Porte Parole (Montreal)
Presented by Theatre Junction
January 15-18, 2014
“… one of the most impressive docu-dramas I’ve seen.”– National Post
Named the Best English Production of 2005 by the Association québécoise des critiques de théâtre (AQCT) and nominated for Best Original Script in 2005 by the Académie québécoise de theate, Seeds is arresting documentary theatre chronicling the 4-year legal battle between Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser and biotech giant Monsanto Inc. In 2004, playwright Annabel Soutar began to research the case of Monsanto Inc. versus Percy Schmeiser. Monsanto accused Schmeiser of growing their genetically patented Round-up Ready canola seeds on his property without paying the licensing fee they require. Based on court trial transcripts and interviews with all the players, including Schmeiser, Monsanto representatives, farmers, academics, lawyers and scientists from across Canada, Seeds takes us behind the scenes of the battle for the future of food. Re-staged under the skilled direction of Chris Abraham (Crow’s Theatre) and starring prominent Canadian actor Eric Peterson as Schmeiser, Seeds is a thoughtful engagement with some of the most pressing issues of the 21st century.
Montreal-based Porte Parole specializes in bilingual documentary theatre, layering the journalistic and the theatrical to create works that acknowledge the complexity of the subjects they explore. Seeds is an investigative play that refrains from gravitating towards easy answers, instead raising a host of issues from environmental integrity, to food safety, to corporate hegemony, to farmers’ rights and our changing agricultural landscape. Can you patent a living thing? Or as Percy famously asked, “who owns life?”. This landmark trial not only brought this question before the Supreme Court, but also garnered Schmeiser attention from around the world. The answer is anything but simple. Who should relate to Seeds? Anyone who eats.