New Toronto play to explore the rise and fall of Target Canada
If all goes according to plan, the play will even be staged inside an abandoned Target store.
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The dramatic rise and fall of Target Canada is about to be dramatized.
Outside the March theatre company will stage Community Target, a site-specific theatre project exploring the discount retailer’s failed foray into Canada. Director Robert Motum is hoping the set will be a former Target store in Toronto.
“I’m interested in unusual spaces and abandoned spaces, and I was constantly passing these massive retail voids of space in almost every community,” the 24-year-old said. “I want to fill one of those voids with something creative and productive.”
The project, expected to be ready for an August debut, is still in its early stages, and Motum is busy interviewing former Target employees, from cashiers to managers.
“It’s fascinating,” he said. “They knew from the beginning that things weren’t going well.”
Motum wants to tell the stories of those workers, many of whom reported receiving gag orders from Target in its final days. He’s also hoping to explore the impact the store closures had on “mom and pop” shops that depended on the retailer for foot traffic.
Ultimately, the young playwright wants the audience to re-examine their own relationship with big box stores.
“When you’ve got everything for the lowest price, you have to ask yourself what the true cost of that price is,” he said. “Where do those products come from and who is affected along the way?”
Motum is looking to speak with more Target Canada employees. If you worked for the company and are willing to be interviewed, you can reach him at OTMcommunitytarget@gmail.com.