Upon entering into The Theatre Centre second floor lobby to watch Performance About A Woman, created and performed by Liz Peterson in collaboration with Rose Plotek at the 2015 SummerWorks Festival, I noticed how bright and sparse the space was. The lights were on full blast and there were only twelve chairs in total. This is something to consider if you’re coming to see the show. You may end up sitting on the floor or standing for the duration of the performance.
As soon as Peterson stepped out into the space, she had me. She has a smile that draws you in and a warmth that makes you trust her. She engages the audience with such sincerity and care, I just knew I was going to be in for a treat.
Peterson’s storytelling has a de-fragmented style to it. She incorporates movement, sound, imagery, music, improv and even stand-up comedy as she works her way through the scenes. I like how she kept us moving throughout the piece, re-positioning us as the story progressed, keeping us active participants.
One thing that really stood out for me is how she would often make eye contact with the audience members individually. It was like she was checking in, and letting them in at the same time. It was a sharing of energy, and an acknowledgement of the shared space and experience. It really felt like we were a part of the play.
Peterson’s sometimes frantic, energetic, multi-layered performance was exhausting to watch in the best way possible. She really gave us all of herself. It was a very vulnerable performance, which is something she mentioned she hears often and it doesn’t surprise me. She certainly deserves tons of praise for her stamina during this piece.
This is a performance I highly recommend seeing. It’s incredible watching how the story unfolds and witnessing Peterson’s many gifts as a performer. The show has great moments of levity and humour, and really profound moments of sadness.
I was completely awestruck by what I saw and hope that this excellent piece gets seen by as many people as possible. If you don’t get one of the twelve chairs, it’s definitely worth standing for.
Remaining Show Times:
- Saturday, August 8th 8:30PM
- Monday, August 10th 8:30PM
- Thursday, August 13th 6:00PM
- Saturday, August 15th 5:15PM
- Sunday, August 16th 4:30PM
Individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Live Art Series tickets are free
$20. Tickets are available online at www.summerworks.ca, by phone at 888-328-8384, Monday – Friday 8:30am-5pm, in person at the SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St). Open August 4-16 from 10am-7pm (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee)
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows
Photo of Liz Peterson taken from the SummerWorks Festival website.