Theatre-goers with a penchant for dystopian science fiction have the opportunity to check out The Trashman's Dilemma at the Pearl Company Winter Theatre festival this month.
“People that have seen it said they were mesmerized,” said writer and director Bruce Gooch.
The play takes place in the future, 10 years after a cataclysmic event called "The Purge" that leaves only one per cent of the world alive. Communication is feared, and in true Orwellian fashion, memories and thoughts can be monitored.
Gooch says iconic works such as George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, along with sci-fi classic Soylent Green were all an influence in some way on the play. “I'm sure the brutality of what those worlds really are exists on the stage,” he said.
But what really underlines the entire play is commentary on the amount of non-verbal communication that's creeping into society. Nineteen Eighty Four also had “thoughtcrime,” but that was before the advent of text messaging and email.
“So I've taken it this step into the world we live in,” Gooch said.
In the play, many of his characters aren't comfortable with language because they don't speak much. They fumble over words throughout the hour-long show in an attempt to communicate in a way that's largely been lost.
The entire show is a commentary on the power of words and the rebirth of language, Gooch says.
“It's a reality that we could lose words,” he added.
The Trashman's Dilemma runs at the Pearl Company Theatre at 16 Steven Street on Feb. 2 and Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 9 at 9 p.m.
Tickets are $15, and can be purchased by calling 905-524-0606 or visiting Thepearlcompany.ca.