Odd Choices

Tyler Doyle and Sarah Currie in Morris Panych’s The Ends of the Earth. 2016.

In 2016 I directed a production of Morris Panych’s The Ends of the Earth. It’s a tale of two men who, acting on unfounded paranoia, flee from each other, only to meet each other again in a derelict hotel. A series of strange encounters and coincidences unfold during their adventures. The piece dabbles in absurdity, and I must say, the choices made in this production were… interesting.

I’m really drawn to strange worlds that only make sense within their own specific parameters. A woman suddenly coming out of a linen closet with a meat cleaver, then disappearing a moment later… a staircase that may cause one to “catch their death”… a fortune teller with a wood-whittling sidekick… The play lends itself to an almost unsettling comedy that I absolutely love.

But it only works with brave choices. It’s not a play for the faint of heart. Delving into something this absurd requires a certain level of confidence from the creative team… We made choices that probably didn’t read very well, but we also made choices that hit the mark (a perfectly timed falling chandelier, for example). However, I believe we wouldn’t have found success with anything had we not been willing to take risks.

When you encounter odd material, lean into that oddity and don’t look back. For if you do, you may “catch your death”.

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