The Last Sunday kicks off their fourth season amid elections, COVID-19 pandemic

The monthly show is based on current events in the province

Sum Theatre's artistic director, Joel Bernbaum pictured here, says the pandemic was an opportunity to for the group to think differently about the upcoming season of The Last Sunday (Submitted photo/Sum Theatre)

A Saskatoon-based theatre group is launching their fourth season of The Last Sunday, but this year things will look a little different.

Sum Theatre’s artistic director, Joel Bernbaum said the group will be live streaming the show for those who can’t attend or don’t feel comfortable being in a public space.

The Last Sunday, like its name suggests, takes place on the last Sunday of every month until May. It is a one-hour show consisting of a short play, music, a rant, and a hot seat interview with a well-known community member.

“We launched it because we felt with all that’s going on in the world people need a new way to come together and process current events and the arts have the potential to help people process current events in a totally different way than the traditional media.”

Bernbaum said traditional media keeps the public informed, but the art sector can create understanding and dialogue, allowing people to “go deeper and not only think about but also process (their) feelings about the current events”.

The COVID-19 pandemic presented it’s challenges to the group, but Bernbaum said it was also an opportunity for them to bring new ideas to the table like live streaming the event.

“I always like to preface my comments with saying that I have great respect for the frontline healthcare workers as well as many other sectors of people that are suffering and are greatly challenged by the pandemic. That being said, circumstances like the pandemic are opportunities for artists to think differently,” Bernbaum said.

Bernbaum said one of the groups goals this season is to include other theatre groups across the province in the show. One of this year’s partners is Spark Theatre in Prince Albert.

Artistic director of Spark Theatre, Roxanne Dicke is thrilled to take part in the upcoming season.

“We miss being able to go to other theatre companies’ work and to see that so it’s definitely an exciting thing that we can be part of it in a very interactive way because we’re all missing live events,” said Dicke.

In the future, Bernbaum would like to see parts of the show taking place in other parts of the province.

“I think of it as networks of sharing where it’ll eventually become one big collaboration. Maybe in December we’ll have the play in Battleford and the music in (Prince Albert), so the aim and the goal is that it’s produced everywhere, not just at one fixed location.”

Every show presents different artists and content that is based on the current events of that month.

This weekend’s show will centre around elections and feature a rant from actor and comedian, Dakota Ray Hebert. The hot seat interview will include Prairie Harm Reduction executive director, Jason Mecredi. He will be answering questions about the province’s opioid crisis and how political candidates are addressing it.

The Last Sunday is free to attend or view online. The live show will be hosted at Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon at 7:00 p.m. and seats are first come first served. Those wishing to watch the live stream can contact Sum Theatre for a link to the show.