Thursday-Sunday, March 14-24, 2019
Created and directed by Alison Darcy & Joseph Shragge
Choreographed by Andrew Turner
Starring Trevor Barrette| Davide Chiazzese| Alison Darcy| Sasha Samar
“The crop was dead. I didn’t have much salt. The spiders were the one’s living in my home and I was outside. I stopped remembering the sound of father or my sister or myself.”
Brief interview with Joseph Shragge about the play in early development: bit.ly/2GSsJ70
Scapegoat Carnivale, in collaboration with MAI (Montréal, arts interculturels), is honoured to present the world premiere of YEV, a play about the unusual relationships between a Siberian hermit, a McGill biology student and a retired Russian geologist. YEV dramatizes how even small interventions from the outside world can upset the balance of fragile micro-cultures. Lauded theatre artists Scapegoat Carnivale Co-Artistic Directors Alison Darcy & Joseph Shragge are also the co-writers/directors of YEV, with Darcy now adding set designer to her credits. With YEV, the company has created a unique performance that engages with contemporary theatre trends including exploring multiple perspectives and forms. The show, in English and Russian, runs from March 14-24. To encourage dialogue, Scapegoat Carnivale will hold moderated talkbacks with invited guests.
Yev is a hermit living in a remote region of the Siberian Taiga, the sole survivor of a family who fled civilization for fear of religious persecution. Matthew, a biology student who’s curious about Yev’s solitary life, begins a correspondence but soon discovers that she is not entirely alone. As their camaraderie deepens, so do complications between Yev and her possessive neighbour Savorin, a geologist who violently disputes her version of their shared story. Through layered, complex unfolding, the play slowly unearths the truth about these relationships forged amid seclusion. YEV, Scapegoat Carnivale’s latest creation, is loosely inspired by the Siberian hermit Agafia Lykova, among others.
“When father was getting older I had to do the harder tasks alone. I was well trained by him to kill, to hunt, to build, sow and lie with a husband.”
Darcy and Shragge joined writing forces to explore what it means to physically, mentally and emotionally live off the grid. “We used collaborative writing techniques while envisioning the play’s major production elements in order to discover ways of representing a character whose life is remote and inaccessible, a character who speaks a language few understand,” said Darcy. The end result is a fresh, creative piece of theatre designed in triptych form; an unconventionally structured new play which is at once visual, physical and textual.
The first-rate Montreal cast—Trevor Barrette (Matthew), Davide Chiazzese (Nicolay), Alison Darcy (Yev) and Sasha Samar (Savorin)—reveal the narrative through a captivating fusion of styles; epistolary storytelling, dramatic live translation and highly theatrical physicality, providing perspective on Yev’s past and present. Referenced are different attitudes towards self-sufficiency and isolation, from the romance of self-reliance to the mind-altering effects of solitude.
Sarah Garton Stanley is the Associate Artistic Director at the National Arts Centre—English Theatre, and Curator for The Collaborations, which Scapegoat Carnivale is part of. From Stanley: “YEV is a special project which offers audiences and artists alike a unique window into the vastness of the human condition. It has the potential to connect in profound ways and, at the same time, show us something previously unknown about how we receive stories.”
The scenography, like a museum diorama featuring Alison Darcy’s set design, highlights the outstanding creations of costume designer Cathia Pagotto; lighting designer Jon Cleveland; and composer and sound designer Devon Bate. Choreographer Andrew Turner harnessed the explosive movement. The stage manager is Chad Dembski and dramaturgy is by Fatma Sarah Elkashef.
YEV March 14-24 (9 shows only)
Scapegoat Carnivale at MAI, Montréal arts interculturels– 3680 rue Jeanne-Mance
The show runs: Thurs.–Sat. 8pm; Matinees at 3pm–Sun. March 17 & 24, and Sat. March 23
Tickets: $15-$25 (various discounts: students/seniors/groups/underemployed/under 14)
2 for 1 tickets: Relaxed performance on Sat. March 23 at 3pm
Box Office: 514 982-3386 or online
Talkbacks follow performances on Fri. March 15 and Thurs. March 21