In the 1990s the AIDS epidemic in Toronto hit its tragic peak. Our friends, partners and collaborators were dying and the Toronto arts community was shaken to the core. These very dark days were made even darker, when a rigid and harsh conservative government took over the province, slashing funds and essentially gutting a community under crisis. Once the dust settled, many of the people that made up Toronto’s vibrant theatre community had either died, left the theatre, or left the city all together. Splintered and wounded, many from this community would never fully recover from this ‘perfect storm’ that decimated a new wave of creativity that was just starting to take root.
Excerpts from the Emo Journals was born during this sad time. Our great collaborator and friend, Mark Shields, was dying. He bravely continued to work on Emo, a play about the end of his world. Dark, tragic and angry, the piece had no words because there were no words to be found that could express our collective sadness. Excerpts from the Emo Journals is a piece about the end of our world, as witnessed by those of us who were on the front lines of this dark time in our history.