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" /> The Overwhelming - Studio 180 Theatre: 2017/18 Season
Celebrating 15 years

The Overwhelming

THE OVERWHELMING

by J.T. Rogers

March – April 2010
Berkeley Street Theatre Downstairs
in association with Canadian Stage

CANADIAN PREMIERE

Named a 2007 Top Ten Play of the Year by Time Magazine and Time Out New York, The Overwhelming, by award-winning playwright J.T. Rogers, is a riveting examination of the mounting tensions in 1994 Rwanda and a war that cannot be comprehended or controlled.

American academic Jack Exley travels to Rwanda to interview old friend Joseph Gasana about his struggle for good against daunting odds. But when Jack arrives in Kigali, he is unable to find the Tutsi doctor – or anyone who will even admit to having known him. Befriended by both locals and diplomats with veiled motives, Jack and his family become enmeshed in the tension, terror, professional risks and personal betrayals that they ultimately realize mark the start of a genocidal war.

The Overwhelming was originally produced in 2006 at London’s National Theatre in association with Out of Joint. The play had its US premiere at the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York, in 2007. Studio 180’s production was its Canadian premiere, and our second offering as part of the Berkeley Street Project initiative at Canadian Stage.

DIRECTED BY Joel Greenberg
FEATURING Dorothy A. Atabong, Audrey Dwyer, Paul Essiembre, Mariah Inger, Sterling Jarvis, Hardee T. Lineham, 
Brendan McMurtry-Howlett, Karim Morgan, 
André Sills, David Storch & Nigel Shawn Williams
SET DESIGN Michael Gianfrancesco
LIGHTING DESIGN Kimberly Purtell
SOUND DESIGN Michael Laird
COSTUME DESIGN Erika Connor
STAGE MANAGER Emma Laird
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER Liz Campbell
APPRENTICE STAGE MANAGER Natalie Gisele
PRODUCTION MANAGER Nathaniel Kennedy
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Shari Hollett
FIGHT CHOREOGRAPHER Dylan Roberts


Photo by Samer MuscatiLobby Exhibit

During the run of The Overwhelming, to encourage a connection to the Rwanda of today, we displayed photographs by Samer Muscati from The Men Who Killed Me (a book by Anne-Marie de Brouwer and Sandra Chu). Written 15 years after the Rwandan genocide, The Men Who Killed Me features testimonials from 17 survivors. Through their narratives and portraits, 16 women and one man bear witness to the crimes committed against hundreds of thousands of others. Read more…


Season Sponsor 2009/10


BMO Financial Group

“Greenberg skillfully orchestrates the journey to the story’s chilling final scene. It’s here that we understand what people will do to save themselves as well as maintain their illusions of what is right, and maybe in the process we learn something about ourselves.”

NOW MAGAZINE


“A riveting take on Rwanda’s genocide The Overwhelming swells to life, picking up a heart-pounding momentum that carries the play to a brutal conclusion… As the play progresses… the realities outside the guarded walls here close in like a tightening noose.”

GLOBE AND MAIL


“The action is swift and the atmosphere tense, especially under Joel Greenberg’s taut direction… The world ignored the Rwandan genocide because the country was deemed insignificant. Rogers’ greatest achievement is to make us aware that genocide is never insignificant, no matter where it happens.”

EYE WEEKLY


The Overwhelming is an important play done by an important theatre company and it’s worth our attention.”

CBC RADIO, Lynn Slotkin


“The contemplation of man’s inhumanity to man may indeed be overwhelming, but the only way it will ever be stopped is if we shine a light in its darkest corners – and The Overwhelming does just that.”

TORONTO SUN