Kitt and Jane – Toronto Fringe 2014 Press Release

From Press Release

WE AREN’T FOOLING THE CHILDREN OF THE REVOLUTION

“Hilarious, invigorating piece of theatre” echoes the real life concerns of today’s youth … and what they’re prepared to do about it.

As Environment Canada approves fish farming genetically engineered salmon for human consumption, two socially-awkward fourteen-year-olds will be singing about the perils of GMOs and how to survive the impending collapse of society… accompanied by ukulele and glockenspiel, and giant low-fi music videos.

The show is Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future, by West Coast theatre company SNAFU, and it rolls into Toronto on a cross-country tour at the Toronto Fringe Festival July 2-11 at the Helen Gardiner Playhouse at U of T, after a sold out run at the Montreal Fringe. Ingrid Hansen, who plays Kitt, was the co-star of last year’s held-over Toronto Pick of the Fringe show The Truth About Comets with Ginette Mohr.  Kitt & Jane is the stand-alone sequel to SNAFU’s award-winning cult hit Little Orange Man, which has toured to theatres, schools and prisons across Canada.

“But this isn’t the Rapture, and it isn’t zombies. We’re talking about the real, true coming-soon-to-a-continent- near you ‘apocalypse’, or transition” says Hansen about the perils that Kitt and Jane are preparing for. They draw on existing scientific reports about technology run rampant, overpopulation, genetically modified food, species extinction, and the end of cheap oil. As well, they illustrate (literally!) the various possible future scenarios developed by the international think-tank Global Scenario Group (gsg.org). Add a dose of authentic teenage angst inspired by interviews of real Victoria teenagers who voiced their own concerns about the future of the planet. “You’d need to find people that you can trust…people you know won’t kill you,” said one Grade 11 student. Another spoke about living in the rafters of Costco. SNAFU released the interviews in their podcast series “A Teenagers Guide to Surviving the Apocalypse” available for free online at www.snafudance.com/podcasts

The show begins with the two grade-eights presenting to the audience, purportedly as part of a school assembly. Very soon, the students go off-script, barring the doors and hijacking the presentation to deliver an important message: They will be dead in an hour, the apocalypse will occur in five years, and they’re here to train you how to survive. Seen through the eyes of two imaginative teens – the precocious Kitt and an awkward boy with the unfortunate nickname ‘Jane’ – apocalypse survival is articulated with SNAFU’s quintessential hallmarks: live music, shadow and found-object puppetry, and of course, strange humour. The play echoes the real life concerns about the world that this young generation is inheriting. It’s an experience, as CVVMagazine.com reviewed, that will “follow you home.”

5 STARS – OnStageOttawa

 

ON CREATING KITT & JANE:

Inspiration for Kitt and Jane germinated in co-creator Ingrid Hansen’s mind when she was 12 years old and flipping through dog-eared copies of National Geographic magazine, “I remember adding up all of the looming catastrophes of the world and coming to the conclusion that I probably wouldn’t survive long enough to be an old person, or if I did the world was going to be a very, very different place,” explains Hansen. “And at age 12 that didn’t intimidate me. I thought, ‘Bring it on!’”

When asked why she thinks people should see this show, Hansen says, “Come if you find yourself wondering what wilderness will be left for your grandchildren, if you have kids, if you WISH you had kids, if are wary of raising kids on an overpopulated planet, if you like adventure, if you’re sick of hearing people complain about our destructive culture and need to laugh about it for a change, if you read George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki, or, best of all, if you want free cake,” because they show features free cake for the audience. “No one really knows what life on earth is going to look like 50 years from now,” says Hansen, “We’re living in the most exciting time to be alive.”

PERFORMING BEHIND BARS: Kitt & Jane tours to a Victoria Prison

When Kitt & Jane premiered in 2012, SNAFU packed up their ukulele and glockenspiel and drove out to prison to test their show out on the inmates. With the help of inmate theatre technicians, they performed in the prison gym for a ‘captive’ audience. “The inmates still talk about it,” says Hansen, who does ongoing work with the prison theatre company,“they always ask me how ‘Jane’ is doing.”

Named the Best New Play in 2012 by Victoria’s Critics’ Choice Spotlight Awards, Kitt & Jane also received dramaturgical support from the Playwrights Theatre Centre as part of the Fringe New Play Prize, and was named by CBC Writes as one of the top ten fringe shows not to miss in 2014. SNAFU toured to Toronto for the 2011 SummerWorks Festival with their show Pretty Little Instincts, a piece of renegade outdoor dance theatre performed in the moat at Fort York.

Created by Kathleen Greenfield, Ingrid Hansen & Rod Peter Jr.

Performing at Toronto’s International Fringe Festival

Wednesday, July 2, 2014 – 10:00pm

Friday, July 4, 2014 – 3:00pm

Sunday, July 6, 2014 – 5:00pm

Monday, July 7, 2014 – 1:00pm

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 – 8:15pm

Thursday, July 10, 2014 – 2:00pm

Friday, July 11, 2014 – 7:00pm

Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse

University of Toronto, 79 St. George Street

Tickets at www.fringetoronto.com