Produced by Theatre Passe Muraille
Written by Sara Farb
Directed by Richard Greenblatt
Starring Sara Farb
Stage Manager: Kate Sandeson
Set and Costume Consultant: Robin Fisher and Elizabeth Nutting
Lighting Designer: Rebecca Picherack
Movement Consultant: Viv Moore
Composer: Reza Jacobs
Projection Designer: Cameron Davis
Original Projection Designer: Jordan Tannahill
Associate Projection Designer: Kaitlin Hickey
Theatre Passe Muraille (TPM)’s production, R-E-B-E-C-C-A, by Sara Farb, is a personal piece based on Farb’s younger sister who was born seven weeks prematurely and diagnosed as developmentally delayed at a very young age. Written and performed by Sara Farb, directed by Richard Greenblatt, R-E-B-E-C-C-A is currently playing at TPM’s Backspace until March 1st, 2015.
I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of R-E-B-E-C-C-A last Tuesday night. In the play, we meet two Rebeccas, one real and one imagined (both performed by Farb) as they prepare to celebrate their respective 18th birthdays. Although existing in parallel universes, these two Rebeccas manage to find a connection, uniting in an unexpected and powerful way. I left with many thoughts about the play; certainly took me some time to process, which is good.
What the makes R-E-B-E-C-C-A stand out for me is its depiction of the two young women (May Rebecca and July Rebecca). They are both very real in their respective stories, although May Rebecca is based on Farb’s younger sister. They also show us two people whose stories are not often told or heard — that of a young woman who is ‘stuck’ at a particular age, and another one who is struggling to love herself and climb out of a very dark depressive hole.
We come to know May Rebecca as this sweet young woman, who has needs as much as any of us do, yet has limitations due to her cognitive age. Farb embodies her delicately in her physicality and voice. She also becomes the very feisty July Rebecca just as swiftly in her tonality, and use of profanity left, right, and centre. Their emotions are real and palpable. Their emotions are also very valid.
The use of minimal staging props along with some multi-media components make this one-person play rather intimate. As an audience, we feel we are being let into July Rebecca‘s secrets and torments. We also get a sense of May Rebecca‘s, albeit infantile, true self. I found both stories very moving, and also very much necessary to witness. R-E-B-E-C-C-A will leave you pondering about yourself, your views of others, and also about how as a society, we can do so much more for those whose voices we often do not hear.
Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace
Performances: Wed-Sat, 7:30pm with Saturday & Sunday Matinees at 2:00pm
General Backspace Admission: $33 (incl. hst)
Senior & Artsworker: $28 (incl. hst)
Under 30: $17 (incl. hst)
PWYC: Saturday & Sunday Matinees on sale at noon.
Tickets: By Phone: 416.504.7529, in-person, or online passemuraille.ca
*Photo of Sara Farb by Michael Cooper.