attempt to understand the commentary being presented. The correlation between the characters’ life stories and the media is not entirely clear to me.

Personally, it took me some time to contemplate the performance before I could bridge my own thoughts together. The acting is intense and captivating, kudos to the performance trio of Eric Welch, Susannah Mackay and Max Tepper, who also took hands in penning the play, the writing is thought provoking, and the subject matter is definitely intriguing and for those reasons it is a production worth seeing.

There are a few structural weak points that could use patching and perhaps a few questions that could be answered but considering this is Coyote Collective’s first production, what they have created is something worth being noticed.

Details

– Like a Generation is playing at the Theatre Passe Muraille backspace (16 Ryerson Ave.) until January 12 2013.
– Performances run January 10 -11 at 7:30 pm and January 12 at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm.
– Tickets are $20 and $12 for students.
– Tickets can be purchased by phone by calling 416 504 7529 or online at artsboxoffice.ca.

Photo of Eric Welch and Max Tepper by Dan Huziak.

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