By Dana Lacey
If you don’t like the first ten minutes of the Inspirato Festival, it doesn’t matter: you’ll get nine more 10-minute plays to compete for your love and affection. The festival of short plays at the Lorraine Kisma Theatre for Young People tackles Big Pharma, death, love and jelly bean morality. In other words: there’s something for everyone.
I don’t want to give too much away–with ten minutes to develop each play, every minute counts and one-liners carry more weight. My favourite was the weird and wonderful In Paris You Will Find Many Baguettes But Only One True Love, which finds a heartbroken woman battling (often invisible) wits with a mime. Then there’s Human Beans, about a bowl of leftover jelly beans–a black, a purple, and two cheery yellows–fighting for survival. In Jalapeno Cough Syrup, Big Pharma has been pushed aside by holistic healers, and the good stuff (Robitussin) is only found in the black market.
Not all the plays passed the test—some were abstract and felt forced and heavy-handed. Too many of them were about mother relationships, and felt almost preachy. Not to say Inspirato can’t do serious–Say No More chronicles a dinner party game to create the longest awkward silence (and the actors did a great job of projecting that awkwardness all the way to me in the back row.)
The best part? If one play pissed you off there’s another following shortly. You definitely get your money’s worth. Go check out Inspirato and see for yourself.
– The Inspirato Festival is playing at Lorraine Kisma Theatre (165 Front St.) until June 13th.
– Shows run Thursday to Saturday at 8PM
– The ticket prices are $15 in advance, $20 at the door
-For tickets, call or visit the Inspirato site for more info.
Photo of the cast and crew of Say No More, courtesy of Inspirato