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You Should Have Stayed Home

The Firehall Arts Centre will kick off its 2013-2014 season on September 24 with Praxis Theatre’s award-winning You Should Have Stayed Home: A G20 Romp, one Toronto man’s frightening and surprisingly funny account of the biggest mass arrest in Canadian history.
 
The upcoming season will be the Firehall’s biggest yet, featuring 16 different shows. The eclectic mix will includes bold new dance and theatre works as well as returning audience favourites.

These entertaining and provocative plays provide a uniquely personal perspective on political power and protest, with works such as Toronto performer Tommy Taylor’s Kafkaesque G20 protest story, the play adaptation of Marina Nemat’s Prisoner of Tehran, Sean Devine’s critically acclaimed Re:Union, and Kids in the Hall star Bruce McCulloch’s one-man comic counterculture adventure.
 
Launching the Firehall’s season, You Should Have Stayed Home takes place on the day Ontario’s ombudsman named “the most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history.” Toronto writer and performer Tommy Taylor’s 11,000 word Facebook note: “How I Got Arrested and Abused at G20 Toronto” went viral; he subsequently adapted it into an award-winning play now touring Canada.

This provocative and at times humorous one-man show is NOT the story of the people who were attacked by riot police in the G20 peaceful protest zone nor is it about the damage and violence caused by the Black Bloc that weekend. It is the deeply personal story of Tommy Taylor, a man who went to observe the G20 protests in 2010 with his girlfriend and unwittingly became part of the largest mass arrest in Canadian history, spending nearly 24 hours crammed with 40 men in a tiny cell, without charge or access to legal counsel.

As the Globe and Mail’s Kelly Nestruck tweeted after seeing the show in 2011: “You Should Have Stayed Home at @Summerworks: If you’re not angry about what happened at the G20 last year, you must see this show.”

Taylor’s lively and engaging storytelling sheds a personal light on his surreal G20 nightmare and the cramped conditions in the detention centre, with 26 people joining him on stage to re-create the 10 x 20 foot cell in which he was imprisoned and deprived of food and water. Praxis Theatre is seeking members of the general public to participate in this scene for the Vancouver run. Visit the Praxis Theatre website for details.
 
The show sold out nearly all of its SummerWorks Festival run and was awarded the juried SummerWorks Arts Professional Award. NOW Toronto called it an “important piece of Canadian history” and the play was named one of the Torontoist’s Top Ten Highlights of SummerWorks 2011.

You Should Have Stayed Home is written and performed by Tommy Taylor and is directed by Michael Wheeler.

You Should Have Stayed Home
Dates: September 24 to October 5; Tues. to Fri., 8 pm; Sat., 5 and 9 pm; Weds., 1 pm; Sun., 2 pm
Preview: September 24, 8 pm
Venue: Firehall Arts Centre, 280 East Cordova Street, Vancouver
Tickets: $20 – $30; available online or via phoning 604.689.0926

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