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Director's Note

By David Woroner

The question everyone always seems to want to ask you when you choose a play to direct is “Why?” Why this particular play? Why now? When I look at Ubu Roi I see a different “why.”

Why any of it?

Why have we been born into a world constantly driven by greed and globalized capitalism which disregards any and all life in the search for commodity and wealth? Why are we left with an environment that continues to crumble around us while over 600 lobbyists from the oil and gas industry push their agenda at COP27? Why are there numerous conflicts going on around this world right now that essentially boil down to greedy oligarchs fighting over imaginary lines drawn on a map? Why do 2.6 billion people in the world not have access to a toilet, when people like Père Ubu have more toilets than assholes in their houses?

I don't know if there is an answer to these questions. When the world goes to the lengths of such absurdity that you wake up in the morning and question the reality all around you, what response is there other than to be equally absurd?

When I was growing up I used to get detention. Once it was for pointing out the gym teacher's open fly during the middle of a class (I was just trying to be polite), sometimes it was for arguing with a teacher over their boring interpretation of a text, sometimes for trying to make jokes under my breath that turned into loud remarks, and once because I said “Goddamnit” in class.

That time I was forced to write, “I will not say bad words eg. ‘Goddamnit’” on a lined piece of paper 68 times. One for each line, double-sided.

This was my first taste of the abuse of authority.

Now I'm not trying to say that I think all teachers represent the worst of society. In fact I have been inspired by teachers countless times. But there are always those rare individuals. Those people who see any chance to grab at the power afforded to them through a bit of authority. Who seem to relish in cruelty as a means to an end. Who makes you write out pointless guilty statements on line after line of paper. Who punish you and make you sit alone in a little room as if that's going to improve anything in this world. And thank god these are just teachers, because when these individuals are given real authority, wealth, and the power of nations they become more than just cruel adults picking on the young and defenseless, they become despots, dictators, and fucking CEOs. And the only way to bring justice and equity back to our systems is to topple these twisted titans of the modern world through collective action.

Père Ubu is Putin, he’s Trump, Bolsanaro, Lukashenko, Danielle Smith, Jason Kenney. He’s the kid who mocked you growing up, the greedy person stretching their legs across the seats of a crowded subway train, and the teachers who made you feel oh so small. Or as Alfred Jarry himself once said, “one of his teachers who represented for him everything in the world that is grotesque.”

It’s my hope that you leave this production laughing at the insane absurdity of it all, but also lost in a moment of contemplation. Left with your own “why”.

Why does this kind of vile, grotesque, and despised character still need to exist?

We could not have created this piece without the incredible dedication of the cast and crew. I want to thank you all for making this dream a reality.

Well, shittr! Enjoy the show.

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