Theater of War Productions and Margaret Atwood return to the Toronto International Festival of Authors with an exciting new collaboration exploring power and control, domestic violence, and family dynamics by way of two versions of the same story, one written by Giovanni Boccaccio in 1348 during the bubonic plague and the other by Atwood in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Bocaccio’s version, a woman named Griselda remains in an abusive and controlling relationship, showing great patience and forbearance in the face of her husband’s sadism and cruelty. In Atwood’s version, Griselda takes matters in her own hands and, with the help of her sister, turns the tables on her husband.
This free, public event will feature a live, dramatic reading of the “Patient Griselda” story from Boccaccio's Decameronby Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Fleishman is in Trouble) and other actors. (More cast members to be announced soon.) Then, in response, Margaret Atwood will perform “Impatient Grisleda,” a story that is narrated to a group of humans in quarantine by an alien that looks like an octopus. The readings of both texts will be followed by immediate responses by community panelists and will culminate in a guided audience discussion, facilitated by Bryan Doerries (Artistic Director, Theater of War Productions).
This event will be captioned in English.
This hybrid presentation of will take place in person and on Zoom Webinar. If you choose to join us online, this event can be accessed on personal devices. The event Zoom link will be distributed via email and available to registered attendees starting two days prior to the event.
Here’s a link to the TIFA event page for in-person registration: https://festivalofauthors.ca/event/theater-of-war-2023/
All of Theater of War Productions' events follow the same format:
- The performers will read the text.
- Community panelists will kick off the discussion with their gut responses to what resonated with them across time.
- We will open the discussion to the audience, facilitated by Bryan Doerries. To participate in the discussion online, please raise your hand using the button at the bottom center of the screen. If called upon, please accept the invitation to be promoted to speak and you will be visible and heard by the entire audience for the duration of your comments. If you would prefer not to be seen, please disable your video.
Refugees & ImmigrationThe Suppliants Project
The Suppliants Project tells the timeless story of fifty female refugees seeking asylum at a border from forced marriage and domestic violence. The play not only depicts the struggle of these women to cross into safety, but also the internal struggle within the city that ultimately receives them. Using a 2,500-year-old tragedy by Aeschylus as a catalyst for powerful gatherings and crucial conversations, The Suppliants Project engages diverse audiences in humanizing, constructive dialogue about the challenges and impact of war, migration, and seeking asylum.
Caregiving & DeathKing Lear Project
The King Lear Project presents streamlined readings of scenes from Shakespeare’s King Lear to engage diverse audiences—including older adults, caregivers, and family members—in open, healing, constructive, discussions about the challenges of aging, dementia, and caring for friends and loved ones.
Drawing from an ancient Greek tragedy about a vicious act of violence committed by an angry man with an invincible weapon, this project aims to generate powerful dialogue between concerned citizens, members of the law enforcement community, victims and perpetrators of gun violence, and the general public.