The Demonstrator (GITA Productions) 2011 Toronto Fringe Review

A demonstrator is a marketing gimic — the name given to a clear plastic display pen that reveals all the internal bits. In The Demonstrator, by GITA Productions, the pen plays a major role. It’s a tool that condemned a journalist, and the one she hopes will set her free. The play promises to explore the “motives and morals behind a mysterious article” that has the town crying foul.

We meet Audrey, a journalist who wants to be a novelist. She’s currently out of work; now infamous for publishing an article about her editor raping her and then retracting said artcile just days later. I think we’re supposed to think that the retraction was the real lie. (It would have been nice to know that this was a story about rape, complete with rape details and a scene from the rape itself — there should be a trigger warning in the description.)

Oh, and Audrey has an imaginary friend that I feel is supposed to be symbolic for something, but either it was too late at night or I’m too far removed from English Lit. to draw the connection.

I think the confusion I felt about what was happening was the fault of the vague script, not the players. Krista Hovsepian, the actor playing the malgined journalist (and a host of secondary characters) was talented and passionate. I enjoyed her banter with her imaginary friend, which was Gilmore Girls-esque in that it was fast-paced, intelligent and no one ever talks like that.

There was also an adorable side character, a kid that delivered newspapers Audrey refused to read. The discussion about journalistic ethics I was expecting never materialized, but it was my fault for assuming that was what the play was about. Thing is, Audrey is actually a novelist at heart and the real battle for her was finishing her book, which somehow was tied to the imaginary person she’d conjured up.

See this play for a unique take on writers block, rape and the culture that keeps victims ashamed and violators safe from justice.

Photo of Krista Hovsepian by Krista Hovsepian Photography 

The Demonstrator is playing at Robert Gill Theatre, 214 College St. Toronto.

80 min.
Wed, July 6 10:30 PM 903
Sat, July 9 7:30 PM 917
Mon, July 11 3:00 PM 928
Tue, July 12 8:30 PM 937
Wed, July 13 2:00 PM 940
Thu, July 14 10:30 PM 952
Sun, July 17 4:30 PM 969


– All individual Fringe tickets are $10 ($5 for FringeKids) at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $10+$1 convenience fee)

– Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows