The upcoming event Jesuits Served Right: A Jesuit Dinner Theatre was inspired by a similar event run by the Venezuelan Jesuit province called the Jesuit Academy. A scene from the event in Venezuela is pictured above. Photo courtesy of Marc Aristotle de Asis

Canadian Jesuits take comical poke at themselves with dinner-theatre production

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  • February 15, 2012

TORONTO - Canadian Jesuits, with help from some high school students, are preparing to poke a little fun at themselves through a dinner-theatre production.

Jesuits Served Right: A Jesuit Dinner Theatre will be performed at Toronto’s Brebeuf College School Feb. 25. The project is part of the Jesuits’ celebration of 400 years in Canada.

A combination of comedic skits and music, the evening’s main goal is to promote a better understanding and awareness of the Society of Jesus in Canada, said Jesuit Father Len Altilia. 

“We’re trying to make the society better known so that people can be aware of who we are and what we do and how we have grown in Canada,” said Altilia.

The event is inspired by a similar event called the Jesuit Academy, run by the Venezuelan Jesuit province. Professional comedy and drama writers Philip Bedard and Glen Davis — former students of Altilia’s — lent their talents to write the six comedic skits.

“There’s one scenario that is based loosely on the kind of mission attitude of the Jesuits and to frame that, they have used a hockey team as the model,” said Altilia. “So it’s the coach haranguing the players in between periods… The Team Jesuits is playing against a team of nuns.

“We’re delighted to have the opportunity to poke a little fun at the Jesuits. It’s all in good humour and respect.”

Half of the comedic skits will be performed by Jesuits while the other three will be in the hands of Brebeuf students.

Along with the skits sprinkled throughout the dinner, there will also be music to begin and end the evening.

“There’s a musical group that’s made up of Jesuits and lay people from Regis College — it’s a Jesuit chorale, if you want to call it that,” said Altilia.

“And it’s just a good moment for deepening the relationship with Brebeuf, which the Jesuits used to be responsible for.”

Admission is free though freewill offerings will be accepted in support of Brebeuf’s KAIROS Retreat Program, a Jesuit-inspired retreat given to Grade 11 students. Limited spaces are available. RSVP to Altilia by e-mail at altilia@jesuits.ca.

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