Our summer season continues at Town Hall 1873 in Port Perry with The Valley by Joan MacLeod, through the generous support of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.
Four lives intersect and collide in The Valley. Based on true events and built on the concept of a First Nations healing circle, The Valley is a timely and powerful perspective on the complex issue of police interaction with the mentally ill.
Playwright, Joan MacLeod wrote The Valley in 2013, basing her story on an incident in the Vancouver Airport. The play also eerily foreshadows a similar occurance several years later on a Toronto streetcar. The beauty and power of Ms. MacLeod’s writing is its ability to share each of her characters’ stories to create empathy and compassion. Drawing on the philosophy and model of a First Nations healing circle as the overarching structure of the play, Ms. MacLeod invites the characters and audiences of The Valley to shift perspectives, see past stereotypes and misconceptions to create a better understanding of the complex issue of mental health. As Janie in the play states, “It’s called a healing circle, not a blaming circle.” and by the play’s conclusion, there is resolution and hope that healing is possible.
A portion of net proceeds from ticket sales from The Valley will be donated to Durham Mental Health Services (DMHS), supporting their work to raise awareness in our community of mental health issues, fighting the stigma too often associated with them, and offering support and assistance to help people suffering from mental illnesses. DMHS began operation in 1987 when a coalition of parishioners at Whitby All Saint’s Anglican Church recognized that others in the community, suffering from severe mental health issues, were in desperate need of safe, affordable housing. Now, over 25 years later, DMHS has grown into an agency with over 180 employees. DMHS offers a range of mental health services, at locations spread throughout the Durham Region.
The Valley opens Thursday, July 25 at 7:30 pm, with additional performances July 27, 30, 31 and August 2 at 7:30 pm. Two matinees on Wednesday July 24 (preview) and Saturday, August 3 at 2 pm are also available. Recommended for ages 14+. Coarse language and mature subject matter.
Tickets are available at www.townhall1873.ca
More information on Durham Mental Health Services can be found at www.dmhs.ca