Getting to Room Temperature

At 93-and-a-half, my healthy and active mother took a turn for the worse. I accompanied her to the doctor.

Doctor: What can I do for you, Rose?
Rose: I would like to die, Doctor. Can you help me?
Doctor: No, and don’t ask me again.

Rose’s decline and polite quest for euthanasia take us on an emotional journey into grudgingly explored territory. Getting to Room Temperature is a hard-hitting, sentimental and funny one-person play about dying. Based on a mostly true story.

Canada is currently embroiled in a conversation about the right to die.  On February 6, 2015, the Toronto Star reported that an “historic and far-reaching decision of the Supreme Court of Canada declaring desperately suffering patients have a constitutional right to doctor-assisted suicide is set to reshape the agenda of Parliament if not the election this fall.” The election is now underway, and doctor-assisted suicide is sure to shape part of each party’s platform.  Inspired by this debate, our own experience, our need to laugh in the face of death, and respond to the questions that lie at the heart of our lives, The Room Temperature Collective has set out to develop Milner’s beautiful exploration of the death of a parent.

With humour, wisdom, irony, and a deep connection to lives gone before, Arthur Milner’s new play Getting to Room Temperature invites audiences into an honest and wry conversation about aging and dying in Canada.




Script developed with the generous support of Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal (PWM) and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Thank you to Danielle Alfaro, Jennifer Brewin, Eric Coates, Anne Hennessey, Tita Kyrtsakas, Henry Milner, Cyd Rainville, Paul Rainville, Chris Ralph, Pat Thompson, Emma Tibaldo, Alexandra Watt-Simpson, Jessica Watkin, the Great Canadian Theatre Company, The Acting Company, and the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Toronto.