Theatre of the Beat to Commemorate War of 1812 in Stouffville

Theatre of the Beat will present Commemorate!, a drama about the War of 1812, at Nineteen on the Park during the Stouffville Peace Festival in September 2013.

I chatted with the cast of Commemorate! after their 6-hour rehearsal at TUMC (the Toronto United Mennonite Church) in early September.

What is Commemorate?

"Theatre of the Beat after Rehearsal at TUMC" image by Mike DeHaan
“Theatre of the Beat after Rehearsal at TUMC”: Johnny, Ben, Leah and Kimberlee; image by Mike DeHaan

The Commemorate! stage production contrasts events in the War of 1812 with repercussions for today’s citizens. It poses questions such as:

  • “Are enemy soldiers human beings, too”?
  • “How would my country’s soldiers treat me if I had food they need”?
  • “Does our modern democracy silence the voices of pacifists or other dissidents”?

I’ve seen one performance of Commemorate!, in which I participated in an “intervention” into one of the modern situations. That’s a really special feature of this play: you can choose to get involved, to try to “solve” a problem that had troubled certain characters in the drama.

Who Performs Commemorate?

Theatre of the Beat performs Commemorate!. The cast consists of Ben Wert, Johnny Wideman, author Kimberlee Walker and Leah Harder Wideman (in first-name alphabetical order).

Theatre of the Beat is a young drama troupe, writing and performing a variety of plays that raise issues of justice versus reconciliation; peace versus violence; conformity versus conscience. As John explained to me this evening, Commemorate! reminds us that every historical event should be remembered from many angles. I understood him to imply several examples from the War of 1812: soldiers fought bravely; civilians’ lives were disrupted, regardless of their nationalities or sympathies; and many natives fought alongside the settlers whom they deemed least likely to crush them later.

Other Recent Commemorations of the War of 1812

This year I’ve noted several free events in Toronto and the GTA involving the War of 1812:

The Next Performance of Commemorate

The next performance of Commemorate! will be Thursday Sept. 19, 2013 at 8pm in the Lebovic Centre for Arts & Entertainment – Nineteen on the Park. You should order your $10 advance tickets online.

The address is 19 Civic Avenue in Whitchurch-Stouffville, Ontario.

From Toronto: drive north on Hwy 404; exit east on “Stouffville Road”, which becomes “Main Street”. It’s almost 12Km from the cloverleaf from Hwy 404 until you turn south onto Civic Drive. Or, from the south-east, you could drive 24Km north on McCowan from Hwy 401, then right on Main Street and south on Civic.

The Stouffville Peace Festival runs from Sept. 19-22. Commemorate! opens the festival. You can walk a labyrinth for free on Sept. 20 at 7:30pm at Parkview Village. A peace plaque will be unveiled at 2pm on Sunday Sept. 22 at 2pm at the front of the Care and Share on Main Street. See details in “Stouffville peace festival features panel discussion, theatre” (Sept. 5, 2013 by Sandra Bolan).

About the 2013 Stouffville Peace Festival

The 2013 Peace Festival in Stouffville has written the brief but enlightening “Why should you support the Stouffville Peace Festival?

Their short answer is that this peace festival works to “promote peace” through various art forms, including the play Commemorate!, among others.

Final Notes

Disclaimer: DeHaan Services has no relationship to the organizer(s); I am not reimbursed for writing this article. I have known some of the troupe members since before they became famous, and performed onstage with most of them, but not in Theatre of the Beat.

However, DeHaan Services does write web site or advertising copy for clients. Our skills are demonstrated in online articles in Decoded Science, Decoded Pregnancy and my Fitness and Weight Control blog. That’s why DeHaan Services highlights these online articles on this site.

Click the “Toronto Events” category at the bottom of the right-hand column for recent articles on this topic. We’ve certainly covered autumn events in Toronto in recent years.

Thanks for reading about the upcoming drama, Commemorate!, to be performed in Stouffville by Theatre of the Beat.