Burn This is “gritty” and “intense” theatre that captivates Toronto audiences
I enjoy all kinds of theatre, from the grand spectacle of mega musicals to the gritty naturalism of kitchen sink dramas. I have a particular obsession, though, with gritty and intense productions in unconventional venues. I am also drawn to poetic narratives where the language itself takes you to a very special place. With their stunning production of Lanford Wilson’s Burn This, Gracemoon Arts Company has crafted a theatrical experience that seems tailored to my very specific sensibilities. Continue reading Review: Burn This (Gracemoon Arts Company)
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.
Continue reading Landline (XO Secret) 2017 SummerWorks Review
Memorials surround us every day, depicting tragedy, triumph, famous people, and famous events that are no longer around, asking us to remember and learn. But does the act of Memorial actually achieve the things we claim? With These Violent Delights, Guilty By Association from British Columbia take a hard look at this seemingly benign act and demands we ask ourselves why we really do it.
Continue reading These Violent Delights (Guilty By Association) 2017 Summerworks Review
Early in Shaista Latif’s solo show The Archivist, a disembodied, cartoonish voice starts asking her questions about whether she wants a lawyer, disregards her answers, and tells her she has to swear to tell the truth using a complicated oath that involved spinning around.
The show—which opened on Saturday at Pia Bouman – Scotiabank Studio Theatre as part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival—Latif says, will prove that she’s Afghan. Continue reading The Archivist (Shaista Latif) 2017 SummerWorks Review
What if you got the opportunity of the lifetime but you had to play up every stereotype you’ve spent your life battling? Bobby Del Rio’s Professionally Ethnic playing at the Toronto 2017 SummerWorks Festival explores the consequences of that decision and has a little fun on the way.
Continue reading Professionally Ethnic (Bobby Del Rio) 2017 SummerWorks Review
The Nails by JSquared Theatre at SummerWorks 2017 is a psuedo-abstract coming of age story where our lead character grows up in a violent, racist, and disillusioned world. Through a mixture of monologues, two-hander scenes, and clever staging, we watch as a young woman reluctantly embraces her world and, her attempt to reconcile it.
Continue reading The Nails (JSquared Theatre) 2017 SummerWorks Reviews
Christopher Ross-Ewart’s show Explosions for the 21st Century isn’t just something to go see, it’s something to hear. It’s being put on at The Theatre Centre Incubator as part of SummerWorks 2017 And I really recommend you give it a watch and a listen.
Ross-Ewart is a sound designer, and among many other things this show is an ode to his passion for the craft. He gives off the air of a dorky tech-guy that’s been put up in front of an audience. He opens by cracking nervous jokes and then starts monologuing while using his soundboard as an aid. Almost immediately, you’ll realize that not only is Ross-Ewart very funny, he has a lot to say Continue reading Explosions for the 21st Century (Pressgang Theatre) SummerWorks Review 2017
Are there sentences or phrases you can hardly bear to think about, let alone say? For me, one of those is ‘the only good Indian’. I was fairly surprised after I found myself blithely asking someone “Is this the right line for the only good Indian?” while at Factory Theatre. I guess it’s all in the context because The Only Good Indian is the name of a show that opened on Friday as part of 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival.
It’s presented by Pandemic Theatre and is hard to describe because it doesn’t fit neatly into pre-defined theatre categories. It’s a solo show created and performed by Jivesh Parasram, Tom Arthur Davis, and Donna-Michelle St. Bernard. The three performers alternate shows. Continue reading The Only Good Indian (Pandemic Theatre) 2017 SummerWorks Review
Back in the late 90’s early 2000’s there was a rising boom of what we now know as Augmented Reality Games. This was before smart phones and other “direct” ways to play, so these games were built on email, phone calls and the need to travel to specific locations to continue the story. With The Invisible City, DopoLavoro Teatrale has brought this style of immersive play to SummerWorks, providing a 24 hour immersive experience to its five member audience.
Continue reading The Invisible City (DopoLavoro Teatrale) 2017 SummerWorks Review
Let’s Try This Standing brings new meaning to the expression “caught between a rock and a hard place.” When she was 19, Gillian Clark was hit by an out of control SUV and trapped between it and a brick wall.
Her solo show that tells the story of her accident, hospitalization, and recovery opened on Friday at Factory Theatre, part of the 2017 SummerWorks Performance Festival. It’s a lot more cheerful than it sounds. Continue reading Let’s Try This Standing (Keep Good (Theatre) Company) 2017 SummerWorks Review