ALL GOOD THINGS

“I guarantee that All Things Good [sic] will stay under your skin for a long time coming.” (Cecilia Yu, VanCityBuzz)

All Good Things came to Calgary this summer as part of the Canadian Association for Theatre Research’s annual conference. On May 31st Vertical City offered a special fundraising benefit performance of AGT in support of the Fort McMurray wildfire relief fund. For details on the event see the dedicated Facebook page.

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Photos ©2014 Bruce Barton
Pictured: Martin Julien with Rebecca Biason and Robert Moses

All Good Things (2013-2014)

Written and Directed by Bruce Barton
Performance by Martin Julien (Toronto and Vancouver) and Ben Stone (Halifax)
Soundscape by Steph Bernston (Toronto), Cary Dodge (Vancouver), Bruce Barton with Evan Cardwell (Halifax), and Eric Bumstead (Calgary)
Lighting Design by Laird MacDonald (Toronto and Vancouver), Jess Lewis (Halifax), and April Viczko (Calgary)
Dramaturgy by Pil Hansen

All Good Things is a story about drowning. Almost. An almost story about drowning. About letting go. And about being caught. Brought back. It is a micro performance that reaches across a small table and the vast distance of memory to recount a harrowing experience. It is, in part, about the seduction of details, of nuance, of inflection. But it is also about the understanding that seems to come only when it will no longer be of any practical use. About being startled by the readiness to be done with it all. To rest. To find the meaning that is only possible when you’re certain you’ve come to the end of the story and its telling. In the end, however, All Good Things is about holding hands. As if your life depended on it. Because it did, and it does, and it will again.

“This is the way to break through the clutter of our phone screens, through the disconnect we all feel in this digital world. I’ve never concentrated so hard in my life, put on the spot to remain engaging, open, and honest towards a complete stranger. It’s an experience which makes us realize how rarely actual conversation happens these days. I loved Julien’s little improvisations on my answers, tweaking the story to reflect my personality as well as remaining true to his character’s central arc. His hands told the story, clutching during the tense moments, inviting during the calm …. I guarantee that All Things Good [sic] will stay under your skin for a long time coming.” (Cecilia Yu, VanCityBuzz)

Video of developmental process:

All Good Things premiere production: February 2013, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto, ON, Canada.
All Good Things toured to Vancouver as part of Boca del Lupo‘s Micro Performance Series in June 2014.
All Good Things toured to Halifax, where it was presented by Zuppa Theatre as part of the Nocturne: Art in the Night Festival in October, 2014. Here’s the Facebook page.
All Good Things was presented as part of the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Calgary in May 2016.

Click here for a free download of Bruce’s article on All Good Things and Trace entitled “Performing the Paradox of Affect and Interpretation: Turbulence in Vertical City,” recently published in the UK journal Performance Research.