All posts by Angela Sun

Angela Sun is a Toronto-based fat East Asian performer, theatre creator, poet, and writer. She is currently a member of the environmental theatre company, Broadleaf Theatre. In her spare time she enjoys reading and writing about art, feminism, pop culture, identity, body image, mental health, and social justice. Ironically, she fell in love with Canadian theatre after seeing a televised production of Kristen Thomson’s I, Claudia on CBC. (She finally saw the remount on stage 5 years later and was over the moon.) You can follow her exploits on her sporadically-updated Twitter @21sungelas.

Soliloquy in English (Patrick Blenkarn) 2016 SummerWorks Review

Photo of Soliloquy in English at the 2016 SummerWorks Performance FestivalI attended the SummerWorks Live Art presentation of Soliloquy in English with some trepidation. After having watched numerous plays this year that either exposed the colonialist history behind the spread of the English language or advocated for the inclusion of non-English languages in Canadian theatre, I wondered if we really needed a piece that explored “the dreams it [learning English] makes possible.” Fortunately, the insightful content of  Soliloquy in English exceeded my expectations and encouraged me to examine my own feelings towards the English language.

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Chase Scenes #1-58 (Ming Hon) 2016 SummerWorks Review

Photo of Chase Scenes #1-58 from the 2016 SummerWorks Performance Festival.Chase Scenes #1-58 is exactly the type of experimental, multidisciplinary performance that I expect and want to see at an innovative festival like SummerWorks. Thoughtful, funny, and a little bit strange, Chase Scenes – a should-see SummerWorks Special Presentation – is an extensive exploration of our psychological and cultural obsession with “the chase.”

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In Utero Out (Drawing With Knives experimental shadow puppetry co.) 2016 SummerWorks Review

Photo of In Utero Out from the 2016 SummerWorks Festival.

In Utero Out, presented by Drawing With Knives experimental shadow puppetry co. as part of the 2016 SummerWorks Performance Festival, is a lush exploration of reproductive justice in the form of an exquisitely-crafted shadow puppet show. While I doubt my grasp of all the intricacies in this show, I was certainly moved by what I saw.

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Let’s Travel in Time (My Theatre Company) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo from Let's Travel in Time provided by the company.

Let’s Travel in Time, currently playing at the Fringe Club, is an unabashed parody of that special subsection in science fiction where an over-confident time traveler and his exasperated companion goes on adventures together throughout time and space. This production may be messy, irreverent, and ridiculous, but it is also one of the most hilarious experiences I’ve had at Fringe so far.

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Monologues For Nobody (Jordan Mechano) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Image of Monologues For Nobody provided by the company.

Monologues for Nobody, currently playing inside the Fringe Club at the Toronto Fringe Festival, is exactly as advertised: Participants have five minutes to perform a monologue of their choosing in the shed. Alone. As creator Jordan Mechano puts it in his description, “Like singing alone in the shower…No audience, no cameras, no pressure. Just play.” While it really was as simple as that, I didn’t expect to be so moved by the experience.

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You Are (Not) Dead (Earnest Artist Productions) 2016 Toronto Fringe Review

Photo of You Are (Not) Dead by the company.You Are (Not) Dead, a one-woman Shed Show about first loves, first heartbreaks, and mental illness, is currently playing inside the Fringe Club at the Toronto Fringe Festival. Performer/Director/Writer Katie Bell packs a lot into this 30-minute show, but her sensitive and heartfelt delivery of the difficult material shows a lot of promise.

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Review: The Heidi Chronicles (Soulpepper)

Photo of Raquel Duffy, Sophia Walker, Laura Condlln & Michelle Monteith in The Heidi Chronicles by Cylla von TiedemannPulitzer-prize winning play comes to Toronto, presented by Soulpepper

The Heidi Chronicles, now playing at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, is a sweet, nostalgic rendering of an American woman’s personal, political, and cultural coming-of-age through through a twenty year period. The show follows the journey of the titular Heidi Holland as she constructs an identity alongside the momentous changes that came with the onset of second-wave feminism and the sexual revolution.

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Review: She Mami Wata & The Pussy WitchHunt (The Watah Theatre)

The Watah Theatre presents the second installment of The Orisha Trilogy in Toronto

Photo of d'bi.young anitafrika in She Mami Wata & The Pussy WitchHuntSurprisingly, this is the first time I’ve attended a production from the internationally-celebrated Toronto-based dubpoet/playwright-monodramatist/arts-educator/theatre director/scholartist d’bi.young anitafrika. It turns out there was no need for me to worry about my high expectations because the performances from anitafrika and frequent collaborator, Amina Alfred, exceeded all of them. She Mami Wata & The Pussy WitchHunt is a profound exploration of the intersections between personal identity, sexuality, gender, religion, and the consequences of colonization.

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Preview: HERstory Counts (Jennifer Neales)

Poster for HERstory CountsHERstory Counts is a collection of seven autobiographical monologues that explores a range of issues from in vitro fertilization to mental health. Artistic Producer Jennifer Neales created the show in collaboration with a diverse group of female performers as a response to the lack of diversity from the creation level in film and theatre. We recently got the opportunity to ask Neales some questions about the production and representation in Canadian Theatre:

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