Stage Door News

Toronto: “Civilized” plays the Red Sandcastle Theatre September 30-October 8

Monday, August 15, 2022

CIVILIZED is based on historical reports, writings and speeches during the period of the Laurier government. In 1907, Dr. Peter Bryce, the Chief Medical Officer of the Departments of the Interior and Indian Affairs, reported that the Indian Residential Schools of Canada were “dangerous to health” with “an almost total lack of ventilation with Indian boys and girls dying in overcrowded, unhygienic school-rooms and dormitories.” The Canadian government was funding these institutions and clearly had an obligation to ensure they were properly run and safe, yet the government failed to act. Why? Civilized addresses this question by resurrecting a fictional Canadian government bureaucrat from the past who attempts to defend the indefensible.

CIVILIZED is directed by Paul Hopkins and has been performed in Kitchener, Ottawa and Winnipeg this year to rave reviews:

“★★★★★ Gripping, fascinating, . . . CIVILIZED brings to life parts of our past that we are still trying to reconcile. It is based on true historical reports and writings, and the way it's told is digestible and engaging. This play should be shown in schools, workplaces, old folks' homes and anywhere else people will see it." Review by Shelley Cook of the Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, Winnipeg Free Press at the 2022 Winnipeg Fringe Festival

“Outstanding! This show should be required viewing in this country!" - The Visitorium review, Ottawa Fringe Festival 2022.

"CIVILIZED is one of the best plays I've seen at this year's Fringe and is very timely given the cultural reckoning Canada is now undergoing. Go see it!" - UMFM Radio review, Winnipeg Fringe Festival 2022


Written by Keir Cutler Directed by Paul Hopkins Performed by John D. Huston

September 30th to October 8, 2022 at the uncanny Red Sandcastle Theatre 922 Queen St East, Toronto

Tickets: $20

7:00PM Doors/7:30 Evening Showtime 1:30PM Doors/2:00 Sunday Matinee

70 minutes, no intermission

TRIGGER WARNINGS: themes discussed include violence, (physical, psychological, sexual), racism and xenophobia.

*Please read our COVID19 safety protocols here. HEPA filtration throughout the theatre, vaccinated & masked staff, as well as mandatory masks for all audience members, in order to gain admittance to the theatre. There is no food or drink allowed in the theatre at this time.

About the Creative Team

John D. Huston (Actor) A member of the Métis Nation. John recently portrayed Louis Riel, in The Trial of Louis Riel. John has performed a solo version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol over 700 times since 1992 at venues across Canada including The National Arts Centre, Theatre Passe Muraille and Ottawa’s Gladstone Theatre. He has won multiple awards for his performances. 

Keir Cutler (Playwright and Producer) is a Montrealer and writer/performer of ten solo shows; Civilized is his eleventh; four of his works have been videotaped and aired on Bravo/Canada (Teaching Shakespeare, Teaching Detroit, Lunatic Van Beethoven, Is Shakespeare Dead?). Keir has a Ph.D. in theatre from Wayne State University in Detroit and is a playwriting graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada. 

Paul Hopkins (Director) lives in Kitchener and has been working in the Canadian film, television, and theatre profession for over 25 years. His career spans a broad range of experiences that include performing in theatres across Canada (Stratford Festival, Theatre Calgary, Centaur Theatre); numerous roles on screen (Disney’s Zombies 1,2,3, Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City); staging and filming Opera Laurier’s 2021 production of Dialogue des Carmélites by Francis Poulenc; and 8- years as the Artistic and Executive Director of Montreal’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park, Repercussion Theatre. 


Photo: John D. Huston as William Blank.