Ordinary Days – A Note from the Director

The Cast and Director of ORDINARY DAYS. Bottom row: Steven Greenfield, Jennie Neumann, Julie McIsaac, Shane Snow, Alison MacDonald

The Cast and Director of ORDINARY DAYS. Bottom row: Steven Greenfield, Jennie Neumann, Julie McIsaac, Shane Snow, Alison MacDonald

So, I’m a fan of Pema Chödrön. Perhaps this is no big surprise. And it’s mostly because she writes things like this: “When we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe.”

And I’m a big fan of Adam Gwon (yet again: not surprising), for similar reasons… His Ordinary Days is a challenge – a challenge to stage, to sing, to play – but it’s also so much like a perfectly-balanced meal (dessert included). The score is clever, raucous, tender, funny, and heart-wrenching. It’s only 80 minutes, and yet it reveals such a range of colourful, idiosyncratic human behaviour. And it’s a generous tale; Gwon writes lovingly. To me, he is someone who has taken the time to question why people do the things they do, and he seems well aware of the fact that, unfortunately, we often do more out of fear than we do out of hopefulness.

But – here’s the important bit – he seems genuinely charmed by it all. In these songs, I hear a warm grin, a bemused laugh, and I sense the sincere wish for each and every one of us to realize the extraordinary nature of our everyday existence. For, truly: there are no ordinary days (not when you look closely enough), nor are there ordinary people. I mean, paper cuts us. Here we are – beings who can be sliced by mere sheets – and yet we still manage to live, decade upon decade upon decade. We can experience disaster, loss, heartbreak – and yet still laugh at knock-knock jokes.

Life is okay. Listen for it.

– Julie McIsaac, Director of ORDINARY DAYS

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