Photo Credit: The National Theatre School of Canada / Nico Humby

THE LISTENING ROOM

SUMMARY

Potent and topical, The Listening Room is a powerful new political drama set at the turn of the next century. At the heart of a forgotten society calling itself The Earie, young dissidents use radio telescopes to salvage fragments of earlier civilizations still ricocheting between stars. These 'Listeners' fight against growing pressure from the governing central Council, whose hold over the imaginations of the population of The Earie has all but buried the practice of 'Listening.' As the tone of their world tilts away from discourse and curiosity toward emotional rhetoric and fear-fueled isolationism, the last remaining Listeners - Marcus, Lanolin, Fayette and Rouke - strike out wildly against the new reality. Marcus holds public audiences in the streets. Lanolin keeps secret records in the event of the sudden disappearance of the Listeners. On the eve of a high-profile 'disciplinary hearing,' a blind girl walks seven miles through the desert to the outpost called The Listening Room to ask for sanctuary - Isobel wants to become a Listener…

PRODUCTION HISTORY

Nylon Fusion Theatre Co. (New York City, NY) - November 2019 ARCHIVAL PHOTO GALLERY

Cardiac Theatre/ Azimuth Theatre/ Downstage Theatre (Calgary, AB) - February 2018

Cardiac Theatre/ Azimuth Theatre/ Downstage Theatre (Edmonton, AB) - January 2018

New Words Festival/National Theatre School of Canada (Montreal, QC) - April 2016

DEVELOPMENT HISTORY

Nylon Fusion Theatre Co. (New York City, NY) - Workshop & Staged Reading (August 2018)

Cardiac Theatre/Azimuth Theatre/ Downstage Theatre (Calgary, AB) - Workshop (November 2017)

Sanguine Theatre (New York City, NY) - Workshop & Staged Reading (2017)

National Theatre School of Canada (Montreal, QC) - Workshop & Staged Reading (2016)

Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity, Playwrights Colony (2015)

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Sanguine Theatre, New York City, NY - Project Playwright (2017) - Finalist

Playwrights Guild of Canada, RBC Emerging Playwright Award - Finalist

ARTISTS

NEW YORK, NY (2019): Sarah Rahman (SQUEAK), Matthew Carrasco (FAYETTE), Alex Chernin (LANOLIN), Taylor Petracek (ROUKE), and Tim Palmer (MARCUS). Direction by Ivette Dumeng &
Lori Kee. 

EDMONTON/CALGARY (2018): Ashleigh Hicks (SQUEAK), Colin Wolf (FAYETTE), Carmen Nieuwenhuis-Osahor (LANOLIN), Jay Northcotte (ROUKE), and Philip Geller (MARCUS). Direction by Harley Morrison, with dramaturgical support from Laurel Green. 

MONTREAL (2016): Shayna Virginillo (SQUEAK), Tim Dowler-Coltman (FAYETTE), Maddalena Vallechi-Williams (LANOLIN), Ben Sutherland (ROUKE), and Erik Berg (MARCUS). Direction by Tanya Rintoul, with dramaturgical support from Nick Carpenter and Brian Drader. 

IN THE MEDIA...

“…inspired, unique in concept, deeply engaging… a stunning idea.” – Showtones, (New York City, NY)

"…a high stakes, edge-of-my-seat, thrilling yet somehow poetic dystopian drama [with] characters who seem to come fresh off the pages of a masterfully written YA dystopian novel…"

- Erin Khan, Stage Buddy & Box Five Reviews, New York City

 

"The Listening Room explores the weaponization of information, history, narrative, and memory alongside the potentiality of dissent, resistance, and revolution, resonating, as much good speculative fiction does, both with and beyond our present moment. [...] In the play, stories are records of the past that can point the way to the future, and what we listen for and how we interpret and (re)present what we hear determines what kind of future that will be. The Listening Room itself is one such story, and it is well worth lending it your ears (and eyes).”

- Leah Richard, Culture Catch, New York City, NY

“… a speculation, and a knowing one at that, about the inevitable nature of government, of revolution and revolutionaries, of youthful radicalism and radicals… there’s no doubting the heat of the Cardiac production. It listens intently for sounds of youthful anger in the world, and connects to a revolutionary cycle that rolls on through time.”  
– Liz  Nicholls, 12th Night Review (Edmonton, AB)

 

"... fiery performance[s]… The evolution—and implied apocalyptic destruction—of tech plays a subtle role in the set design that makes one question our heavy reliance on digital technology today.”
 – Vue Weekly Review (Edmonton, AB)