A Thousand Kindnesses re-imagines gentleness: why do we think of it as “wimpy” when it can be defiant, dissident and heroic?
From press release :
“A Thousand Kindnesses, part of Refugee Festival Scotland (2015), is an unassuming and gentle protest against the atrocities of war. Jury’s thoughtful performance blurs the lines between the self and the other, highlighting an important message for Refugee Week: we are all human, after all.” – Lesley Brown, TVBomb.co.uk
“Rachel Jury, bathed in a single spotlight, is on a mission: ‘to bad-ass up kindness.’ She elucidates that kindness has a ‘saccharine, happy-clappy image,’ and she wants to make it cool, not cruel, to be kind. Jury’s stories are absorbing and powerful, harrowing and hopeful accounts alike brought to vivid life.” – Lorna Irvine, AcrossTheArts.co.uk Blog
Toronto, ON, June 2, 2016 – At the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival, award-winning Scottish artistic director, writer, producer Rachel Jury premiers her one-woman, critically acclaimed evolving theatre project ‘A Thousand Kindnesses’. Seven performances are set at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace (30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5R 1X3), with showtimes running on various dates starting on June 29 to July 10 (see ticket information and detailed show dates and times below).
‘A Thousand Kindnesses’ is a collection of personal accounts of micro-acts of kindness from across the globe by people who have recent, first-hand experience of conflict. It recognises and celebrates these acts as acts of defiance that challenge the annihilation and inhumanity of war.
Exploring migration, asylum and kindness based on interviews with people with personal experience of these issues, it is also the story of how Jury’s Dad was kind, but she didn’t want to be like him. ‘A Thousand Kindnesses’ is a work in progress as Jury gathers more stories and understands more about what kindness meant in her life and during her own childhood.
Rachel Jury, who won the Jackie Forster Memorial Pride Award for Outstanding Contribution to Culture in Scotland in 2006, states, “I am so thrilled to have the chance to promote and celebrate kindness at the Fringe Festival in the fabulous city of Toronto, especially as it has the third largest English theatre district in the world. With such a rich history of people from all over the world and a reputation for kindness in the city, I can’t wait to share stories with people there!”
Kindness as a concept has been sugar-coated in mainstream culture, but Rachel Jury seeks to show that it is a vital power that emerges through the way we choose to behave towards each other. While working with arriving immigrant communities in Glasgow, Scotland, including many who had fled conflict in their homelands, she was introduced to the work of holocaust survivor and Austrian neurologist, psychiatrist and founder of Logotherapy and Existential Analysis Viktor Frankl. His work inspired her to investigate the idea that people who had experienced kindness during their ordeals were better able to recover.
As she gathered stories of kindness from all over the world, Jury realised that these micro-acts are not mentioned in the prevailing narratives of war and heroism. Grand famous gestures – including the Christmas truce football match in World War I and Schindler’s List in World War II – are not the only form of kindness that are a challenge to war. The smallest gestures between people with nothing else to offer are also heroic acts.
- A Thousand Kindnesses plays at the Tarragon Theatre Extraspace. (30 Bridgman Ave)
- Tickets are $10 at the door, $12 in advance. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible.
- Wednesday June 29th, 06:15 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 12:15 pm
- Sunday July 3rd, 03:15 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 05:30 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 11:15 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 01:45 pm
- Sunday July 10th, 07:45 pm
Photograph of Rachel Jury by Karen Gordon.