Radical – Toronto Fringe 2014 Press Release

From Press Release
Primum non nocere —“Above all, do no harm.”
Renowned Canadian oncologist Dr. Vera Peters set the medical world against her by offering women a choice when it came to how their bodies were treated for breast cancerDr. Charles Hayter’s new play RADICAL examines Peters’ crucial struggle to persuade her patients and the medical community at large that mastectomies did not guarantee miracles, and that there was another way. RADICAL plays at the Tarragon Theatre MainSpace as part of the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival. Tickets are available via www.fringetoronto.com,
by phone at 416-966-1062 ext. 1, or at the door.

Set in Princess Margaret Hospital in 1972, we meet Peters as she treats a tough-minded patient who refuses to get a radical mastectomy, a profoundly invasive and disfiguring procedure, and the only available treatment for breast cancer at the time. That chance encounter—and the fight it inspires—leads Peters to a discovery that will ultimately change the face of cancer treatment in Canada.

Making its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival, RADICAL traces Peters’ remarkable journey from acclaimed researcher to medical activist, as she wrestles with memories of her own mother’s battle with cancer, and seeks to humanize a medical system that trivialized and dismissed the perspectives of women. Ultimately for Peters, the fight with cancer became one she faced in her own body as well as those of her patients.

Dr. Peters’ great contribution was allowing the voices of cancer sufferers to be heard. This is still a struggle today, even more so with the complexity of medical technology—and as a result her story resonates with anyone whose life has been touched by this terrible disease.

RADICAL features stage and screen actor Jane Smythe (Society of Skeptics, Theatre Smash; Paranormal Witness, Syfy/Cream Productions) as Vera, along with Sheila Russell (Rabbit Hole, Alumnae Theatre; Over the River and Through the Woods, Eastside Players), Susan Q Wilson (Ways to Kill Ethyl, Toronto Fringe 2012; After Mrs. Rochester, Alumnae Theatre), Jerrold Karch (Sunshine Boys, Encore Entertainment; Second City Touring Company), and  Jeff Yung (Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare BASH’d; The Story,Theatre Columbus).

Playwright Charles Hayter is a practicing oncologist in Toronto, dividing his time between medicine and playwriting. His solo show Lady in Waiting (dramaturged by Judith Thompson) won the award for Best Writing at the Fresh Fruit Festival in NYC in 2008. Hayter’s last full length play Eldorado Town had its world premiere at the 4th Line Theatre in Millbrook.  Joining Hayter on this production of RADICAL are well-known dramaturge Molly Thom, resident director of Shoestring Opera, and director Edward Chua, Director of Operations at Young People’s Theatre.

On average, 65 Canadian women will be diagnosed with breast cancer every day. 14 more will die from the disease. ~ Canadian Cancer Society

Venue: Tarragon Theatre MainSpace, 30 Bridgman Ave, Toronto.

Dates & Times:
Fri, July 4 @ 10:30pm
Sat, July 5 @ 9:15pm
Sun, July 6 @ 7:00pm
Wed, July 9 @ 2:15 pm
Fri, July 11 @ 3:30pm
Sat, July 12 @ 8:00pm
Sun, July 13 @ 1:45pm

$10 at the door (cash only) or $12 in advance (Visa or MasterCard, service charge included)
Beginning June 12 via www.fringetoronto.com, by telephone at 416-966-1062 (ext.1), or at the door.

Show running time is 50 minutes.    **Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating**