Skip to Content

See the New Film Lessons in Temperament

Earlier this year, Mitchell Cushman, the artistic director of Outside the March theatre company (whose production of Terminus was the first show in the Off-Mirvish series), used the lobby of the CAA Ed Mirvish Theatre to film Lessons in Temperament, an adaptation of a play he had directed a few years ago.

It is the story of four neurodiverse brothers, told through a cinematic escape into the art and science of piano tuning. An instrument goes out of tune whether or not anyone plays it – something that musician and theatre-maker James Smith knows all too well. So after months of being unemployed during the pandemic, he decides that he will spend his lockdown visiting shuttered theatres, and doing what he can to keep their pianos in tune. This ritual soon unlocks James’ own search for balance, growing up as one of four brothers living with obsessive-compulsive disorder, autism, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

A memoir of minds gone out of tune. - The New York Times

Adapted into a feature film by Smith and Director Mitchell Cushman from their award-winning play, Lessons in Temperament offers an urgent and cathartic story that takes the audience inside James’ mind, inside his piano, and inside a dozen of Ontario’s most iconic theatres - courtesy of The Stratford Festival, Mirvish Productions, Soulpepper Theatre, The Harbourfront Centre, Crow’s Theatre, TO Live, The Rose Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille and Talk is Free Theatre.

Watch the Trailer

Lessons in Temperament is now having its premiere, streaming online. The exclusive date for Mirvish patrons to watch the film is November 26 at 7:30PM. Admission is by donation – whatever you can afford – with 100% of the box office proceeds going to True North Aid, a charity dedicated to serving and supporting northern Indigenous communities in Canada through practical humanitarian support. With more than 60 per cent of Indigenous children living below the poverty line, there is much work to be done. The issues facing Indigenous communities in Canada are complex and are the result of many things that have transpired over the past 150 years. True North Aid believes that self-governance and self-determination are key to closing the poverty gap.