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Art of Building a Bunker, The
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Friday June 16, 2017 in Books

Art of Building a Bunker, The

By Adam Lazarus & Guillermo Verdecchia

The Art of Building a Bunker is a dark, viciously funny story recounting a week in the life of your average Elvis as he endures mandatory workplace sensitivity training. Elvis struggles to meet the demands of Camerson, the sensitivity training leader, and to work with the group that surrounds him without revealing anything about what he really feels or believes. His struggles culminate in a radical oration delivered on the last day of the course to the sensitivity group, workplace colleagues, as well as international luminaries of sensitivity like Nelson Mandela, Geddy Lee, and Malala Yousafzai.

Created for Toronto’s SummerWorks 2013, Verdecchia explained to Colin Thomas of the Georgia Straight the impulse behind Bunker: “We were just looking around the city and at the culture generally,” Verdecchia said – remember that Rob Ford was Toronto’s mayor at that time – “and there was a kind of incivility in the air, which I think is still there. It seems like it’s permissible to say things that you couldn’t say before, like ‘Fuck her right in the cunt,’ or whatever guys are saying on television.” (Verdecchia is referring to the phenomenon that reporter Shauna Hunt very publicly challenged recently.) “There was also this incredible anger on the web, YouTube videos with people ranting about their situations or about Obama – a lot of Americans. They seemed like really disenfranchised folk who were stewing in their anger and fear. And that struck us as really interesting. Adam and I genuinely want to ask about what is permissible.”

Bunker is to be played by one virtuosic actor.

ISBN 13: 9781772011869 | ISBN 10:
5.5 W x 8.5 H inches | 80 pages
$16.95 CAN / $16.95 US
Rights: World
Drama | Backlist


“The chuckles here are rarely easy or comforting, and sometimes the most unsettling ones are the most revealing.”
NOW Magazine

"Lazarus and Verdecchia do not soft peddle."
—Lynn Slotkin, The Slotkin Letter

"Unexpected insight into the concepts of human fear, and vulnerability"
—Justin Haigh, Artsvox.ca

"An engrossing spectacle."
—Steve Fisher, Torontoist.com

"A tour-de-force…truly provocative."
—J. Kelly Nestruck, Globe & Mail

"Laughs galore…A delicious state of unbalance…Lazarus gets under our skin and settles there."
—Drew Rowsome, My Gay Toronto

"Lazarus and Verdecchia do a great job of yanking at our cringe strings in a way that’s both thoughtful and entertaining."
—Lauren Stein, Mooney on Theatre

"The chuckles here are rarely easy or comforting, and sometimes the most unsettling ones are the most revealing."
—Jon Kaplan, NOW

"Explores incivility … The Art of Building a Bunker pisses some people off, but it’s also getting rave reviews. ‘I come out the other end feeling all stirred up and a little bit ecstatic,’ Verdecchia says, describing his own experience of viewing the show. ‘I have a different relationship to it, being one of the creators, but I like the fact that many people find it unsettling, and I also like the fact that people like the fact that they’re unsettled.’ "
—Colin Thomas,_ Georgia Straight_

"Pleasantly amusing and smartly satirical."
—Robert Crew, Toronto Star

About the Contributors

Adam Lazarus

Adam Lazarus is “Toronto’s favourite nasty clown” (Toronto Star). He is an award-winning actor, director, and acting instructor.

“Bold, bawdy, bad-guy theatre – the equivalent of a brainy punk-rock concert or an inspired Charles Bukowski rant.” – Victoria Times Colonist.

Guillermo Verdecchia

Guillermo Verdecchia is a writer of drama, fiction, and film; a director, dramaturge, actor, and translator whose work has been seen and heard on stages, screens, and radios across the country and around the globe. He is a recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Drama, a four-time winner of the Chalmers Canadian Play Award, a recipient of Dora and Jessie Awards, and sundry film festival awards for his film Crucero/Crossroads.

Art of Building a Bunker, The

Adam Lazarus & Guillermo Verdecchia

Copyright Talonbooks 1963-2018



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