Verb Theatre’s production of Young Jean Lee’s ‘We’re Gonna Die’ is magical.

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The compelling thing about Verb Theatre’s production of Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die is how seamlessly the songs fits in with the storytelling. The stories and music all blend together as a theatrical production. With Elena Belyea leading us through the narrative, the production is an evening to enjoy with some stellar storytelling.

What is most noticeable about We’re Gonna Die is the moments of silence that Belya infuses into the production. Director Kathryn Smith has made sure that the stories have room to breathe and that there is a little bit of space for awkwardness, because sometimes that’s a part of stories.

During the evening we hear about our narrator’s uncle John. Uncle John is isolated and has no friends and most of the time, the family doesn’t want to be around him. We hear about a poignant moment where our narrator gets a glimpse into what it’s like to be Uncle John. We also are told the story about being betrayed by friends that you thought cared about you. We dive into the deep with our narrator, when she tells us about her first romantic relationship, the way her father’s life ended and the letter from her friend Beth that provided a bit of comfort.

The songs that feature ‘Mother Courage’ the band on stage as well, are filled with intriguing lyrics and messages of comfort. In the small space at Theatre 1308, the band can get a little loud, but the music is still good fun, as is the production. With Sacha Crow on guitar, Caleigh Crow on bass and Gus Rendell on drums, ‘Mother Courage’ also engages in parts of the storytelling. Hanne Loosen’s production design features ornamental clouds hanging from the ceiling that also contain stringed lights. They are the perfect touch to the performance, giving the production a theatrical feel.

This production is part theatre and part concert. It’s nice to be part of this community of people, all in a room to listen to stories and music, knowing: We’re gonna die.

Verb Theatre’s production of Young Jean Lee’s We’re Gonna Die runs until May 6th. More information is available online.

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