A performance intervention by Jordan Tannahill, starring Virgilia Griffith

October 18 to November 4, 2012
Tuesday – Friday, Act I: 5 – 6:30 PM, Act II: 7:30 – 9 PM
Saturday – Sunday, Act I: 2 – 3:30 PM, Act II: 4:30 – 6 PM
Honest Ed’s, various locations within the store | FREE
581 Bloor St. West, Toronto

“Honesty: Meeting the people behind the counter at Honest Ed’s is a truly heartfelt experience,” (NOW rating: NNNN) by Jon Kaplan, NOW Magazine, October 22, 2012. 

Go talk to the store clerk stacking shelves in the produce aisle. Or the cashier working the last check-out lane. They may be more honest with you than you’d expect.

Honesty plays out in various locations within Toronto’s iconic discount emporium, Honest Ed’s. Performer Virgilia Griffith embodies the diverse people who sustain the store on a daily basis. Shape-shifting between voices, transcending age, gender, and race, Griffith comes to represent the very essence of Toronto’s working class, who have come to rely on the store over decades.

Honesty is presented as a performance in two acts. The first act, ‘Honest Work’ (5 – 6:30 PM), is a kind of ‘invisible theatre’ – Griffith moves through the store, quietly performing the real life duties of Honest Ed’s employees. Visitors are encouraged to find Griffith in the store and engage with her. She will otherwise quietly go about performing her job as a real employee would.

In the second act, ‘Honest Stories’ (7:30 – 9 PM), Griffith performs seven different monologues in seven different locations around the store, leading the audience on a performance promenade. These monologues are based off interviews with real Honest Ed’s employees – Griffith becomes a living, breathing archive of the store’s many extraordinary personal narratives.

Honesty runs from October 18 to November 4, 2012. The performance exists in two acts over a 4-hour period each night: Tuesday – Friday, 5 – 6:30 PM and 7:30 – 9 PM and Saturday – Sunday, 2 – 3:30 PM and 4:30 – 6 PM. Performances are free and take place within Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor Street West, Toronto. The performance location within the store will be posted at the main entrance on Bloor Street.

Presented in partnership with Suburban Beast and in association with the Koffler Gallery Off-Site exhibition Summer Special. 


PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE
Honesty is presented as a performance in two acts with a one hour intermission.

EVENING PERFORMANCES, TUESDAY TO FRIDAY, 5 – 9 PM

ACT I: ‘HONEST WORK’ 5 – 6:30 PM
Griffith will perform the real duties of ten Honest Ed’s employees. The audience is encouraged to interact with her, to approach her and engage in conversation. She will otherwise quietly go about performing her job as a real employee would.

Act I takes place in various locations within Honest Ed’s. Please speak to the volunteer at Honest Ed’s main entrance for details.

ACT II: ‘HONEST STORIES’ 7:30 – 9 PM
Griffith will perform monologues as each employee, leading the audience on a performance promenade through the store – becoming a living, breathing archive of the store’s many extraordinary personal narratives.

7:30 PM – Giovanna / Checkout  (1st Floor East Building)
7:40 PM – Bobby / Loading Bay (1st Floor East Building)
7:50 PM – Doug / Historic Summer Special Space (2nd Floor East Building)
8:00 PM – Domenica / Baby Department (2nd Floor West Building)
8:10 PM – Mariah / Pharmacy (1st Floor West Building)
8:20 PM – Lerma / Defunct Electronics Department (1st Floor West Building)
8:30 PM – Franca / Time Office (1st Floor West Building)

MATINEE PERFORMANCES, SATURDAY AND SUNDAY, 2 – 6 PM

ACT I: ‘HONEST WORK’ 2 – 3:30 PM
Act I takes place in various locations within Honest Ed’s. Please speak to the volunteer at Honest Ed’s main entrance for details.

ACT II: ‘HONEST STORIES’ 4:30 – 6 PM
4:30 PM – Giovanna / Checkout  (1st Floor East Building)
4:40 PM – Bobby / Loading Bay (1st Floor East Building)
4:50 PM – Doug / Historic Summer Special Space (2nd Floor East Building)
5:00 PM – Domenica / Baby Department (2nd Floor West Building)
5:10 PM – Mariah / Pharmacy (1st Floor West Building)
5:20 PM – Lerma / Defunct Electronics Department (1st Floor West Building)
5:30 PM – Franca / Time Office (1st Floor West Building)


Jordan Tannahill
Jordan Tannahill is a playwright, filmmaker, and theatre director. Through his inter-arts atelier Suburban Beast, Tannahill stages interventions, parties, plays, and film screenings that explore the real stories of Torontonians in surreal ways. Over the past five years, he has created performances staring, or in collaboration with, the residents of Neighbourly Lane in Richmond Hill, long-haul truck drivers, U of T fraternities, Iraq War deserters, prison guards, and palliative care workers in a variety of found spaces and esteemed Toronto theatres. Jordan also creates short films centered around themes of self-mythology and queer childhood. His films have screened at venues including the British Film Institute, Toronto’s Worldwide Short Film Festival, the Lucerne Int. Film Festival, the Uppsala Short Film Festival, and the National Art Gallery of Canada. He was the 2011 recipient of the Ken McDougall Award for Emerging Directors and the InsideOut LGBT Film and Video Festival’s Emerging Canadian Artist Award.

Virgilia Griffith
Virgilia Griffith’s diverse theatre practice includes acting, storytelling, directing, singing and writing. Recent performance credits include: Give It Up (Buzz Festival and SpringWorks Festival), The Innocents (Tango Co. and The Innocents Collective), 4our Women (Obsidian Theatre Company – The Development Series), Mrs. Muller in Doubt (The Village Playhouse), Strange Things Done (The Empty Room), Floating (written and performed by Virgilia Griffith), Combat (Summerworks Festival), Mariner (Risk the Void), Under Milk Wood (The Empty Room), Sleep Country (Rock Paper Sistahz Festival), and The Hairy Bird (bcurrent directing project). Her directing credits include: “I” by Cassandra Walker and Ways to Say Goodbye by Emily Nixon. Virgilia is a graduate from the acting program at Ryerson Theatre School.