All posts by Samantha Wu

Samantha is a writer and a fan of the arts and has been able to find numerous ways to pair the two. Aside from being an editor here at Mooney on Theatre, she’s a photojournalist for Lithium Magazine which gets her writing and shooting about everything from Dave Matthews Band to Fan Expo, and a copy editor/writer for Art Katalyst. She’s passionate about music, theatre, photography, writing, and celebrating sexuality — not necessarily in that order. She drinks tea more than coffee, prefer ciders over beers, and sings karaoke way too loudly. You can follow her on various social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Review: Waiting for Godot (Soulpepper)

Photo from Waiting for GodotSoulpepper Theatre presents the 20th Century classic play Waiting for Godot in Toronto

For many who have studied acting, Samuel Beckett‘s Waiting for Godot is likely part of the curriculum. And rightly so, as there is much to be learned from studying this play, especially if you’re learning the tricks of the trade for good audience-captivating comedy. The careful nuances of timing, repetition, monumental silence, mime and mimicry, as well as wholly absurd dialogue is what makes up Waiting for Godot. This is a 20th Century classic for a reason and, as usual, the creative forces at Soulpepper have delivered this unique performance with aplomb.

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Landline (XO Secret) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Photo from Landline

What XO Secret is doing with Landline, playing during the final weekend of the SummerWorks Festival, is breaking apart every notion of what traditional and standard ‘theatre’ actually is. Here, one individual doubles as both audience member and actor as they traverse the city on their own, listening to audio cues on an MP3 player. While on their journey — which, without this element, can feel rather isolating — they are texting back and forth with an individual in Hamilton, taking part in the Hamilton Fringe, who are simultaneously embarking on the same journey but in their own way.

This is the kind of interactive performance that takes ‘audience participation’ to a whole new level where everything that you can take out of it is entirely dependent on what you put into it.

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Serenity Wild (Tender Container) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Photo from serenity wild

Serenity Wild, playing at the 2017 SummerWorks Festival, is personally a highly anticipated show and one of the first ones I knew I had to see. As a member of the local BDSM and kink-positive community, I’m excited by the idea of media — be it books, television, movies or plays — that paint BDSM in the light that I’ve always known it to be: a place where consenting adults can explore desires. Serenity Wild promises exactly that.

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Catacomb (Stopgap Theatre) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Catacomb is a site-specific exploration into the life of the honeybee juxtaposed to that of an addict on her downward spiral. Presented as part of the 2017 SummerWorks Festival, Catacomb takes place in an active greenhouse and features a guest appearance by live bees (enclosed in their colony, so I assure you, you’re fine). This intimate performance combines non-linear storytelling, movement, fun bee factoids, and plenty a twist and unexpected turn.

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Rootless (Red Orange Projects) 2017 SummerWorks Review

Photo from rootless

Rootless, playing at the Factory Theatre at the 2017 SummerWorks Theatre Festival, is a story about immigration, about being uprooted and transplanted into a new world and attempting to make it your own. It’s an experience that many of either us or our parents or grandparents have lived through. Rootless is not only touching and poignant, but beautiful and transcendent through its use of projections and shadow puppetry.

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The Smile Off Your Face (Re:Current Theatre) 2017 SummerWorks Review


Photo from The Smile Off Your Face

The SummerWorks Festival, to me, seems to be the home for unique and intriguing experimental theatre experiences. This is what drew me to The Smile Off Your Face. A half-hour fully immersive theatrical adventure meant for an audience of one that entices, coerces and even seduces all five of your senses in one memorable experience.

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Review: Flooded (North America)

Mind-boggling physical theatre, Flooded sets sail on the Pirate Life in Toronto

My adventure into exploring Flooded, directed by Ara Glenn Johanson, started with my desire to explore the unknown. Reading the press release for the show, I knew it would take place on board The Pirate Life ship, that it involved highly physical theatre presented in a non-narrative style, and that there was something about the pelvis, which I perceived to mean this show would be raunchy. I learned just enough to find this production wacky, which was all I needed to want to explore further, but I still had no idea what I was walking into. I also figured that at the very least, I would get to hang out on a boat for an hour.

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Review: Vimy (Soulpepper)

Wesley French, Tim Dowler-Coltman, Sebastien Bertrand and TJ Riley, photo: Cylla von TiedemannSoulpepper Theatre presents Vimy, playing as part of Canada 150 in Toronto

Continuing with the celebration of Canada 150, Soulpepper presents a play written by Governor General’s Award winning playwright Vern Thiessen. Vimy explores the battle of Vimy Ridge, one of the great battles that shaped the outcome of World War I. In a gut-wrenching and emotionally tumultuous performance, Vimy is a story that will leave you stunned and speechless.

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Review: Shakespeare in High Park – King Lear (Canadian Stage)

Jason Cadieux and Diane D'Aquila in King Lear - photo by Cylla von TiedemannCelebrating 35 years, Canadian Stage presents Shakespeare in High Park, King Lear, in Toronto

If you’re a theatre lover, then you clearly know that summers in Toronto are not complete without spending an evening under the stars watching one of the Bard’s classics play out in High Park. This year marks the 35th anniversary of Canadian Stage‘s Shakespeare in High Park, the longest-running outdoor theatre event in Canada. For this momentous year, Canadian Stage presents the Bard’s tragic tale of the downfall of pride that leads to madness, King Lear.

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Fringe For Free GraphicWe’re coming up to the last stretch for the Toronto Fringe Festival this year. And while we are sad to think of the festival being nearly done, there’s no time to lament. There’s still plenty of theatre to be seen and some of it even for free with out Fringe for Free contest!

By now you should know the drill: four shows, a pair of tickets to each up for grabs. Today we’re drawing for shows playing on Thursday July 13. Want to enter? Of course you do! Check under the cut to find out how and which shows are up for grabs. Happy Fringe-ing!