Broadleaf Theatre’s production, Bite-Sized, opened Thursday at the Factory Theatre Mainspace as part of the 2016 Fringe Festival. The title refers to the format of the show, 18 plays – all three minutes or less. And all dealing with local, national, and global environmental issues. I’m a big fan of short plays so I had high hopes for the show.
It’s possible that I’m a grinch but I was disappointed. As much as I love short plays I dislike heavy-handed messages and all of the messages were heavy-handed. I also think it would be more accurate to call these sketches rather than plays.
In fairness, most of the rest of the audience seemed to be enjoying the show and finding it quite funny. There was a standing ovation.
There were three parts of the show that I really liked. A play called Flint started and was obviously about bad water. A man in the audience – Kevin Matthew Wong, the Director – leapt up and yelled for the cast to stop doing the piece. He ran up on to the stage and told them to leave.
He then explained that he was the director and that they had wanted to do a piece about all the communities with boil water advisories in Canada but they had been told that it wasn’t their story. They could talk about it but they shouldn’t make a play about it.
So he talked about it. And was very effective.
There was also a piece with two beautiful fish puppets on sticks that were operated by two of the cast members. They were gorgeous.
The closing piece was also beautiful, It was performed in the dark, The cast members held small round lights as they moved around.
I guess I was about the visuals tonight.
- Bite-Sized plays at the Factory Theatre Mainspace. (125 Bathurst St)
- Tickets are $12 at the door and in advance, and can be bought online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- Content Warning: Audience Participation.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible by use of an alternate route. Please arrive early and speak with the House Manager.
- Saturday July 2nd, 01:45 pm
- Sunday July 3rd, 10:00 pm
- Monday July 4th, 07:15 pm
- Wednesday July 6th, 03:30 pm
- Saturday July 9th, 11:30 pm
- Sunday July 10th, 04:00 pm
Photo of Marlow Stainfield in “Dance, Dance, Evolution” by Nathaniel Rose