The Covenant

Alice Abracen’s powerful, award-winning play, The Covenant, treads a heart wrenching line through despair and dark humour. Beautifully crafted, the audience is transported to a heinous, immoral time in history that sadly rings too close to current and conceivable atrocities. Added to the mix is the out of control feeling of today’s fake news in override; how more than ever the spread of half-truths and lies gathers wide acceptance. The Covenant has every audience member fully engaged and questioning, ‘what would I do if it was me’. Directed by Murdoch Schon, Theatre Ouest End presents this timely, world premiere production, playing at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts Studio from November 13 to December 3. There will be post-show talkbacks with invited guests to explore questions raised by the play.

Inspired by a true story, The Covenant is set in June, 1944 at Theresienstadt. Here, international Red Cross dignitaries are invited to marvel at this lively, cultural town which appears to be a haven for Jewish people in the heart of Czechoslovakia. Little do they know that this paradise is a ghetto and concentration camp elaborately staged in order to conceal Nazi crimes against humanity.

Though based on an historical event, the play is timeless. “Even today people are detained, imprisoned and persecuted for their ethnic or racial identities. The lessons of history are forgotten or misappropriated — as seen in the yellow stars worn at anti-vaccine protests,” said Abracen.

Director Murdoch Schon is painfully aware that the global political climate is on a backwards slide toward
fascism, “We must never for a moment forget how easily propaganda becomes power in the hands of
autocrats,” said Schon. “Another major thematic thrust of the play is belief and betrayal; are we judged by
a single action or a lifetime of actions? It is crucial to witness what must be remembered, and to remember what we have witnessed.”
Jonathan Silver plays the role of Peter, he reiterates how we must continue to tell stories about the
inhumanities fascism has brought about, “This is not ancient history. Our lives have been shaped by the
mistakes of generations past; stories like The Covenant help us understand how they affect our future,”
said Silver. Much of Silver’s family tree was wiped out during the Holocaust, “My direct family only survived because my great grandmother fled to Canada as the war began. She opened a small grocery store on St. Laurent Blvd that became the Montreal landmark Warshaw.”
Laura Mitchell is one of the founding members of Theatre Ouest End and plays the role of Karla. She is
drawn to all the big questions in the play,” How do we lose our humanity? How can we keep it? How do
we find enough hope to keep putting one foot in front of the other?” she asked. ”I’m interested in ongoing suffering. Aside from the physical, living in a situation that seems devoid of meaning is another kind of suffering, along with the suffering of separation and loss. How do we alleviate it?” She is thrilled that The  Covenant is the company’s first full length staged production, and with the beauty, density, clarity and dark  hope that the play offers.

Mature subject matter.

There will be post-show talkbacks exploring themes and questions raised by the play connected to the ongoing reality in Quebec and Canada, on Nov. 17, 23, 30 matinees; Nov. 24 and Dec. 1

To purchase your tickets visit: or call 514-739-7944

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