WINNIPEG, MB – The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film opens the second offering of its theatre season with The Power of Yes, written by provocative British playwright, David Hare, and directed by faculty member Christopher Brauer. The show runs from February 11-15, 2014.
For four days in September 2008 capitalism ceased to function. Since then, no one has been punished and the rules haven’t been changed. This play seeks to find out why the crisis occurred and what might be learned from it.
The National Theatre commissioned Hare to write The Power of Yes, and with the help of an economist, he set out to interview key players in the British and American banking system. From these interviews he created a nine-scene “verbatim” play – a play using the bankers’ exact words. Hare himself (The Author) is the central character and the play follows him as – Orpheus-like – he travels into the murky underworld of the international financial system.
Of the play, Hare has said: “The Power of Yes … laid out the progress of the current banking crisis. It was therefore inevitable that the immediate response be journalistic. It either was or wasn’t accurate. Its diagnosis was or wasn’t correct. The play suggested that bankers now have the upper hand over anyone elected to power, firstly because complicated financial practices are beyond the understanding of most democratic politicians, but secondly because bankers have refined all their various blackmail notes into one single threat, left like a bomb in a litter-bin: ‘If you don’t rig the market in our favour, we will drag you down with us.’ “
The Power of Yes is directed by faculty member and recognized local director Christopher Brauer, who recently directed Venus in Fur at the RMTC Warehouse to critical and popular success.
“What is exciting about putting up this play is that, though it contains a lot of complex information, it’s mosaic structure makes it feel like poetry – and that invites a visual poetry in the staging” says Brauer. “The piece becomes extremely choreographic and that’s exciting. So it isn’t just a feast for the brain, but also for the ears.”
Joseph Abetria’s set design is inspired by the image of an exploding bubble. Rather than an end-stage format the play is set virtually “in-the-round” so the audience feels included in the action. Bold and evocative lighting is provided by Ksenia Broda-Milian. The substantial production team is made up of a range of junior and senior students.
While the credit crisis happened five years ago, its effects are still being felt around the world – from slow job growth to weak currency. In the U.S., millions of people lost their homes. But, unlike the Savings and Loans scandal in the mid 1980s, when over 3,000 banking executives went to jail, not a single person has been punished for the largest banking collapse in history. And no one at the political level has examined whether the problem is the bankers, or the system.
Performances are Tuesday, February 11th through Friday, February 14th at 8:00 pm nightly, and Saturday, February 15th at 7:00 pm at UW’s Asper Centre for Theatre and Film (400 Colony St). Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Please call our 24-hour Reservation Line at 204.786.9152, or visit UWinnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film website at http://theatre.uwinnipeg.ca
Based in the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film at The University of Winnipeg, the Department of Theatre and Film offers areas of study in Acting, Design, Drama in Education, Filmmaking, Playwriting, and Production/Stage Management. Our classes are small and our approach is practical. Our faculty is comprised of highly respected and award-winning professionals who are experienced teachers and remain active in their disciplines, bringing relevant and up-to-date instruction to our students.
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Patty Hawkins, Dept. of Theatre and Film, The University of Winnipeg
T: 204.786.9955 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christopher Brauer, Dept. of Theatre and Film, The University of Winnipeg
T: 204.786-9006 E: email@example.com