News / Toronto

A Fowl Affair: Seniors pen play about being served too much chicken, get menu changed

Since the play premiered a couple of weeks ago, there's less chicken at the seniors residence menu

Creators of the Fowl Affair, taking their protest to the stage.


Creators of the Fowl Affair, taking their protest to the stage.

Talk about taking matters in your own hands.

A group of seniors living at Baycrest Health Sciences recently turned to satirical theatre to air complaints about their diets to the higher ups.

The problem? Too much chicken on the menu.

“They were getting served chicken all the time,” said Dan Yashinsky, director of the Toronto Storytelling Festival who worked as the group’s dramaturge. “They’d say today was lemon chicken, yesterday was cranberry chicken and tomorrow will be chicken steaks.”

The actors — with an average age of 99 — penned the aptly named Fowl Affair themselves. In the script, they complain about a variety of strange symptoms. One of them, for example, has laid an egg while another has become prone to crowing every morning.

When the 20-minute show premiered two weeks ago at Baycrest, staff members were in the audience. And, the actors got their ultimate wish: There’s now less chicken on the menu.

It’s proof that “art makes a difference in the real world after all,” said Yashinsky.

Another performance is scheduled for Tuesday at Baycrest, and the actors have shown interest in taking the play on a city or provincial tour.

But, Yashinsky’s a little concerned that the troupe might not be fully up for the job.

“Some of them have started breaking their hips,” he said. “I think this might be the last time they do it.”

Still, he’s very proud of their accomplishment.

“They are a model of what can happen when you get old,” he said.

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