MAID takes centre stage in a new comedy about the difficulty of preparing to die

Shaina Silver-Baird and Ron Lea star in "In Seven Days", a new production by the Harold Green Theatre Company and the Grand Theatre, running May 4-16, 2024, at Toronto's Meridian Arts Centre. (Photo by Dahlia Katz)

When a member of the Jewish community in London, Ont., recently decided to go through with medical assistance in dying (MAID), it sent shockwaves through the tight-knit community. Some were angry and confused, others were sympathetic and supportive—and others felt mixed emotions, including the father of Jordi Mand, a playwright and screenwriter. Mand discussed the topic extensively with her father (and then her brother, and others), and soon came to realize how controversial the idea of medically assisted death was within Judaism.

The emotional scenario set the stage for her latest play, In Seven Days. It tells the story of a woman who returns home to learn that her father has decided to end his life via MAID in a week’s time, leaving her, their family and even the local rabbi scrambling to try and change his mind before then.

The production debuted at the Grand Theatre in London, and will come to the Meridian Arts Centre in Toronto by way of the Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company from May 4-16, 2024. Ahead of the play’s Toronto debut, Mand and director Philip Akin sat down with the hosts of Culturally Jewish for a frank talk about death, life, comedy and the nature of choice.

And before that, the hosts discuss recent controversies in the Jewish arts world, including the poorly worded Oscar acceptance speech by the director of The Zone of Interest and the cancellation of next month’s Hamilton Jewish Film Festival.

Credits

Culturally Jewish is hosted by Ilana Zackon and David Sklar. Our producer is Michael Fraiman, and our theme music is by Sarah Segal-Lazar. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To support The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt, please consider a monthly donation by clicking here.