The Summoned shows a beautiful and disturbing future

Playwright Fabrizio Filippo bring his spine-tingling play on tech and human nature to Toronto

“There is more good than bad in the world, it is clear. We just report on the bad all the time,” said Fabrizio Filippo, a noted Canadian screenwriter, playwright and actor, whose latest play, The Summoned premiers in Tarragon Theatre on April 27.

Being a narrator in his own play, Filippo speaks his ideas about the technological future and tells a great story with lots of twists. Although it seems like these days we are just improving the things that have already been invented, we are about to go through major shifts in technology such as getting to super speeds and developing virtual reality, said Filippo.

“We have done a pretty good job considering what our nature is. We made this horrible bomb but have not killed the Earth yet,” said Filippo.

The plot is built around a death of an affluent and smart tech creator, whose nearest and dearest are gathered at an airport hotel to hear his will. Although the obvious allusion leads to Steve Jobs, Filippo said he began working on the script before Jobs died, but adjusted it accordingly because “that is what theatre does—it comments on what is happening in society”.

Originated from an idea to create a modern and loose adaptation of Anton Chehov’s Cherry Orchard, The Summoned has transformed into a story about characters dealing with paradigm shifts. Inspired by a massive tech shift of the 20th century going from the old world to the new world,

The Summoned is not a typical dystopic play that makes a statement. “This play is not telling you whether a technological future is a bad or a good thing,” said Filippo. “I was once told to always end with a question mark because the question is more important and much more lasting than the answer. The (answer) is just a guess.”

While a lot of viewers were able to see the beauty of the ideas Filippo had put into the play, many were alarmed by it. “And that is what I am trying to show—the future will be both beautiful and disturbing.”

The play opens April 27 and runs until May 29 in Tarragon’s Mainspace. Regular tickets range from $28-$60 with discounts for seniors, students, groups and artsworkers.

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The Summoned shows a beautiful and disturbing future