Young Centre’s RARE is well… rare.
by Dave Ross
one of the most beautiful, touching, and complicated pieces I have ever experienced
RARE is difficult to discuss—there is no story, no plot, nothing to criticize in that regard. There is no set, save folding chairs for the cast. One of the things that makes this piece so difficult to discuss is that it seems to push the boundaries of what I would consider theatre, in all the right ways. Yes, there is a script, yes it was composed and assembled and I’m certain it was workshopped as well. Where the change lies is in the cast. In any other show, we discuss portrayal—was it accurate? Convincing? Jarring? None of these apply to RARE. The performers are themselves, telling their own stories. And this makes it one of the most beautiful, touching, and complicated pieces I have ever experienced. The cast is the show here. All the more remarkable is how Thompson and the cast have created a show that allows the cast to “lift the mask” on Down Syndrome without an ounce of pity, and without a whiff of after-school special.