In Seven Days set to make its World Premiere at the Grand Theatre
“Comedy about death” brings MAID debate home in new work by Jordi Mand
By Jordi Mand
Directed by Philip Akin
On the Spriet Stage
February 13 to March 2, 2024
Opening February 16
Season Sponsor: BMO
Title Sponsor: The Bernie z’l and Beverley Zaifman Family Fund
February 6, 2024 – London ON –Jordi Mand’s “comedy about death” In Seven Days will make its world premiere on the Grand Theatre’s Spriet Stage from February 13 – March 2. The play marks the Grand Theatre debut for internationally-known playwright Jordi Mand, whose family resides locally in London, Ontario where she has chosen to set the play.
In Seven Days drops audiences into a Jewish family home in London, Ontario just as a daughter, Rachel, has barely arrived for a weekend visit at her father’s. Tensions escalate rapidly from the broken garage door opener, to whether she picked up the right bagels, to the revelation that her father, Sam, has decided to end his life by medically-assisted death in just seven days’ time. Torn between love, her faith, and conscience, Rachel must decide: does she try to change the mind of the family patriarch, or does she honour the wishes of her ailing father?
“In the hands and pen of Jordi Mand, both sides of Medical Assistance in Death are achingly clear to us. Through her humour and her perspective, not just on life, but on what it means to leave a mark on the world, we experience the lighter side of the situation while also plumbing its depths,” says Artistic Director, Rachel Peake. “There are no clear answers to these great life debates. But In Seven Days allows us to laugh, to examine the question through the lens of one family, and to leave with some light in our hearts, having experienced something new, together. We are beyond thrilled to host the world premiere of this complex, timely and heartfelt new work on the Grand Theatre’s Spriet Stage.”
The one-act production features Mairi Babb as Sam’s partner Shelley, Ron Lea as Sam, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett as Rachel’s ex-boyfriend Darren, Shaina Silver-Baird as Rachel, and Ralph Small as Eli, Rabbi and friend of Sam.
In this co-production with Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, Playwright Jordi Mand and Director Philip Akin are joined by Set & Costume Designer Sean Mulcahy, Lighting Designer Siobhán Sleath, and Sound Designer Lyon Smith.
The play was born in a moment where Jordi Mand and her brother reflected on what it might be like to say goodbye to their father, in a hypothetical future where he became sick and qualified for MAID. “In Seven Days is about how, as children, one learns to say goodbye and how, as parents, one resolves to do what is best for them,” says Mand. “I didn’t set out to specifically write a play about Medical Assisted Death, but because of all of the things that topic brings up for all of the characters, it ended up being the perfect vehicle to explore what happens when we really need to fight for the relationships we have in our life, and also fight for the decisions that we’ve made.”
“In Seven Days is a play of fine balance. A balance between people, between families, between the seriousness of life and the laughter of that same life,” shares Director, Philip Akin. “As we explored this piece, I was continually amazed by its depth, its heart and how it enfolds us into the lives of these very human people who are all struggling and growing until the end.”
In Seven Days is a world premiere co-production with the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company and a part of the Grand Theatre’s COMPASS New Play Development Program.
In Seven Days plays on the Spriet Stage from February 13 to March 2, 2024. Single tickets range from $23 - $93 and are available at www.grandtheatre.com, by phone at 519-672-8800, or at the Box Office, 471 Richmond Street. The Grand Theatre is grateful to offer Canada Life Pay-What-You-Can pricing, presented on the Sunday, February 18 at 2 p.m. performance. An Open Captioned performance will also be presented on Saturday, February 24 at 2:00 p.m.
The Grand Theatre gratefully acknowledges Season Sponsor BMO and In Seven Days Title Sponsor The Bernie z’l and Beverley Zaifman Family Fund.
To learn more about In Seven Days, please visit: https://www.grandtheatre.com/event/in-seven-days. Additional facts, photos and updates can also be found by following @thegrandlondon and #GrandSevenDays on Facebook, X, Instagram and TikTok.
The Grand Theatre wishes to acknowledge and honour the original stewards of the land on which our Theatre stands. Gratitude and recognition are extended to the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee, and Lunaapewak peoples for preserving this land where we gather and create art.
About the Grand Theatre – World Curious. London Proud.
In the heart of downtown London, Ontario lies one of Canada’s oldest regional theatres and a leading cultural hub of today: the Grand Theatre. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Rachel Peake, and Executive Director Evan Klassen, the Grand proudly presents diverse, relevant, and original stories from around the globe – and around the corner – on its two stages. The not-for-profit theatre is committed to developing, producing, and premiering original stories through its COMPASS New Play Development program. Further, it is an ardent supporter of educational programming, as demonstrated through initiatives like the High School Project and Subsidized Student Matinees. For more information, visit: grandtheatre.com.
For more information please contact:
Melissa Mae Shipley, Communications and Public Relations Manager
mshipley [at] grandtheatre.com (mshipley[at]grandtheatre[dot]com)
office: 519-672-9030 ext. 266
cell: 519 280 4008
When: Tuesday, February 13 at 1:00 p.m. (Cameras, please arrive at 12:30 p.m. to set up)
Where: Spriet Stage, Grand Theatre, 471 Richmond Street, London, Ontario
What: In Seven Days photo, video, and interview opportunities for media
IN SEVEN DAYS
By Jordi Mand
Shelley - Mairi Babb
Sam - Ron Lea
Darren - Brendan McMurtry-Howlett
Rachel - Shaina Silver-Baird
Eli - Ralph Small
Director - Philip Akin
Set & Costume Designer - Sean Mulcahy
Lighting Designer - Siobhán Sleath
Sound Designer - Lyon Smith
Assistant Director - Amanda Nicholls
Religious Consultant – Rabbi Debra Dressler
Stage Manager - Suzanne McArthur
Assistant Stage Manager - Kelsey Rae
Apprentice Stage Manager - Sydney Stobo
Stage Management Student – Lara Campbell