Starring Haley McGee, Rylan Wilkie, Sanjay Talwar. Written by Martha Ross. Directed by Jennifer Brewin. Evergreen Brick Works, until Dec. 30.
In Martha Ross’s The Story, a non-traditional telling of the nativity narrative benefits from its non-traditional presentation. Dressed in winter gear and clutching mugs of hot cocoa, audience members follow wise men, shepherds, Joseph, Mary, and other key biblical players through 12 outdoor scenes at the Evergreen Brick Works. As performers and playgoers traverse the terrain to music sung by a live choir, the actors reveal clownish versions of the characters we know. Mary is incredulous but accepting, Gabriel struggles to grasp the meaning of life, and the shepherds discuss the origin of jazz. Ross’s smart and funny script is less about the birth of a saviour than it is an exploration of how we tell stories and how we accept—and yearn for—change. This unique theatrical experience, expertly directed by outdoor theatre veteran Jennifer Brewin, is well worth a round of applause, though the clapping may be muffled by mittens and gloves.