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In this psychological thriller set in a fictionalized 1930s Vancouver, Alex Braithwaite, a troubled but passionate theatre critic, believes he has found the legendary Stanley Lee, director of the infamous avant-garde theatre "The Empty Space." Alex becomes convinced that this man's radically subversive ideas are what the artistic community of the city needs to shatter audience complacency. In his pursuit of the truth behind Stanley Lee's mysterious disappearance and his artistic ideas, Alex becomes caught between the warring factions of two prominent mob families - one controlling the city's playhouses, the other its cinemas, but both ensnared by the Empty Space Society. At the dawn of the Talkies, can Alex tear through the artifice of these art forms in time to save the city's art community from ripping itself apart? The play's collaborators found inspiration within the walls of Vancouver's Stanley Theatre, a space that has a dual history as a cinema and vaudeville house. Fittingly, this gritty film-noir production became an exploration of the two kinds of art and how they affect the audience. Tear the Curtain explores global issues that consider what we want from art: to be shocked and surprised or for order to be restored. Cast of 2 women and 8 men.
About the Author
Kevin Kerr is a co-founder of Vancouver's Electric Company Theatre, where he has worked as a member of the creative core since 1996. In various roles, including writer, director, actor, designer, and/or producer, he has collaborated on the creation of numerous works such as Brilliant! The Blinding Enlightenment of Nikola Tesla, The Wake, The Score, Flop, The One That Got Away, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, The Fall, Palace Grand, Initiation Trilogy, and You Are Very Star. Other plays include Unity (1918), Skydive, The Remittance Man, Secret World of Og, and Spine. He co-wrote the screen adaptation of The Score produced by Screen Siren Pictures for CBC Television and recently wrote dialogue for the National Film Board of Canada's production of Stan Douglas's interactive augmented reality experience Circa 1948. Kerr is a four-time recipient of the Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Outstanding Original Script and received the 2002 Governor General's Literary Award for Drama. He currentlyteaches creative writing at the University of Victoria. Jonathon Young is a writer, designer, and co-founding artistic director of Electric Company Theatre, as well as an award-winning actor. Previous plays include Brilliant! The Blinding Enlightenment of Nikola Tesla, The Score, and Palace Grand.