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Theatre Arts Guild: How it Works

Daniel MacIvor has created a teenage character who actually talks, acts and thinks like an adolescent

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There’s no doubt in my mind that Daniel MacIvor is a brilliant playwright. I’ve seen five of his plays in Halifax in the past few years, and I’ve been smitten with every one. But the sixth, How it Works, is by far my favourite. In Brooke, the 19-year-old crystal meth addict who is at the heart of the play, MacIvor has created a teenage character who actually talks, acts and thinks like an adolescent. And it’s truly remarkable to watch actress Beth VanGorder---who is not a teenager---bring Brooke so vividly to life. The premise of this play is that by the sharing of stories, people in pain can be healed. And while the root of Brooke’s pain is not exactly a surprise, the route to its revelation is intriguing and unexpected. Once again, TAG has put together a meaningful play with some fine amateur actors and come up with a winning production.

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