Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Faulkner's As I Lay Dying Transformed for the Stage at Factory Theatre

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Modern literature fans in Toronto will want to take notice — As I Lay Dying, the fifth novel from American literary icon William Faulkner, has come to life for the stage, earning the approval of one of our own literary icons, Michael Ondaatje.

The novel, considered one of the definitive works of 20th century fiction, is now getting a theatrical treatment at Toronto's acclaimed Factory Theatre with the mounting of Take Me Back to Jefferson, presented by Theatre Smith-Gilmour.

Michael Ondaatje called Take Me Back to Jefferson "A wonderful and vivid translation of William Faulkner's As I Lay Dying. You will swear you have seen live horses and rivers in flood and barns on fire as well as the strangest and most heartbreaking family.”

After a hugely successful run last year, the play is returning as part of Factory Theatre's 45th anniversary season. Nominated for multiple Dora Awards (Canada's highest honour for theatre and stage), Take Me Back to Jefferson will run from November 5 to 23 in Toronto before heading to the National Arts Centre Mainstage in March 2014.

As I Lay Dying has landed on banned books list multiple times since its publication, given its controversial treatments of family dynamics, abortion and religion. Michele Smith, who adapted the text with Dean Gilmour, spoke to the process of translating a novel to the stage, saying, “We wanted to change the title to reflect the fact that we have created an adaptation that is uniquely ours.”

Tickets available by phone at (416) 504-9971, online at, or in person at the box office. Student, Senior, & Arts Worker discounts available.

Photo courtesy of Katherine Fleitas and Theatre Smith-Gilmour

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