William Faulkner’s Southern Gothic opus As I Lay Dying is now playing at The Arts Club Theatre’s Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre until February 12, 2017. The uniquely creative production is staged by Toronto’s Theatre Smith-Gilmour and presented in partnership with PuSh Festival. The touring show brings the novel to life with incredible simplicity, the only props on stage for the 2+ hour play are a board, a bucket, some bananas and a small wooden chair. The 7 players bring 19 characters to life and paints their rural existence through simple sound effects, creative dance and drama and relies on the audiences imagination to fill in the blanks.
The play traces the poor Bundren family’s journey to take their late mother’s body from their rural farm to her final resting place in Jefferson, MS. Along their 40 mile wagon trek the family encounters perilous trials and tribulations that test the bonds and bounds of what the family can endure. Narrated by many of the characters, the story’s vignettes touche on a cross-section of social topics, that would surely have been controversial when the source novel was published in 1930. Poverty, pride, prejudice, infidelity, social status, motherhood, sibling rivalry, abortion, mental health, and many more subjects are touched up.
As I Lay Dying, is a perfect PuSh Festival co-production as it brings the unique creativity that we expect from PuSh to Arts Club’s wide audience catch it until February 12 at Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre.