Terminal – Theater

A man sits reading in a red armchair in his living room as play begins. He is dressed to kill. Everything he wears reeks of old money and thoughtful choice. The man, SILVIO, is 40 years old, handsome in a classic mould, but something about him does not lead to easy definitions. There is a knock at the front door. Silvios’s head tilts up and he stares straight ahead for a period as if awaiting a verdict. Other more insistent knocks follow. He sets his book down and stands. We notice he is of middle height and built well, as if he has worked for the body he carries, which he carries now with purpose to the door.

A lady appears. She is young, stunningly beautiful. Her name is LAURA.

LAURA: Hi. I’m from the agency.

Terminal is a black comedy in one act that explores the relationship between sex and death. Silvio decides he wants to kill himself and he wants to make it interesting. So he invites a prostitute named Laura over to give him a send off. Laura is a beautiful, young, university psychology major who is moonlighting at this job because she loves sex and because she says she wants to help people. She is a sweet, empathetic person on the surface but underlying this she is completely different.

Terminal tackles the Big Question philosophers have put to themselves since antiquity. That question is whether life is worth living or simply some tedious imposition. Silvio takes the latter position and believes it is his right to terminate his life. In this he is diametrically in opposition to Laura whose opinion is the more common one. Laura tries to sex Silvio out of his decision.

Written and Directed by: Ron Kozloff for Ephemera Productions
Starring: Todd Harrop, Janice Wu


Having moved from Ontario one year ago, Todd Harrop is thrilled to participate in his first Montreal Fringe. Recent credits include Betrayal and The Trial of Ebeneezer Scrooge (Theatre & Company), Masterclass (Theatre Athena), Harbingers of Spring (Open Ears), The Spitfire Grill (The Grand Theatre), plus dance roles in Boat Ballet (Oceans Across Currents) and A Court of Miracles (Dancetheatre David Earle), publication in She Speaks: monologues for women (Playwrights Canada Press) and, with his hometown community theatre, music director for The Sound of Music (Royal City Musical Productions).

Janice Wu is delighted to be a part of Montreal Fringe this year. She has been actively involved in the city’s independent theatre scene, taking on roles ranging from “The Critic” in the absurdist piece The Infernal Tragedy (Open Heart Theatre), to Betty in the Gleams Theatre production of Sure Thing, and Mrs. Smith in the Ionesco classic The Bald Soprano. She has also performed in several independent films.

Janice settled in Montreal after studying theatre with Arts York in her hometown of Unionville, Ontario, and Bishop’s University in the Eastern Townships where she holds an honours degree in Drama. In addition to acting, Janice’s other passions include travel and food.

Photos by Cindy Lopez

Interview with Ron Kozloff on Terminal

INTERVIEWER: Let’s talk about your latest offering: Terminal.
RON: Sure. Shoot.

I: What is the genesis of this play?
R: I was in Italy last summer and riding in trains for long periods at a stretch and I had several Sam Beckett books with me and I had the opportunity to read 3 of his books during the trip.

I: You mean the playwright, Samuel Beckett?
R: Yeah. His friends called him Sam.

I: You feel close to Beckett?
R: Well, I do feel close to him. He goes deeper into my psyche than anybody I have ever read. Anyway, when I got back I just automatically sat down and wrote for a few weeks and Terminal was the end product. No pun here, okay?

I: If you say so. The play is about suicide.
R: Yup.

I: Why suicide?
R: It’s a subject close to my heart.

I: You have thought about suicide?
R: Sure. Hasn’t everybody?

I: Probably not.
R: You might be surprised. There is a line that goes, “To be or not to be. That is the question.” Also Beckett’s line, “ I can’t go on. I will go on.” I love that line. We all struggle with that question. But people don’t like to talk about it. It’s the only taboo left in this world. People will reveal any of their orifices on the Internet without blinking but would not admit that they have ever had a suicidal thought. Well, Silvio, in this play, takes the opposite view. He believes it his right to kill himself. And he wants to make it interesting. So he invites a hooker over to help him out.

I: Laura?
R: Or Laurie. Depending on her mood.

I: Laura. I like Laura better.
R: So does she as a matter of fact.

I: Who or what is Laura?
R: Laura is someone who is caught up in her conscious mind. She is a sound bite who knows nothing about what makes her tick. She is a student in psychology who is moonlighting as a prostitute because she likes sex and because she says she wants to help people. But underlying this she is a very different person.

I: Who are the actors?
R: Todd Harrop is an actor from Ontario, Waterloo, I believe. He is a pro and also a musician. Janice Wu is also from Ontario. She has tremendous presence. They are both skilled actors and I am learning lots from being with them.

I: This is your first time directing, isn’t it?
R: Yeah. First time. I have been wanting to do it for a long time, and so now thought it would be best to start with something I wrote. It is a very interesting experience. I have huge respect for actors. It takes lots of courage, in my view, to put yourself out there emotionally naked in front of a group of strangers. There is so much that can happen and you risk it all. To touch people that way is a beautiful thing.

I: Well, good luck staging it. By the way, is there anything after Terminal?
R: I’m glad you asked. I have another play that is a full farce. It’s about the singer, Bob Dylan and it’s called Botox Bob.

I: Will that go through Fringe as well?
R: Who knows? It will depend on what happens this June, I suppose.

I: Thank you, Ron.

Terminal – A one-act black comedy that explores the relationship between sex and death

Written and Directed by: Ron Kozloff
Starring: Todd Harrap & Janice Wu

Playing at Club Lambi, 4465 St-Laurent blvd, Montreal (Canada)
As part of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival

June 12 to 21, 2009

Box Office: 514-849-3378 (tickets: 11$)

Terminal in Quebec Drama Federation magazine

Quebec Drama Federation’s Theatre Calendar for Spring 2009 features Terminal, a play written and directed by Ron Kozloff, part of this year’s Montreal Fringe Festival.

Theater Calendar Spring 2009 by Quebec Drama Federation, p. 20-21

Terminal is:

“A one-act, 2-character black comedy that explores the relationship between sex and death. A middle-aged executive decides to kill himself, but wants a sendoff. He hires an escort to give it to him.”

Starring: Todd Harrap & Janice Wu

One hour play

At Club Lambi, 4465 boul. St-Laurent, Montreal (Canada)

June 11 to 21, 2009

Box Office: 514-849-3378

Comedy – Tragedy