Cherry Docs by David Gow April 5 - 28 at Pacific Theatre
Vancouver, BC – Are there limits to forgiveness? In Toronto, a young skinhead is charged with a racially motivated murder. Danny Dunkelman, his assigned public defender, is Jewish. As Danny attempts to prepare Mike for trial, he finds himself questioning his own ethical role – and the boundaries of his empathy. Pacific Theatre presents Cherry Docs, a guest production from Cave Canem Productions.
Canadian David Gow wrote the play in 1998, but the Neo-Nazi rhetoric Michael parrots and Danny’s struggle to achieve justice in the face of a hate crime are chillingly relevant. “Increases in hate-based crime can be tied to escalation in neo-nationalist rhetoric. Frighteningly, this rhetoric sounds like it always has - the same old words, the same old ideas,” says director Richard Wolfe. “Simultaneously, some look to alternative models of restorative justice to heal fractured communities. Cherry Docs is not afraid to look at all sides of a difficult question.”
The team behind Cave Canem Productions is no stranger to dissecting human morality. Last year they staged The Lonesome West, Martin McDonagh’s tar-black comedy about forgiveness, and Cherry Docs presents an opportunity to ask similar questions in a more dramatic frame. Danny (John Voth) and Mike (Kenton Klassen) are the only characters in the play – an ambitious task for both performers. “I’m excited about the play because it’s not easy,” said Voth, who last appeared on the Pacific Theatre stage in a rather different capacity for The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. “It asks necessary questions: what is the effective answer to hate within a society? Is it possible for people whose evil is evident to change, and how can sustainable change come about?” Klassen admitted to some trepidation about wading into such dark territory, but is excited about the work. “I’m filled with a strong sense of purpose going into it,” he said. “The questions Cherry Docs poses are of vital importance.”
Gow’s play generates a constant thrum of potential hatred, powered by thousands of years of violence and bigotry. But that tension is wrapped around a human core of possibility: for forgiveness, accountability, and true change.
Directed by Richard Wolfe. Featuring Kenton Klassen and John Voth. Produced by Brandon Bate. Lighting Design by Phil Miguel. Set Design by Sandy Peters. Sound Design by Matthew MacDonald-Bain. Costume Design by Julie Edgeley. Stage Management by Madeline Walker.
Laughing Matters - A Comedy Documentary
In Post Production
Very large man, John Voth, travels the world in search of the answer to the question: What's so funny? Join him as he goes to various countries including Ireland, Italy, and Mexico exploring why humour is such an integral part of culture and the role comedians fulfill in society.
The Lonesome West by Martin McDonagh
October 20 - November 11 2017 (Presented as a Guest Production in Pacific Theatre's 2017/18 season.)
Brothers Coleman and Valene can’t seem to co-exist without sudden outbreaks of violence over the pettiest concerns. When their doubt-ridden parish priest attempts to bring reconciliation, their confessions quickly turn from earnest offerings into weapons in a hilarious and dark race to the bottom.
The Lonesome West is a Tony nominated play written by Martin McDonagh the acclaimed writer of In Bruges, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, Seven Psychopaths, and The Pillowman.
Directed by Evan Frayne. Featuring John Voth, Kenton Klassen, Sebastien Archibald, and Paige Louter. Set Design by Sandy Margaret, Lighting by Phil Miguel, Costumes by Kaitlin Williams, and Sound Design by Matthew Macdonald-Bain. Stage Management by Shelby Bushell.
The production received rave reviews, was named one of the Top 10 Best of Vancouver Theatre in 2017 by Vancouver Presents, and was nominated for three Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Performance by an Actor - Kenton Klassen, and Outstanding Performance by an Actor - John Voth.
"The Lonesome West is fecking grand." - Mark Robins, Vancouver Presents
"The Lonesome West blazes with lethal verve, not to mention brawling and booze." - Darren Barefoot, The Georgia Straight
"These are four excellent performers." - Jo Ledingham
"Because it’s so energetic, surprising, and rhythmic—the feckin’ “fecks” snap through the dialogue like beats on a snare drum—that the texture of the piece is seductive." - Colin Thomas
"In all, one of the best-knit casts I've seen in the past year." - Baird Blackstone, Broken Leg Reviews
"The combined talents of John Voth, Kenton Klassen, Paige Louter and Sebastien Archibald lend themselves to a mesmerizing performance which sucks the audience up, chews them around for a bit and spits them back out dazed but not confused. Moments of immense sensitivity are juxtaposed with excellent comedic timing and four sets of tongues with razor sharp wit." - Liz Gloucester, Two Cents Two Pence