Written and directed by Toronto director and writer Kate Lushington, the play “Easy Money” turned the findings of an academic study by Joan Eakin, Ellen MacEachen and Judy Clarke on the stigma faced by injured workers into a community theatre project which used also the personal experiences of the Injured Workers Theatre Collective. Funded by RAACWI and with the collaboration of Injured Workers’ Consultants and the Ontario Network of Injured Workers, the play has been performed many times since 2005, including a full production designed by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts with professional actors, puppets, video and music at Mayworks in 2007, and most recently in Feb. 2016.
The hurt of endless disbelief
Using satire, the play exposes the myths of the injured worker fraudulently claiming compensation benefits rather than return to work, and vividly shows the impact of injury on workers, families, neighbours and co-workers. The workers battle the hurt of endless disbelief, Kafkaesque bureaucracy and the deeming process (“phantom work for phantom wages”)
For more on the project read “Knowledge Translation through Research-based Theatre” (Health Policy 2006 Nov.) by Joan Eakin and Marion Endicott.