Arriving about four minutes late for Lion Womxn, The Amy Project’s production for SummerWorks because of a streetcar backup, I had to discretely text my editor to let her know that I had indeed made it in after all, and then dig in my bag for a pen and my notebook.
About 10 minutes into the show I realized that there were going to be tears involved – mine – but I really didn’t want to dig in my bag again, looking for tissues, unless it was really necessary. It wasn’t. I did cry through a lot of the piece but they were the kind of tears I could manage without kleenex. They were tears of sadness, recognition, regret, and admiration. It wasn’t all tears, I laughed too.
The show is a combination of story telling, poetry, song, and dance. It’s beautiful.
It was created and performed by nevada-jane arlow, Clara Carreon, Olivia Costes, Gabi M Fay, Carvela Lee, Megan Legesse, Laya Mendizabal, MORGAN, Whitney-Nicole Peterkin, ROFIAT, Aaliyah Wooter, and Fio Yang. Each person wrote their own personal story. When they compared them after the first draft they found similar themes.
Although each story is different, some are heart-breaking, as they progress towards an ending they become similar. The participants become brave, bold, and determined; lion womxn.
I was so impressed with the level of their self-knowledge, awareness, and wisdom. These women and non-binary youth are artists in their late teens and early twenties. It’s not that they have their futures mapped out, although they might, it’s that they know how they will be, or try to be, in their futures. I admire them so much.
The stage felt big inside a fairly small theatre. The audience was on three sides so all the seats were close to the performers making it very intimate. Directors Julia Hune-Brown and Nikki Shaffeeullah made good use of the space both when all the cast was performing and when one cast member was performing.
I particularly liked Nicole Eun-Ju Bell’s set and projection design for the subway. The ‘windows’ really looked like subway windows.
I don’t usually stay for the Q&A but I’m so glad I stayed for this one. It was in the cafe instead of the theatre and everyone crowded around a big table. You should stay for it. It was great to see the actors interacting off stage and to learn a bit more about the process.
My only quibble was that a few of the performers swallowed words at the end of their pieces or lines so there were things that I missed.
I loved Lion Womxn. I highly recommend it. There are two performances left. It was sold out on Friday and is almost sold out for Saturday so getting tickets now for Monday is probably your best bet.
- Friday August 10th 6:30pm – 7:45pm
- Saturday August 11th 12:00pm – 1:15pm
- Monday August 13th 6:30pm – 7:45pm
SummerWorks tickets are now Pay What You Decide at $15, $25, or $35, whichever suits your budget. All tickets are general admission and there are no limits to any price level. Tickets are available at the performance venue (cash only), online, by calling 416-732-4116, and in person at the SummerWorks Central Box Office – located at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West), open August 9-19 from 12pm-8pm. Cash and credit accepted.
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 4 shows.
Photo of cast members of Lion Womxn provided by the company