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Produced with Harbourfront Centre's World Stage
Frequently delightful, full of laugh-out-loud moments of absurdity.
– The Globe & Mail
All Our Happy Days represents an interesting attempt to push Toronto theatre in a new direction.
... gut-punching critique of the pursuit of happiness.
Heti brought the absurd piece to vivid life.
– NOW Magazine
All Our Happy Days Are Stupid tells the story of two families on permanent vacation, searching for contentment and authenticity outside the confines of their flat-fronted black and-white existence. Sheila Heti’s eclectic play was called “unstageable” by the Toronto theatre company that commissioned it nearly a decade ago. It took the dogged curiosity of Jordan Tannahill and his Suburban Beast co-conspirator Erin Brubacher to put together a company of artists bold enough to reveal all its playful seriousness. Singing music penned by Dan Bejar (Destroyer, The New Pornographers), the exceptional cast of Toronto bright lights push Heti’s hyper-realism through realms of the absurd and back again to the unmistakably familiar. They arrive at what feels remarkably like wisdom.
Co-author of The New York Times bestselling Women in Clothes, Heti’s most recent novel is How Should a Person Be?, which the New York Times‘ David Haglund called, “Funny… odd, original, and nearly unclassifiable… unlike any novel I can think of.” In All Our Happy Days Are Stupid, Heti’s writing is brought to life in a performance that distills a part of Toronto’s cultural essence.
Writer: Sheila Heti
Director: Jordan Tannahill with Erin Brubacher
Set Designer: Rae Powell
Music: Dan Bejar
Stage Manager: Laura Hendrickson
Production Manager/Lighting Designer: Zack Russell
Costume Designer: Juliann Wilding
Assistant Set Designer: Joe Pagnan
Assistant Lighting Designer: Kaileigh Krysztofiak
Performers: Erin Brubacher, Alexander Carson, Henri Faberge, Nick Hune-Brown, Becky Johnson, Kayla Lorette, Jon McCurley, Michael McManus, Naomi Skwarna, Meghan Swaby, Anne Wessels, Carl Wilson, Lorna Wright
Suburban Beast is a multimedia theatre company dedicated to telling real stories in surreal ways. Headed by multidisciplinary artists Jordan Tannahill and Erin Brubacher, the company creates works of performance examining the contemporary human condition.
All Our Happy Days Are Stupid brings together an array of Toronto-based artists and performers to create a new kind of indie theatre that looks, perhaps, distinctly Torontonian. When cultural tourists visit Toronto—as the Oddis and Sings visit Paris—what do they look for, and what do they see? Join Harbourfront Scholar-in-Residence Matthew Sergi for an open-ended, informal pre-show tea, in which we invite participants to help us figure out what Toronto theatre looks like now, what they have looked like before, and whether and how Toronto distinguishes itself from other cities culturally.
Can you think of an indie performance you’ve seen that feels “very Toronto?” Tweet it #artlive to start the discussion early!
The second performance of each World Stage production is followed by our talkshow event, where the artists connect with the audience outside their work, fielding questions with the moderation of their colleagues in the community. Admission is free with the purchase of a ticket to All Our Happy Days Are Stupid.