Our heroes are surprisingly optimistic, given the conditions outside, armed as they are with cheerful pop songs and over a millennium worth of utopias. Despite an almost overwhelming pessimism for the long term future, which many of us share, Perhaps in a Hundred Years endeavours to keep it upbeat, or at least tenderly, militantly, hopeful.
Perhaps in a Hundred Years mixes space-rock show with confessional, talk show with theatre to create vital, intimate performance for the future - from the past.
In 2005, unbeknownst to almost everyone, theatre and dance artists Ame Henderson, Chad Dembski, Kilby Smith-McGregor, Jacob Zimmer spent a summer in Hub 14 making a play. Six years later, after more than a dozen shows and national and international tours, they returned to spend another August at Hub 14.
2011: OFFTA – Montreal, Quebec
2010: Summerworks/Hub 14 – Toronto
2005: Hub 14 – Toronto; Khyber Centre for the Arts - Halifax, Nova Scotia; Third Space Gallery - Saint John, New Brunswick; Cafe Esperanza - Montreal, Quebec
It is an August evening. People gather in a white room. We sit and wait. I stare out the open door in front of me that leads to a fire escape. Three people - strangers to me but friends to each other - wait with us. A show begins. The premise is simple: these friends are thinking about the future. They also may be hovering in outer space. Or something like that. But I feel that I am in the same room as they are. I feel included in their hovering. They pass the time by playing us songs. Sometimes they dance along. They also play cards, talk a little bit, sing a whole lot. There is some kind of a manifesto. Or are they just setting the scene? They have a smoke on the fire escape. They run around the room. It ends. Somehow I have beer in my hands and I haven’t noticed the time go by. Nothing has “happened” and yet, I am riveted. I am moved. It is banal. It is everyday. It is embarrassing and brave. I recognize the beautifully pathetic in what keeps us going in life. I feel that I am watching “characters” but I also feel that I have gotten to know these three performers personally. Not in any particular deep way but more than if I had met them at a party. I like that. A lot. I don’t feel conflict between them but I think that I see them struggling with loneliness. I am not sure. This keeps me focused. I am certain that I see isolation. I also see them actively resisting. Resisting to what exactly, I can’t really say. But I feel an understated heroism. A heroism that I would like to think I share. Most of all, I feel privileged to be the witness of something honest, positive, contemplative, current and quietly simple. I leave the white room inspired. I would watch this piece again in a heartbeat. I sincerely hope that others will have a chance to see it.
- Brendan Healy
It was good. I think. I think I don't know what to think about it. Was it a show? I think so but what is a show? Did they present interesting ideas? Yes. Have I thought about the show since? Yes. It was a presentation of questions and ideas and music and silence and a little bit of magic. There were some really lovely moments in it, moments that they create and moments that one observes internally because of a question or a statement that they ask. If there hadn't been seating, it might have been an installation piece that one could walk in and out of. It was enjoyable to watch. Ame is really captivating to watch. It was weird to have a frame of reference for Jacob, and then to see him perform in a very real Jacob way, I guess that's it, that was Jacob, the answers to questions asked, the favorite songs, the ideas, they were Jacob's, he wasn't playing a character. He was Jacob in a show. Had I not known any of them, would I have thought it was scripted? I don't know. Does it matter? I don't know. I didn't really have a chance nor was the energy such to speak to them about the show, how does one comment on the presentation of something that is essentially the beliefs and ideas of the people in the show. A performance, a show but not the separation of character to actual self.... I am intrigued to hear their thoughts on the show, is it separate? A presentation of self times 3, questions and ideas in space with music and dance.... there’s my rambling thought about the show, it might change again as I think about it more. But it was a nice time. If that says anything, I would have gone back again, I'd see it again now.... and I’d see it again 5 years from now to see what things have changed for them.
- Louisa Adamson
Perhaps in Hundred Years was created in partnership with Candid Stammer Theatre with the support of the Toronto Arts Council and traveled with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Inter-Arts Section