People often underestimate the athletic stamina and rigour involved in acting on stage, but there will be no question of the sheer endurance required in Human Cargo’s forthcoming production of The Runner by Christopher Morris, which will be playing a special engagement at McMaster University from September 19th to 28th, presented by McMaster’s Socrates Project in partnership with the School of the Arts.
This one-act sociopolitical thriller, helmed by veteran director Daniel Brooks and starring Gord Rand in a tour-de-force performance, is a solo show that follows Rand as Jacob, a volunteer with Israel’s emergency response group Z.A.K.A, as he deals with the aftermath of a split-second, morally complicated decision in a life-or-death situation.
As if the story didn’t already sound visceral and gripping enough, the staging of the play promises to be riveting in its own right: the entirety of the 90-minute show is performed by Rand on a long, narrow, constantly-moving treadmill from beginning to end.
The Runner originally premiered in Toronto during the 2018-19 season at Theatre Passe Muraille, where it earned unanimous rave reviews and took home three statues at the 2019 Dora Mavor Moore Awards (Canada’s equivalent to a Tony Award), including Best Production in the Independent Theatre Division.
The play and its timely themes seems like a perfect fit for McMaster’s Socrates Project, an initiative at the university that endeavours to examine and engage urgent social and political issues through a cross-connection between artists, scholars, and audiences.
Playing in McMaster’s Black Box Studio Theatre at only $15 a ticket, Hamilton theatre-goers would be foolish to pass up the chance to see this intense, acclaimed production right here in our hometown.
The Runner by Christopher Morris runs at McMaster University in the Black Box Studio Theatre in L.R Wilson Hall from September 19th-21st and September 26th-28th at 7:30pm, with an additional 1:30pm matinee on September 22nd. Details and tickets can be found on their website.