Bloom – Toronto Fringe 2011 Press Release

From press release

Adapted from the acclaimed  poetry collection by Michael Lista

On May 14, 1946 Louis Slotin, a Canadian physicist in the Los Alamos research facility, was conducting a nuclear experiment towards the continued mass production of atomic weaponry. Perhaps by accident, perhaps on purpose, two halves of the atomic core connected and unleashed a hard blast of radiation throughout the lab.

Louis’ quick and agile thinking saved his nine colleagues: it did not save him.

In Michael Lista’s 2010 poetry collection Bloom, Lista fictionalizes the bizarre events leading to this horrific incident. Did Louis react against the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Was the bombing of Japan a wake-up call that he was not necessarily working for the greater good? Was Louis shocked and depressed by the recent death of his friend and mentor in an almost identical accident nine months before? Lista riffs on Louis’ life by introducing an unfaithful wife, a philandering co-worker, and the tragic death of an infant daughter among other imagined circumstances.

Bloom honours Lista’s theme of reappropriation by turning the verse on its head – literally. Six actors use movement and text to interpret the gamut of characters Louis encounters on his last day alive. While Louis’ journey may end disastrously, Steam Powered Theatre’s adaptation will compel the audience with the momentum behind Lista’s words.


Adapted by Cydney Penner and Stephanie Seaton
as part of The Toronto Fringe Festival
Featuring Eze Angius, Mark Johnston, Suzette McCanny, Cydney Penner,
Designed by Danielle Demeny
Choreography by the Collective
Directed by Nathaniel Bryan and the Collective
Bathurst Street Theatre, 736 Bathurst St (South of Bloor St W.)

Thursday, July 7, 2011, 7:00pm – 8:00pm
Friday, July 8, 2011, 1:45pm – 2:45pm
Sunday, July 10, 2011, 5:15pm – 6:15pm
Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:45pm – 11:45pm
Thursday, July 14, 2011, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Friday, July 15, 2011, 9:15pm – 10:15pm
Sunday, July 17, 2011, 3:30pm – 4:30pm

Bloom © 2010 by Michael Lista. Adapted with permission by the publisher, “House of Anansi Press Inc.”