Why I Chose This Play – Vigil

I love Morris Panych’s writing. He has what is probably the most idiosyncratic voice in Canadian theatre. Morris writes plays that put his unique view of the world on stage. To know Morris—a misanthrope with a heart of gold—is to know and appreciate the source of his theatrical creations.

Vigil—the most widely produced of Morris’s plays—began life here at the Belfry, and I felt it was time to revive and celebrate it. It’s 27 years later, and Vigil has new reverberations. Though there’s not a cell phone or computer in this world that Morris has drawn, one could easily believe that he’s examining the isolation they have created, and the lack of—and need for—genuine human contact.

And, frankly, it was simply time to invite Morris back—the most produced playwright on our stage—together with Ken MacDonald, recreating his iconic set from that very first production. They are both superstars of Canadian theatre and, in many ways, they—like this play—got their start at the Belfry—!

Michael Shamata