08/13/2013 05:38 EDT | Updated 10/13/2013 05:12 EDT

'Tainted,' play about Canada's contaminated blood scandal, to debut in Toronto

TORONTO - A play inspired by Canada's tainted blood scandal will debut in Toronto on Sept. 25, the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Krever inquiry that investigated the public health tragedy.

"Tainted" centres around a family with three hemophiliac sons who received contaminated blood products in the 1980s.

The play follows the family fighting to stay intact when the three brothers are all infected with HIV and hepatitis from their clotting treatment.

"Tainted" will be directed by Dora winner Vikki Anderson and will run through Oct. 12 at the Aki Studio Theatre in the Daniels Spectrum complex in Toronto's east end.

The drama is written and produced by actress Kat Lanteigne. She was inspired to write the play by an extended family member affected by the crisis.

Lanteigne travelled across the country to research the play, interviewing survivors and those who testified at the Krever inquiry.

"I was very young when I learned about the tainted blood crisis, but the sense of devastation and bewilderment around me left an indelible mark," Lanteigne said Tuesday in a release.

"As an adult, I came to realize the full implications of what happened — how people felt betrayed by the government, shell-shocked by being touched by something they never could of imagined, and at a time so different from now when being infected with AIDS had immense moral implications."

Thousands of Canadians were infected with HIV and hepatitis C after receiving tainted blood transfusions through the Red Cross in the 1980s. The Krever inquiry led to the formation of Canadian Blood Services and Hema-Quebec as operators of the country's blood banks.