While 10 Days On Earth, textually, does not pack quite the punch for me that, for example, Provenance did, Burkett's mastery is undeniable. For those of you who are unfamiliar with his work, he not only writes and performs; he designs, sculpts, constructs, costumes, speaks for and physically manipulates dozens of marionettes per show. But this is not children's theatre. Far from it.

Soulpepper Theatre Company. Young Centre for the Performing Arts, 55 Mill Street, Building 49 Ph: 416.866.8666 TORONTO ON. - “The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.” Oscar Wilde

TORONTO, ON: Oh dear, just when I was becoming a mite gushy about great evenings of theatre, Panych dumps some cold reality into my theatrical experiences. Rather like being hit by the avalanche in this play. As I told you in my last Rant,I think I am chionophobic - don't like the frozen white stuff. And yes, it was so cold on our 40 minute walk down to the Berkeley that the synovial fluid in my knee joints froze!

TORONTO, ON: In spite of the intense cold in Toronto and the intermittent snowfalls that seem to start just as I am walking to theatre or dinner, I am enjoying some really great theatrical experiences during this visit.

TORONTO, ON: Behind the curtain, Clara's voice fades away as the lights dim to black. For a seemingly endless moment there is silence before the applause begins. That silence reveals the emotional impact that this poignant yet provocative work has had on the audience.

Toronto, ON: I remember clearly the day my daughter, Amanda, came home from an undergraduate theatre history class at UBC, handed me a play to read and said "I would love to direct this some day." It was Trifles by Susan Glaspell. Trifles is a little gem of a play set in the American mid-west. It illustrates the intense loneliness that farm women experienced in isolated rural communities in the early 1900s, when winter made travel difficult and they did not even have access to a party-line telephone. It also shows the paternalistic attitude of the men to their women-folk and their work, and the way female bonding helps the women endure this lifestyle.

TORONTO, ON - “May we not have peace?”  Thus proclaims The Judge, high on an overdose of his new allergy pills. Is he referring to the heated exchange between The Prosecutor, angry and frustrated in his attempt to get a straight answer from The Defendant? Or to the noisy pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protestors parading outside the courtroom? Can world peace ever be achieved if agreement can’t even be reached between one or two people?

TORONTO, ON - I have never thought that Vancouver rain would be something I would miss, but a week spent walking about downtown Toronto, alternatively freezing any exposed extremities and then being baked in overheated buildings, has made me actually miss Vancouver’s weather. However the weather vagaries have been more than compensated for by the range of theatre experiences available in Toronto