‘Statements’ at Canadian Stage, Toronto

‘Declarations’ at Canadian Stage, Toronto


“Declarations,” written and directed by Jordan Tannahill, is being performed at the Canadian Stage, Toronto.

(Photo: Alejandro Santiago)

Canadian Stage, Toronto is staging Berkeley Street Theatre’s production of “Declarations,” written and directed by Jordan Tannahill.

Jordan Tannahill is a Dora and Governor-General’s Award winning interdisciplinary artist. “Declarations” explicitly deals with Tannahill’s mother’s terminal illness, a performance by five actor-dancers that can be labeled as “postdramatic theatre.” The words are set and performed with the help of a teleprompter and the gestures are improvised, often made up by the performers on the spot. The written part of the first section consists entirely of declarative statements such as “This is the point,” “This is feminism,” and “This is the Cuban Missile Crisis.” Liz Peterson comes out first onto the stage and remains the primary focus throughout. She turns some of the statements into one-sentence plays with her body and her performance can be seen as an interesting study in disciplined impulse, chaos, and order. She is soon joined on stage by four other performers, including Robert Abubo, Danielle Baskerville, Jennifer Dahl, and Philip Nozuka.

The performance initially circles around its central subject with images and sounds but eventually starts engaging with it more directly. A broken poetic text is spoken by the five performers, painting some sort of picture of a son, a mother, and death. “Declarations” is not fuelled by grief but instead heightens the awareness of mortality that comes when a loved one is given a terminal diagnosis.

The performance is being staged through February 11, 2018 at the Canadian Stage, Toronto, noted The Globe and Mail.



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