I admittedly was a bit scared when I walked into the Westside Montessori School for the site-specific Toronto Fringe Festival show, Eraser. What is more daunting (or exciting) than going back to visit your childhood?!
I still had mixed feelings when one of the actors, Michael Pintucci, approached me and a few others for a tour of the school before the show started. The unknown of what to expect had my heart racing. With that being said, Michael kept the others and I at ease and soon enough, I felt like I had become one of the students going through this incredible childhood journey with the cast.
Eraser takes a real and honest look at what it is like to grow up in the Toronto school system. The six diverse cast members take you through a journey from kindergarten to grade 6 — all while including you in their story! In this show, I drew a car, I danced in a dance battle and I played truth or dare. It was a lot of fun being a kid and the audience participation was definitely one of big highlights of the show.
I loved when we first walked into Montessori and the characters came together to do a beautiful movement sequence. Unfortunately, where I was standing it was hard to view the full piece. I did try to find another spot to view it, but I couldn’t catch the entire movement. It would have been great to have the audience members positioned in such a way that they could better experience the wonderful opening number.
I am a big fan of incorporating social issues in performance art. I love that issues of immigration, race, sexuality, coping with loss and puberty were brought up in their creative storytelling. Though I would have liked a little bit more detail in the story, I realize that there is only so much that can be said in one hour! The performances were strong and the cast did a great job in performing their parts and including the audience members.
- Eraser plays at Westside Montessori School. (95 Bellevue Ave.)
- Tickets are $12 at the door in advance. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Content Warning: Audience Participation.
- Wednesday June 29th, 08:00 pm
- Thursday June 30th, 08:00 pm
- Friday July 1st, 08:00 pm
- Saturday July 2nd, 05:00 pm
- Sunday July 3rd, 05:00 pm
- Tuesday July 5th, 08:00 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 08:00 pm
- Thursday July 7th, 08:00 pm
- Friday July 8th, 08:00 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 05:00 pm
- Sunday July 10th, 05:00 pm
Photo of Michael Pintucci, Moe Baloch, Nathan Redburn by Mackenzie Clark.