From Press Release
Refugee bird flies into Fringe Kids Festival
The last year has seen dozens of refugee stories, both in Canada and elsewhere. This may be the only one with a singing blue jay at its heart. Downtown Jay, a family musical about leaving your home and learning to build a new one, premiers at the Toronto Fringe Kids Festival, June 29 – July 10 at the George Ignatieff Theatre.
Jay is uncomfortable in Back of Beyond where no one appreciates his amazing nest building skills. The Mocking Birds are unrelenting. He convinces a flock of geese to let him tag along on their migration, and eventually lands smack in the middle of one of Toronto’s city parks. Just like human refugees, this bird needs to learn how to make friends, where to find food and shelter, how to stay safe and what skills he can use to get a job. A wise police horse, a pair of tech savvy squirrels, some dancing raccoons with a bistro, and a house finch realtor are among the park denizens who help Jay find some of those answers.
Ryan Kelly (Living With Henry, Hipcheck: The Musical, I’m Right Here) directs Downtown Jay’s talented cast. The role of Jay is fittingly played by a new graduate in musical theatre and newcomer to Toronto, Tanner Homonko (Drowsy chaperone, Oklahoma!, the Rocky Horror show). He is brilliantly supported by cast members Amy Swift (Into the Woods, The Stone Princess, Urintown), Brody Fitzpatrick ( 42nd Street and The Rocky Horror Show) and Kristi Wood-Nogal (Katherine and Peter, Steel Magnolias, The Drowsy Chaperone). A treasure chest of enchanting costumes created by playwright Joan Jamieson keep each of the actors very busy playing multiple roles. Ryan Kelly has created a set composed of giant pop-up books that elicit gasps of delight each time they open.
Fringe Kids – George Ignatieff Theatre
15 Devonshire Place
Thursday June 30 1:00
Saturday July 2 2:15
Monday July 4 4:15
Thursday July 7 11:30
Friday July 8 1:15
Saturday July 9 4:30
Sunday July 10 11:30
Photo of Downtown Jay cast provided by company