‘Documentary theatre’ new for Corner Gas star
Seeds details farmer’s fight against GMO juggernaut
A play making its debut at Neptune Theatre this week tells the real-life story of a Saskatchewan farmer’s fight against GMO giant Monsanto.
Seeds, produced by documentary theatre company Porte Parole and directed by Chris Abraham, tells the story of Percy Schmeiser, a farmer accused of planting Monsanto’s genetically modified canola seeds on his farm.
Actor Eric Peterson, known for his roles in Canadian TV series Corner Gas and Street Legal, plays Schmeiser.
“As an actor it’s fun to play the little guy against the big Goliath,” Peterson said in an interview.
“This play was also interesting to me because it’s documentary theatre. I’d never done one of these plays before, where you work in this way.”
The dialogue, written by Annabel Soutar, is taken ver- batim from interviews with the real-life characters and court transcripts.
Peterson said it invites the audience to think about the court case that inspired it, in which Schmeiser went to the Supreme Court of Canada, eventually losing to Monsanto.
“We’re not watching some entertainment that’s trying to take us out of our world. We’re watching an entertainment that allows you to think about it,” Peterson said.
But it doesn’t tell the audience what to think.
“It’s not a polemic in any sense. It doesn’t come out and say, ‘Percy is the good guy and Monsanto is the bad guy.’ That’s left up to you, the audience member,” he said.
actors amelia Sargisson, eric Peterson and tanja Jacobs act out a scene from Seeds at Neptune Theatre in Halifax on Aug. 12, 2017. The documentary play telling the David versus Goliath story of a Saskatchewan farmer’s fight against Monsanto runs until Oct. 1.