Other Peo­ple’s Chil­dren a raw look at an as­pect of labour ex­ploita­tion

Montreal Times - - News -

Imago Theatre’s pro­duc­tion of “Other Peo­ple’s Chil­dren” by Han­nah Moscov­itch, which plays at the Cen­taur Theatre un­til Novem­ber 4, deals with a some­times hid­den as­pect of the Cana­dian labour force, in par­tic­u­lar, the mi­grant work­ers who work as care work­ers for the chil­dren of wealthy and af­flu­ent fam­i­lies.

The play cen­tres around three peo­ple: Ilana (Kath­leen Stavart), a type “A” lawyer who sur­vived a bout of post-par­tum de­pres­sion, yet is ea­ger to re­turn to her job at the law firm; her hus­band Ben (Brett Don­ahue), a charm­ing, care free busi­ness­man who seems to look for­ward to ev­ery busi­ness trip that he goes on prac­ti­cally ev­ery other week to a far away, ex­otic lo­ca­tion;and Sati (AshaVi­jayas­ing­ham), an en­gi­neer­turned-nanny from Sri Lanka who is hired to look af­ter Ilana and Ben’s child, so that she could earn enough money to bring her fam­ily to live in Canada.

But some­how, Sati’s ea­ger­ness to please and the bond she has with their daugh­ter Eva cre­ates a bone of con­tention for Ilana and Ben, as the ugly side of Ilana’s post-par­tum de­pres­sion and Ben’s ten­dency to­wards in­fi­delity (es­pe­cially dur­ing one busi­ness trip to Hanoi) threat­ens to break through the glass-and­con­crete con­fines of their lux­u­ri­ous sub­ur­ban home, and with Sati in the mid­dle as the cat­a­lyst of this dys­func­tional fam­ily in the mak­ing.

This play is quite a raw, com­pelling look at how the ex­ploita­tion of mi­grant work­ers in Canada (es­pe­cially those work­ing in the do­mes­tic care tak­ing field) ex­tracts a lot of un­abashed emo­tions from all par­ties in­volved, and how these do­mes­tic mi­grant work­ers try to do ev­ery­thing within their power – and to with­stand all sorts of emo­tional and phys­i­cal abuse – so that they can ben­e­fit from the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment’s care­giver pro­gram, so that they can gain per­ma­nent res­i­dency sta­tus af­ter only two years on the job in Canada.The trio of ac­tors that make up the cast do a su­perb job of bring­ing out these ten­sions and is­sues, and shed a great deal of light on an as­pect of labour ex­ploita­tion that has gone un­no­ticed here in Canada, but should now no longer be ig­nored.

Tick­ets for the re­main­ing per­for­mances of “Other Peo­ple’s Chil­dren” are $25, $20 for stu­dents, se­niors and artists, and $15 for groups of 10 peo­ple or more. For more in­for­ma­tion, or to pur­chase tick­ets, go to www.imagothe­atre.ca or call 514-274-3222.

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The ILL-Abil­i­ties, a unique, in­spir­ing break­dance crew whose mem­bers are dif­fer­ently-abled dancers, is cel­e­brat­ing its 10th an­niver­sary with a spe­cial event called “No Lim­its X”, which is be­ing held in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Les Grands Bal­lets Cana­di­ens, on Novem­ber 17, at the bal­let’s head­quar­ters, lo­cated at 1435 Bleury Street.

Mark­ing the first time that a HipHop event is be­ing held with the leg­endary bal­let troupe, this fully ac­ces­si­ble event will have HipHop dancers rep­re­sent­ing such coun­tries as the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Chile, Hol­land and South Korea.There will be three com­po­nents: a No Lim­its con­cept dance bat­tle, where par­tic­i­pants will have the chal­lenge of spin­ning a wheel that is la­beled with var­i­ous con­straints and adap­tive aids such as a wheel­chair, crutches or a blind­fold; a He­roes Show­case Bat­tle, where stu­dent dancers with a dis­abil­ity will be danc­ing along­side pro­fes­sional dancers who do not have a dis­abil­ity; and a the­atri­cal per­for­mance by the ILL-Abil­i­ties, where they will be de­but­ing a new the­atri­cal dance piece that they will be tak­ing with them on fu­ture world tours.

Tick­ets for “No Lim­its X” are $20 in ad­vance, $25 at the door. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to:

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The 3rd an­nual Square Foot Ex­hi­bi­tion and Fundraiser to ben­e­fit the Old Brew­ery Mis­sion is set to take place on Novem­ber 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 232 Sen­neville Road in Sen­neville. There will be 25 artists present at the event who will be sell­ing a se­lec­tion of spe­cially priced works of art.There will also be an op­tional hot soup lunch for only $5 per per­son (dessert in­cluded). Ad­mis­sion is free.

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To mark Na­tional Fam­ily Care­giver Week in Que­bec, Car­refour Pro­duc­tions Inc. will be pre­sent­ing the Que­bec pre­miere of the doc­u­men­tary “The Care­givers’ Club” on Novem­ber 8, 5 p.m., at the Cin­ema du Parc.

Di­rected by Cyn­thia Banks, the doc­u­men­tary fol­lows four fam­i­lies – and the four mid­dle aged care­givers in each fam­ily – and how they cope with heart­break, hu­mour and frus­tra­tions of that go with tak­ing care of their el­derly par­ents as they go through the dev­as­tat­ing ef­fects of de­men­tia.

The screen­ing of the 55minute doc­u­men­tary will be fol­lowed by a panel dis­cus­sion that will fea­ture Ms. Banks, as well as Mark Stolow from the on­line care­givers’ com­mu­nity Hud­dol, Phar­ma­cist Em­manuelle Laflamme, Sylvie Gre­nier from the Fed­er­a­tion of Que­bec Alzheimer So­ci­eties and Guil­laume Joseph from the L’Ap­pui Sup­port for Care­givers of Se­niors. As well, the Care­givers’ Club Fam­ily Re­lief Award will be given out dur­ing the event, in which a fam­ily care­giver who is cur­rently look­ing af­ter some­one with de­men­tia, will re­ceive 100 hours of free home care respite.

The event is be­ing held in con­junc­tion with Teva Canada, the Que­bec Fed­er­a­tion of Alzheimer So­ci­eties, El­izz and L’Ap­pui Sup­port for Care­givers of Se­niors. Tick­ets are $12, $8 for se­niors and stu­dents and can be pur­chased at the cin­ema, or in ad­vance by go­ing to:

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