Out and About
“Bloom” on stage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre until April 8, 2018
Twelve years since its debut, Modern Times Stage is pleased to bring renowned Argentinean-Canadian playwright Guillermo Verdecchia’s BLOOM back to Toronto with a new production. Inspired by T.S Eliot’s celebrated modernist poem The Wasteland, BLOOM is once again directed by award-winning Iranian-Canadian theatre artist Soheil Parsa featuring a powerful and diverse Canadian cast on stage at Buddies and Bad Times Theatre.
A dystopian fable set in a world of perpetual war; in BLOOM a young war orphan and elder war veteran live on the fringes of a ruined world. Gerontion, an ancient man, has shut himself up in a damaged house filled with books he can no longer read. A nameless Boy appears, digging up memories and stirring up ghosts that threaten the peace Gerontion has carved out for himself. Surviving together, they annoy and forgive, argue and play, unearthing a past that the Boy needs to remember, and Gerontion would like to forget. A compassionate, humorous, and haunting story of despair and hope, BLOOM is played out between an old man with a decaying soul, and the boy who may bear the seeds of his redemption.
Regarding returning to this play twelve years after the first production, director Soheil Parsa said, “I decided to return to this play when I came to realize it feels ever more immediately relevant now than it did a decade ago. The collateral damage of so many conflicts around the world – Syria being the most recent example – is massive displacement. All these people whose homelands are in chaos have been left wandering. This feeling of general displacement and unrest around the world that we live with now, this is ‘the wasteland’.
The cast of BLOOM includes co-Artistic Director of Modern Times Stage, Peter Farbridge (Gerontion), whose credits include the title roles in Modern Times’ productions of Hamlet, Macbeth and Hallaj. Peter has also played Vladimir in Waiting for Godot and the Old Man in The Chairs, for which he was nominated for a Dora Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male; Liz Peterson (Boy) who was recently seen in the award winning Modern Times/Aluna Theatre co-production of Blood Wedding and in Sheets (Veritas Theatre); and Kim Nelson (Tatterdemallion Woman), whose recent stage credits include: Richard II (Secret Shakespeare), Breathing Corpses (The Coal Mine Theatre), Good People (Centaur Theatre); The Exonerated (Third Eye Ensemble) and For Coloured Girls Who Have Considered Suicide (NuSpyce Productions).
Soheil Parsa, who lived in Iran during the Iranian revolution of the late 70s, and who personally experienced many of BLOOM’s themes and topics firsthand, is an award-winning director, actor, writer, dramaturg, choreographer, and teacher. In 1995, Soheil received a New Pioneers Award, by Skills for Change, for Outstanding Contribution to the Arts by a recent immigrant to Canada. Soheil’s own imagistic style of direction at Modern Times has been recognized with six Dora Mavor Moore Awards, a Chalmers Fellowship in 2002, and a Senior Creation Grant from the Canada Council, as well as a number of international prizes and master class requests. In 2007 and 2010, he was short-listed for the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre Celebrating Directors, the highest honour in Canadian theatre. Soheil was awarded the Queen Elisabeth Diamond Jubilee Award for his contribution as a theatre artist to Canadian society.
Playwright, director, translator, and actor Guillermo Verdecchia received the 1993 Governor-General’s
Award for Drama for his play Fronteras Americanas. He is a four-time winner of the Floyd S. Chalmers
Canadian Play Award. His work, which includes the Governor-General-shortlisted Noam Chomsky
Lectures (with Daniel Brooks), the Seattle Times’ Footlight Award-winning Adventures of Ali & Ali (with Marcus Youssef and Camyar Chai), A Line in the Sand (with Marcus Youssef), B little bloom, and Another Country, have been anthologized, translated into Spanish and Italian, produced in Europe and the US, and are studied in Latin America, Europe, and North America.
Backstage, Parsa is joined by set and costume designer Anahita Debonehie, sound designer Thomas Ryder Payne, and lighting designer Michelle Ramsay.
STUDENT / SENIOR / ARTSWORKER
PAY WHAT YOU CAN
Every Sunday, a block of tickets will be held for sale at the door starting at noon and you can pay whatever you want. Limit 2 per person, cash only.
A limited number of $20 Rush Tickets will be available for all performances (excluding opening night and previews).
About the Author
Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.