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Monday July 21, 2014 in Books
In this psychological thriller set in a fictionalized 1930s Vancouver, Alex Braithewaite, 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 city’s arts community 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.
ISBN 13: 9780889229044 | ISBN 10: 088922904X
6 W x 9 H inches | 160 pp pages
$18.95 CAN / $18.95 US
Backlist | Drama
QUOTES OF NOTE
“Tear the Curtain! layers illusion upon illusion, moving seamlessly between live and cinematic action.”
– Georgia Straight
“A brilliant fusion of two enduring art forms.”
– Globe and Mail
“Young, Collier, and Kerr have created the kind of dazzling hybrid that has made the Electric Company a necessity of theatrical life on the West Coast – part stage play, part period film, part Hitchcock, part Artaud, and a whole lot of Robert Lepage.”
– Jerry Wasserman
“A fascinating puzzle of a production.”
– NOW Magazine
“Prophetic … stunning.”
– National Post
About the ContributorsJonathon Young
Jonathon Young co-authored the play Tear the Curtain! with Kevin Kerr and Kim Collier.Kevin Kerr
Kevin Kerr is playwright and founding member of Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre. In 2002 he received the Governor General’s Literary Award for his play Unity (1918), which has been produced across Canada as well as in the United States and Australia. Other works include Studies in Motion (Electric Company Theatre) and Skydive (Realwheels). Kevin was Lee Playwright in Residence at the University of Alberta in Edmonton from 2007 to 2010. He returned to Electric Company Theatre in 2011 as Artistic Director.Kim Collier
Kim Collier has co-authored seven original plays with Electric Company Theatre. In 2010 she was awarded the prestigious Siminovitch Prize in Theatre for directing. She is currently resident artist at Canadian Stage in Toronto.
We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF); and the Province of British Columbia through the British Columbia Arts Council for our publishing activities.