Claire Armstrong and Joshua Browne

Toronto: The First Audience

It is Opening Weekend
Director Jill Harper talks about traveling to a very special first audience to preview Toronto’s Byhalia, Mississippi.

January 6th, 2016

Claire Armstrong and Joshua Browne

Claire Armstrong and Joshua Browne

Today 50 students from all different backgrounds watched Byhalia Mississippi. Then they talked to us about race, fidelity and forgiveness, as well as what they loved about the piece of theatre they had just seen. About half of them had never seen a play before.

 

Mazin Elsadig and Joshua Browne

Our audience is in profile, so I found myself sitting across from most of them – watching their reactions as they took in this show. Watching them laugh when things were funny, and laugh when things were uncomfortable. Watching them gasp and nudge each other. Watching them cheer for the characters they loved and hope for the outcomes they wanted to see. It was amazing.

Virgilla Griffith and Claire Armstrong

Virgilla Griffith and Claire Armstrong

It’s moments like those that you understand why you go through all of the insanity that is putting a show like this up. These young people were engaged and excited. And they want to see more theatre. I’m so proud of this cast.

  • audience
  • audience

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