Part of FringeNYC: Jess, mourning the tragic loss of her brother, discovers how the "tweet generation" has redefined the grieving process and what remains once we die. An autobiographical play that'll make you think twice before posting your next selfie. More…
Categories: Comedy, Drama, Local. From Jessica Kazamel and Joseph Hayward. Written by Jessica Kazamel. Directed by Joseph Hayward.
FROM THE ARTIST:
Canuck Downunder is a story about a small town Canadian girl in her early twenties, living in New York City, who has just lost her older brother to substance abuse. The story follows Jess as she works through her grief with the help and hinderance of the digital world. The process of grieving has changed significantly with the involvement of social media and easy access to communication, Canuck Downunder reflects on that change.
"The three most impressive aspects of this production are the quality of the script, the top-notch cast, and the seamless manner in which these two elements combine to form incredibly authentic character relationships that resonate with truth in every regard...The bulk of the praise is reserved for Kazamel–it’s hard to construct a one-hour narrative that feels complete in its dramatic structure, not truncated or rushed. None of the 60 minutes of 'Canuck Downunder' are squandered." Full Review
"Plays surrounding the themes of family tragedy and social media can both come off as a bit hackneyed. The glory of Kazamel’s work is this: it combines both with great success…Sullivan receives from her acting partners and broadcasts her misery with heartbreaking openness…Kazamel’s direction ensures that both sides are well-represented and the true villain is not easily defined. Her decision to do this makes the show’s job harder, but the message infinitely more thought-provoking." Full Review
“The production gives little credit to the people around Jess. They mainly slide into two-dimensionality in service of hurting her and failing her. This undermines the comedy and the heartbreak possible in these relationships. By the time we get a few moments of redemption late in the play it is too late...The way we live on past ourselves digitally is both cruel and a gift. It's a timely idea, worthy of investigation, and one that you can see the playwright understands and grapples with.” Full Review
See it if You like funny drama that I'd a beautiful story and true. Great acting and smart staging. And cool lighting.
Don't see it if You don't want to feel emotions or see shows that are shorter than 70 minutes
See it if You like a solid ensemble of actors and want to support new writing. A heartfelt tale of dealing with loss in the digital age.
Don't see it if No reason not to see it! Emotionally resonant even for people who have not lost a sibling.
See it if You like social media, appreciate great acting and staging and an absorbing emotional story
Don't see it if Social media makes you crazy and plays about heavy emotions are not your cup of tea.
See it if You want to see real human emotions, in all their complexity on show. If you like honest truthful work. See it.
Don't see it if You want a big scale production or expect any party tricks. Don't go if you want it to be fluffy, it isn't and doesn't intend to be.
See it if you want to reflect on the impact of social media through a highly personal story.
Don't see it if you mind almost every actor except for the lead playing emotion for the duration of the piece, over the top tears etc.