Theatre Centre – Michael Rubenfeld’s The Book of Judith
reviewed by Paula Citron
The Book of Judith
Theatre Centre, Absit Omen & Die In Debt
Written by Michael Rubenfeld (with Sarah G. Stanley)
Directed by Sarah G. Stanley
Starring Michael Rubenfeld (with choir)
At the tent on the CAMH grounds
Sadly, the run of The Book of Judith is over, but it was a fascinating theatrical experience. It took place in a tent on the grounds of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health so that it would be completely disabled-friendly. The format of the play was an old-fashioned revival camp meeting. Audiences were given missals which contained the prayers and the hymns composed by Andrew Penner. There was an on-stage choir of eleven mostly disabled singers.
Playwright, librettist and performer Michael Rubenfeld is one of Toronto’s most interesting men of theatre. The genesis of the play was Rubenfeld’s encounter with quadriplegic, activist and visual artist Judith Snow, and the initial starting point was, “How do you find a lover for a quadriplegic?”
The plot is basically the history of Rubenfeld writing the play with co-writer and director Sarah G. Stanley, but it is also much more than that. It is the story of a remarkable woman called Judith Snow told through wit, humour and passion.