Put The List on Your List!

It could be any night of the week: you and your friends are gathered for your weekly meet-up in your friend’s kitchen. But this time, there’s a dead body. And a woman, confessing that she may have killed her neighbour. Your neighbour. OUR neighbour.

Mind you, not through an act of violence. Through negligence. She was too busy completing all the other things on her to-do list and didn’t get to her neighbour’s request in time.

Did that last sentence resonate with you?

It sure did with me, and that’s why I’m excited for The List by Jennifer Tremblay, directed by Heather Inglis, playing November 29 – December 9. Inglis says, “I think it’s really interesting that, in this age where we can do so much more – because of the extra time that all our digital devices afford us – that we’re increasingly feeling isolated… This play is about a woman who is trying to do so much, and trying to manage her life with various to-do lists … I think that everyone can relate to that.”

I’ll be the first to admit, I’ve got too much on my plate. You probably do to. It’s not our fault. In this world of so many opportunities – and in a place where it’s so easy to take advantage of those opportunities – how can you not just keep adding things to your to-do list? What I think that we, or at least I, haven’t realized yet, is that there are consequences to constantly adding to your to-do list in an effort to be “the best you can be”. The List explores the consequences of being everything to everyone – it might be unsettling and uncomfortable, but that might just be what we need.

I ask Heather what she thinks Edmonton audiences will take away from the play, which might be particularly relevant to our city, which is increasingly expanding and adding new suburbs, but at the same time has initiatives like StartUp Edmonton, Capital Ideas, and Theatre Edmonton which help form communities of people. Heather responds, “I think that’s a particularly interesting question, because the play addresses both of those aspects. Edmonton is a huge city, but at the same time, we’ve got all these communities that are forming… I think it will make audiences think about how both of those [trends] interact and how it affects them.”

If there’s one thing you should know about this play, it’s that you should get your tickets early – each performance is limited to 40 tickets! Heather says that one the decision to limit the audience to 40 people each night was based both on the intimacy of the subject matter – each night the narrator is confessing to the audience – but also due to Theatre Yes’ choice to explore the in-person experience that theatre affords, as most recently seen in their 2010 Fringe production of Shoot/Get Treasure/Repeat.

The List runs at the TransAlta Art Barns November 29 – December 9. November 29 is the preview night (tickets $15) and pay-what-you-can matinees are December 1 and 8. Check out the full schedule on YegLive.ca.  Tickets for regular performances are $15 – $27.

– Jenna Marynowski

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