All posts by Dorianne Emmerton

Dorianne is a graduate of the Theatre and Drama Studies joint program between University of Toronto, Erindale campus and Sheridan College. She writes short stories, plays and screenplays and was delighted to be accepted into the 2010 Diaspora Dialogues program and also to have her short story accepted into the 2011 edition of TOK: Writing The New Toronto collection. She is also a regularly contributing writer on You can follow her on twitter @headonist if you like tweets about cats, sex, food, queer stuff and lefty politics.

Review: Everything Is Great Again (Second City)

Everything Is Great Again is funny, touching, and nuanced, and on stage in Toronto

The world is a bit of a mess these days. It always has been, but a couple of key events have made fighting the good fight feel even more exhausting. We’ve got to keep our fists up, but to do that sometimes we also need to laugh, and to cry, and to scream fruitlessly into the abyss. Everything Is Great Again, Second City‘s current Mainstage Revue, delivers catharsis on all of those levels. Continue reading Review: Everything Is Great Again (Second City)

Review: Stupid Fucking Bird (The Bird Collective)

This unique take on the Chekhov classic is “polished” and “nuanced”, on stage in Toronto

Stupid Fucking Bird, produced The Bird Collective and playing at a pop up theatre at 270 King Street West, bills itself as “sort of adapted from The Seagull by Anton Chekhov.” Given that description and the title of the play itself, I expected a broad goofball comedy. Instead, Stupid Fucking Bird is faithful to the heart of the original, but modernized and meta-theatrical. Continue reading Review: Stupid Fucking Bird (The Bird Collective)

Review: Elephant Girls (Red Sandcastle Theatre)

Elephant Girls is an entertaining, gender-bending piece of theatre, on stage in Toronto

In post war era London, an all female gang called the Forty Elephants were notorious for theft and extortion. Now Margo MacDonald, as both playwright and performer, brings them to life in in Elephant Girls, onstage at Red Sandcastle theatre as part of The Wilde Festival.

With intimidating poise and a sly script that balances between understated pathos and thrilling adventure, MacDonald’s show is sure to please anyone with an interest in history, queerness, or just an entertaining seventy minutes in the theatre. Continue reading Review: Elephant Girls (Red Sandcastle Theatre)

Review: Unholy (Nightwood Theatre)

“Theatrically powerful” Unholy plays on stage in Toronto

In Unholy, produced by Nightwood Theatre and playing at Buddies In Bad Times, a Youtube broadcasted debate pits four women with differing relationships to Abrahamic religions against each other to discuss the controversial matter of misogyny in religion. Though their backgrounds are diverse, all are passionate, displaying intellectual prowess contextualised by flashbacks to experiences of loss and grief. Continue reading Review: Unholy (Nightwood Theatre)

Review: Sequence (Tarragon Theatre)

Nancy-Palk-Ava-Jane-Markus-Kevin-Bundy-Jesse-LaVercombe-in-Sequence-photo-by-Cylla-von-Tiedemann-2-1024x635Sequence, at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, explores concepts including science and faith

In Sequence, onstage at Tarragon Theatre, two separate narratives play out in the same space, at the same time, exploring the same themes: science and faith, luck, coincidence and probability. A mathematician confronts a man famous for a twenty year streak of winning Super Bowl bets on the flip of a coin; a fundamentalist Christian confronts a stem cell geneticist working on a cure for her own degenerative disease. The stories never intersect, but they have unlikely — one might say improbable — details in common. Continue reading Review: Sequence (Tarragon Theatre)

Review: A Better Place (Lily Rose Productions)

A Better Place Catherine Gardner,Chis Langille,Rachel Cairn photo by Bruce PetersToronto play tackles the right to die, but could use more character development

A Better Place, onstage now at Factory Theatre and produced by Lily Rose Productions, looks at the issue of end-of-life decision-making under a terminal condition. The protagonist of the play is a 55 year old widow named Stella (Kris Langille) who is active in her bowling and Catholic communities, and just beginning to date a new man (Edward Heeley). Everything is looking up for Stella – until she is diagnosed with ALS. Continue reading Review: A Better Place (Lily Rose Productions)

Review: It’s (Kind Of) A Love Story (Tree Of Life Theatre)


Toronto show has potentially great actors lost in “deeply flawed” writing, and reinforces stereotypes

It’s (Kind Of) A Love Story, produced by Tree Of Life Theatre rankled me right away , as it opens with a scene of pure fatphobia. Michael (JaeMoon Lee) is joking to his best friend Alison (Ellie Posadas) about his desire to become “morbidly obese”, which goes on for what felt like five minutes. Thankfully, it elicited no laughs on opening night, as it is far from funny to stigmatize a particular body type. Continue reading Review: It’s (Kind Of) A Love Story (Tree Of Life Theatre)

Review: Swan (Little Black Afro Theatre)

bria-mclaughlin-and-michelle-chiu-2Swan is a “captivating horror story” on stage at the Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto

Aaron Jan’s Swan, produced by Little Black Afro Theatre and onstage now at Theatre Passe Muraille, is a captivating horror story set in Hamilton. The plot centres on an environmental activism group comprised of queer teenage girls, and their belated attempt to solve the gruesome murder of a swan ten years later. Featuring six women of colour who never even mention a man, Swan demonstrates that diversity should not be a buzzword but instead an indispensable aspect of telling compelling contemporary tales. Continue reading Review: Swan (Little Black Afro Theatre)