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Play serves up coffee and crullers in Afghanistan

By Rachel Woodward, October 27 2015 —

Lunchbox Theatre is presenting Fritters in Kandahar, a play about a young woman who decides to move to Afghanistan and work at the Tim Hortons on a Canadian Forces base. The play runs until Nov. 14.

The premise sounds absurd, but a real Tim Hortons did serve coffee and pastries to troops in Kandahar from 2006 to 2011. But the script, written by Yukon playwright Peter Boychuk, is mostly fictional, following main character Lisa as she leaves her home in Airdrie in an attempt to find fulfillment serving at the remote Tim’s.

The play is set at a Tim Hortons in Afghanistan. // David Jacobson

The play is set at a Tim Hortons in Afghanistan. // David Jacobson

Director Valmai Goggin says balancing the serious and comedic aspects of the play was challenging.

“It’s a funny story set in a very serious context. That’s been a really fun and challenging line to negotiate during rehearsals. It’s about finding some comedy in wartime,” Goggin says. “The show is really going to resonate with audiences because its about finding the ways that we contribute, in a global sense but also in a very small sense.”

Fritters in Kandahar focuses on the difficulty of finding humour during hard times. The story melds comedy with drama to capture what Goggin thinks is a great message for audiences.

“We are already there. We’re on the ground [in Afghanistan] already, so its about responding to that environment,” she says. “The conversation about that is a really valid one. We’re looking at some very real people in the middle of a situation who had nothing to do with starting or ending it, but they are there and they are trying to find their place in this very strange land and strange environment.”

Goggin says the play shows that profound meaning can be found in gestures as small as pouring a stranger a cup of coffee.

Fritters in Kandahar shows at Lunchbox Theatre at the Arts Commons until Nov. 14. Shows are 12:00 p.m. from Monday–Saturday, with additional performances at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday and Friday. Tickets are $20 for students.

For more information about Fritters in Kandahar, visit lunchboxtheatre.com

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