From press release:
Fringe Smash Threads Comes to 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival
Portland, Oregon, 18/06/2013 – Threads, the very true story of an Indiana farm girl in Vietnam, will make its Toronto debut in July at the 2013 Toronto Fringe Festival. All performances at Venue #3 Solo Room at Tarragon Theatre, detailed schedule below.
Written and performed by Tonya Jone Miller, the one-woman show toured the fringe festival circuit in 2012, earning sell-outs, standing ovations and rave reviews including “Best of Fest” at the 2012 Winnipeg Fringe Festival and “Outstanding Female Performance of 2012” from the CBC Review Crew. Threads just received the Impresario Award (Patron’s Pick) at the 2013 London Fringe Festival.
In August of 1968, a farm girl from rural Indiana stepped off a plane in Saigon, Vietnam. The people and events that led her there, and her subsequent adventures, make for an extraordinary tale that proves the truth can be stranger than fiction.
“Practically leaps off the stage with life…a consistently thrilling celebration of the places we go and the people we meet.” ~ CBC, ***** (out of five)
Many people have told the history of the Vietnam War: servicemen and women on both sides, government and diplomatic workers, journalists, Vietnamese civilians. Donna Miller was none of these things. She chose to go to Vietnam, alone, at the height of the conflict. She went to teach English at the Buddhist University in Saigon, but she ended up doing so much more.
From being held at gunpoint on her very first night in-country, to adopting an entire family of Vietnamese orphans, Donna’s unique perspective and experiences form a theatrical narrative that is both universal and intensely personal. Hers is not a war story; it’s a life story. Based on a series of interviews with the playwright’s mother, Threads celebrates the humor, hope and love that get us through tragedy.
“An intimate production elevated by the intimacy of the setting and the engagement of the audience, Threads is representative of the best that live ‘fringe’ theatre can be.” ~The Beat Magazine, **** (out of four)
“I toured the Canadian fringe festival circuit with the ensemble show Inviting Desire: A Theatrical Aphrodisiac in 2009,” says Tonya. “We did Winnipeg, Calgary, and Edmonton, and as a traveling performer in a strange city, all you can really afford to do in your downtime is go see other fringe shows. I saw 50+ wildly different shows over the course of that summer, and it completely changed my concept of what theatre is and can be.”
Tonya returned home inspired by her CAFF tour and began interviewing her mother, Donna, about Donna’s time in Vietnam during the war: “I had no idea what I was doing. I’d helped write Inviting Desire as part of an ensemble, but I’d never written a solo show by myself. It started out as ‘Mom has some neat stories. Let’s get them recorded before her memory worsens, and if it doesn’t make a show at least I’ll have some family history for posterity.’ I’d only ever heard two or three anecdotal tales of hers before.”
“Once she started telling me how she got to Vietnam, I realized it was as much of the story as her actual time there. Threads is not about the war, though of course the war figures prominently; in that era, you could not escape it. But my mother’s story, like the story of this play coming to fruition, is about how random people and events nudge each of us along our path in life. At the time, perhaps you don’t realize it’s happening, but looking back you can see the beauty of how everything came together to bring us to this moment.”
Threads is a haunting reminder of how connected we are, how we never know the influence a seemingly small action might have, and how in the span of an instant, some people change our lives forever.
“Miller has created a true object of beauty – don’t miss the chance to witness it.”
~ Winnipeg Free Press, ***** (out of five)
Threads Performances at the Toronto Fringe Festival:
8:15pm Wednesday, July 3
10:00pm Friday, July 5
8:30pm Saturday, July 6
4:00pm Monday, July 8
6:45pm Tuesday, July 9
9:45pm Thursday, July 11
5:15pm Friday, July 12
4:30pm Saturday, July 13
@ Venue #3 – Solo Room at Tarragon Theatre (second floor)
Tickets $9 in advance (subject to service charge)
Tickets $10 @ the door
Photo credit Rene Ferrer