Award winning writer/performer TJ Dawe has participated in more than one hundred theatre and comedy festivals.

TJ Dawe brings Medicine to the Capitol Theatre

His deeply personal dramatic monologue centers around an experience at a healing retreat led by author, doctor and activist Gabor Mate.

Vancouver actor-playwright TJ Dawe will be in Nelson this Saturday performing his deeply personal dramatic monologue Medicine, about his experience at a healing retreat led by author, doctor and activist Gabor Mate.

Dawe, a longtime fan of Mate’s work, signed up for the week-long retreat with only a vague idea of what might go on there. He knew that he’d be expected to ingest the Peruvian shamanic psychotropic plant brew ayahuasca — that was okay with him. But he didn’t realize he’d be expected to take part in group therapy sessions — something that terrified him.

“I might not have gone if I’d known it was going to be like that,”  Dawe admits. “For someone who feels socially alienated, like I have all my life, spending days sitting in a big cycle sharing our feelings, it’s just not something I’d like to do.”

Though Dawe has built a career on sharing his personal experiences on stage, he says talking about these things off script is totally different.

“On stage it’s scripted and rehearsed and I’m in complete control of what I’m revealing and what I’m not, and the audience only has certain means of responding,” Dawe explains.  “In a group therapy session, anyone can speak at anytime and you have to engage with people individually — it’s much different and much more frightening for me.”

But the initial discomfort of therapy was nothing compared to what he’d go through when he finally tried the ayahuasca.

“It was the worst night of my life,” he says unequivocally. “It was physically grueling and emotionally painful. I was really brought to my lowest point.”

The drug has a different effect on everyone, and a different effect on each person every time they do it. During the second ayahuasca ceremony of the retreat, he had a much better experience.

“I don’t know if I would have gotten to that place [of healing] if I hadn’t had the bad experience first,” Dawe says.

Reflecting back on the experience, Dawe says he has no regrets. But he says it’s not for everyone. “I would never lightly recommend it to anyone. If anyone were to do it, they need to know they could be in for the worst night of their life.”

The play runs 90 minutes, with no intermission. It’s performed on a bare stage, and has minimal technical cues. Dawe will answer questions following the show.

Medicine is coming to Nelson through the support of Nelson actor Lucas Myers, a old theatre school friend of Dawe’s. Myers usually produces his own show this time of year, but decided to focus his efforts on bringing Dawe here instead.

The show is Saturday, October 5 at 8 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. All tickets are $20, available in advance at the Capitol Theatre box office and at capitoltheare.bc.ca.

Just Posted

Cardiac arrest survivor saved by passerby

People who know CPR can now register with a new phone app to notify them of nearby emergencies

Police seek witnesses to fatal weekend accident

Wayne Kernachan was struck by a vehicle while responding to an accident

The 10-mile diet all in one place

Order local food from the comfort of your couch.

Pedestrian killed on Highway 22 Saturday evening

Police say 51-year-old man died after being hit by car

LETTER: Concern for fossil fuel subsidies

From reader Marylee Banyard

Six students arrested, charged in sex assault probe at Toronto all-boys school

The school’s principal, Greg Reeves, described the video of the alleged sexual assault as ‘horrific’

Laine scores 3 as Jets double Canucks 6-3

Injury-riddled Vancouver side drops sixth in a row

Deportation averted for Putin critic who feared return to Russia

Elena Musikhina, a vocal critic of the Kremlin, has been granted a two-year visitor’s permit in Canada

B.C. to allow Uber-style ride hailing services to operate in late 2019

Fee will be applied to fund options for disabled people

Auditor general takes aim at Liberals’ fighter-jet plan

Suditor general Michael Ferguson is about to release a new report on Canada’s attempts to buy new fighter jets

B.C. couple converts ambulance into a traveling home

The Revelstoke couple plan on touring B.C. ski hills then driving to Mexico

Cyclist defecates, throws own poop at car following B.C. crash

Man defecates in the street before throwing it at a driver locked in her vehicle

Jamie Koe, other curlers kicked out of bonspiel for being too drunk

‘You don’t kick around other players’ bags, it’s disrespectful and we expect better of our players’

Homicide victim found under B.C. bridge identified as Hells Angels member

Chad John Wilson was one of four men arrested in Spain in 2013 on allegations of smuggling cocaine.

Most Read