Dead People’s Things
Zee Zee Theatre (2019)
Phyllis, a Millennial, inherits a house and all of its contents after her estranged hoarder aunt commits suicide. She then must work with neighbour Beatrice, a Baby Boomer who has been named executrix, to try and make some sense of the life and death of a woman she barely knew, through the things she left behind. Based on true events, Dead People’s Things is a heartrending haunting that examines loneliness and the strange contradiction between belongings and belonging.
Commissioned by Zee Zee Theatre, with support from Playwrights Theatre Centre
“Deveau’s script tiptoes to the edge of melodrama but never steps over. Most of the mysteries he sets up remain satisfyingly unresolved. And in Phyllis he has created a richly complex, deeply human character — the skeptical, detached millennial who becomes fully engaged in her own and another’s life” – Jerry Wasserman, Vancouver Sun
This smart, funny, touching play has all the makings of a repertory staple. - Lincoln Kaye, Vancouver Observer
Dead People’s Things tackles life’s biggest, messiest experiences—grief and survival, fear and depression—and then revels in the quiet moments it carves out for itself in the characters’ personal reckonings. The play grapples with all the ways loss ruins us, the way it haunts, rages, exhausts, and inspires us, leaving ash in our mouths from all the questions we never asked, little fires in our bones smouldering out our best intentions.
The power of the play is its ability to stare into the wreckage of sorrow and fight the urge to “fix it” or “make it better”. It shows us how to carry our loneliness, and make space for it, without letting it swallow us whole. -Andrea Warner, Georgia Straight