Stage Door News

Peterborough: Theatre Direct presents “Give ’em Hell” in Peterborough September 15-23

Monday, August 14, 2023

Theatre Direct Canada and Prairie Fire, Please will co-produce Give ‘em Hell at Peterborough Alternative and Continuing Education (201 McDonnel Street, Peterborough) from September 15 to 23, 2023. This world premiere is presented in collaboration with 4th Line Theatre and the Peterborough Museum and Archives.

In Give ‘em Hell, Peterborough-born and award-winning playwright Madeleine Brown retells the final school year leading up to the tumultuous 2012 closure of Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School (PCVS). In a fight to save their high school, the students of PCVS discover the power of activism, the perils of self-discovery and what it costs to stand up for a cause. Featuring a cast of eight Peterborough-local teenagers alongside professional actors M. John Kennedy, Jeff Dingle and Sarah Lynn Strange, this new play is directed by award-winning director Aaron Jan and will be staged in the former PCVS building with designs by Melanie McNeill, JB Nelles, Logan Raju Cracknell and Uri Livne-Bar. It is accompanied by an exhibition of archival materials from this monumental turning point in the school’s history. Give ‘em Hell is a truly entertaining, fiercely relevant and provocative play that will surely inspire the next generation of young activists through its powerful and true story.

Named 2011 Newsmaker of the Year by The Peterborough Examiner, the fight to save PCVS was featured on CBC’s q, The Globe and Mail and most infamously in its own segment on The Rick Mercer Report in which Rick Mercer ignored warnings to steer clear from talk of the closure and instead empowered students to continue their efforts and “Raise a little Hell.” Since 2017, in part given the challenges faced by communities and school boards a s a result of them, the provincial government placed a moratorium on school closures which remains in place to this day.

Public Shows:

Friday September 15 @ 7:30pm

Saturday September 16 @ 7:30pm

Sunday September 17 @ 2:30pm

Thursday September 21 @ 7:30pm

Friday September 22 @ 7:30pm

Saturday September 23 @ 2:30pm

The runtime is approximately 60 minutes + 15-minute Q&A with the artists.

Theatre Direct will run a round-trip shuttle from Toronto to Peterborough on Sunday September 17 for the 2pm performance.