Living Will at Toronto Fringe
|July 2, 2018||Filled under Events||
Where: Factory Theatre – Mainspace, 125 Bathurst Street
When: July 6-15, 2018
Cost: $13 in advance. Can be purchased at www.fringetoronto.com, by calling 416-966-1062, or in person at the Fringe Patio at Scadding Court, 707 Dundas Street West.
Details: Living Will introduces siblings from a middle-class family who are called to a family meeting by their father, Wilfred, to discuss his last wishes. Wilfred is in good health, and since he has never been in the hospital, he anticipates that he will likely die in his sleep. On the other hand, he is 79 years old and would like to get his affairs in order. Crisis occurs when Wilfred suddenly becomes ill, and his children do not agree upon a course of action for his care. Wilfred’s son, Jake, tries to uphold his father’s wishes for no interventions, while other family members fight to keep him alive at any cost. The action spans a 12 month time-period, and is set in a suburban living room and a city hospital.
The production challenges assumptions about the authority of the State over the individual; and looks at the complicated issues surrounding so-called “Living Will” documents and the problems inherent in their execution. The play raises the ethical issues surrounding the right to autonomy within the health-care system, the legal right to choose proxy for health-care, the right to refuse treatment; and ultimately, the right to die. Obliquely, Living Will points out flaws in the education and acculturation of health-care professionals. Systemic problems are exposed through the words and actions of the hospital representatives, including the doctor, social worker and ethicist.
Written by Helen-Claire Tingling and directed by Jillian Rees-Brown, the play marks the return to the stage of film and TV actor Bill MacDonald (Traders, Rookie Blue, A History of Violence, Hush Little Baby). Mr. MacDonald heads a seasoned cast who have collectively amassed numerous stage, TV and film credits. Many of the cast have also starred in previous Fringe productions.