Lessons in Temperament

a memoir of minds gone out of tune
– The New York Times


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. 

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 Theatre, Mirvish Productions, Soulpepper Theatre, The Harbourfront Centre, Crow’s Theatre, TO Live, The Rose Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille and Talk is Free Theatre.  

Lessons in Temperament will have its world premiere with a run of live and virtual screenings between November 13 and 27, 2021. The live screenings, hosted by TO Live, Soulpepper and The Rose Theatre, will offer audiences the immersive experience of watching the film in some of the environments in which it was shot. 

100% of all box office proceeds from The Rose's screening will go to EveryMind.

Photo credit: Gabriela Osio Vanden



Location: The Rose Brampton

Show Date: November 23, 2021

Time: 7:30 PM

Run Time: TBD

Intermission: No

Warning: This film deals with conversations around mental health crises, suicide, violence and homelessness. There is the occasional use of adult language.