Victims of suicide bombs never face their attackers. The Last 15 Seconds, this year’s teacher-led dramatic production at WCI, explores this imagined interaction through invented scenes and dialogue between a victim and a suicide bomber. The timely and serious nature of this production is, according to director Ms. Urquhart, “a thought-provoking piece in a style that we haven’t performed before.”
The Last 15 Seconds, created by MT Space, Waterloo Region’s Multicultural Theatre Company, “explores the tragic death of Syrian-American filmmaker Mustapha Akkad and his daughter Rima during a series of co-ordinated terrorist attacks that hit three prominent hotels in the Jordanian capital Amman in 2005.” The play juxtaposes the lives of filmmaker Moustapha Akkad and suicide bomber Rawad Jassem Mohammad Abed.
When asked about the choice of text for this year’s production, Ms. Urquhart said, “In addition to being culturally relevant to our multicultural students and community, the play’s focus on the media’s portrayal of terrorism is especially significant today. What is unique about this production is that it asks us to truly consider how we perceive cultural identity and to consider the impact that these tragic events have.” She added, “The play is co-created by several members of MT Space, and uses physical movement, music, storytelling, and technology to share an important piece of Jordan’s history.”
13 actors and four backstage and music crew members have been cast in The Last 15 Seconds, which will be entered into this year’s Sears Drama Festival, a province-wide dramatic competition involving district, regional and provincial contest levels. District finalists are invited to perform at one of six regional showcases, then two productions from each regional showcase are invited to a provincial showcase.
The Sears Drama Festival gives students a taste of professional theatre through competition and provides students and teachers with an opportunity to create and act out unique drama works in a professional environment. Performances will be adjudicated by qualified judges, and performers will receive feedback on their production. Judges will determine whether or not a group will advance to the next level of showcases. According to Ms. Urquhart, “The process and workshops foster respect, excitement for drama, and encourage growth in artistic development.”
It has been a number of years since WCI entered the Sears Drama Festival, and this is Ms. Urquhart’s first time directing a show for the competition. Under Ms. Urquhart’s direction, school productions in past years have been performed for community audiences and have included The Importance of Being Earnest, Footloose, Fame, and Alice in Wonderland.
Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School will be hosting the district level of competition, and WCI’s cast will be competing in early March.
Article: Jared Gill and Ms. Klassen
Photography: Devin Frede