Healing hearts with humour has been my mandate.
And this play Suddenly has been a real testament of that. It started out as a way to honour my brother Kevin’s death. After he passed, I began looking at my notes I took during his illness. I wanted to honour him and his courage and reading his wisdom comforted me. I didn’t know if it would ever be show material, but I knew there was one person who could make sense of my ramblings, and that was Linda Kash.
Linda and I knew each other from our Second City days, and we worked for two years writing a TV show.
Linda, too knew grief. Her husband Paul was killed suddenly in a car accident 6 years ago: suddenly she became a single mom and a widow. I could trust her, and knew would have a tender hand with this material.
As I wrote, she challenged me to really get laser focused. And tell the truth about what I felt about my brother but also the illness process.
Part of the truth was, I didn’t really get along with my brother. So she encouraged me to talk about that. And how I showed up anyway.
This scared the bee-jesus out of me. Could I say that without hurting his memory?
I tried. And she invited me to perform at a fundraiser for Hospice Peterborough; an event Linda puts together annually in Paul’s memory. It was a great success for her. And the response for the writing was very encouraging. People laughed and cried a lot and told me to keep writing.
Over the winter we met several times writing and rehearsing, eventually adding the musician who helped with transitions and flashbacks.
This resulted in a 2 day run at our old alma mater: The John Candy Box Theatre. Also we did it at a small club in Peterborough. (These two small venues raised 1100.00 for Kensington Hospice and Peterborough Hospice)
At that point it was still highly emotional needed to be more theatrical and less confessional. Linda and I worked hard on this, and by the time we did the show at the Regent ( which raised $6500.00 for the Prince Edward Hospice; which helped pay for a roof. Read reviews here:) It had become less confessional and more theatrical.
I also got hugs and lots of healing as people lined up after each show to hug me and tell me of their loved ones.
And I get a sense my brother would be proud.
In 3 weeks we are our on our way to do 4 shows in Kingston.
April -7th 2:30 pm
“Your show is a masterpiece. The writing, performance, music – funny, and so much heart.” Cathy Cleary.(Founder ~ Tchukudu Women’s Training Centre)
“The show tonight was amazing! Very funny and boy you don’t pull any punches. Right to the heart. So inspiring.” Jonathan Wilson ( Playwright. ( Kilt. Shed) )
” Wonderful show, Deb. Funny, moving and raw. “Chris Earle ( writer, director, producer)
“Deborah Kimmett’s new show Year of the Suddenly is funny, touching and kinda brilliant.” ( Dan Redican: Actor, writer. Puppets That Kill, Sunnyside.)
“Best show I have seen in awhile. I want to tell all my students to see this as its the perfect monologue. ” Kevin Frank. Artistic Director Second City.
“Well done Deborah, a really fine piece of work. Very funny, very compelling and very moving.” (Robin Craig ( Actress: Anne of Green Gables Wind at My Back)