All posts by Ilana Lucas

Ilana Lucas has been a big theatre nerd since witnessing a fateful Gilbert and Sullivan production at the age of seven. She has studied theatre for most of her life, holds a BA in English and Theatre from Princeton and an MFA in Dramaturgy and Script Development from Columbia, and is currently a professor of English and Theatre at Centennial College. She believes that theatre has a unique ability to foster connection, empathy and joy, and has a deep love of the playfulness of the written word. Her favourite theatrical experience was the nine-hour, all-day Broadway performance of The Norman Conquests, which made fast friends of an audience of strangers.

The Tall Building (It Could Still Happen) 2015 SummerWorks Review

Photo of Molly Flood by rockitpromo

The Tall Building (It Could Still Happen), now playing at the 2015 edition of SummerWorks, takes place in a building that keeps growing floors. Meanwhile, a city much like our current Toronto (but run by a mysterious “lady mayor”) slowly devolves into a coyote-strewn, apocalyptic wasteland of fire and wind.

In a series of intriguing vignettes, three characters – a closed-off, suspicious woman named Sulla who owns a single pair of magical, fraying pants (Molly Flood); a credulous and sweet 12-year-old boy with absent parents, his own street newspaper, and a 7-11 obsession (Philip Nozuka); and a pompous, ineffectual assassin (Clinton Carew) – reach an uneasy détente as the world outside burns.

Continue reading The Tall Building (It Could Still Happen) 2015 SummerWorks Review

the marquise of O- (the red light district) 2015 SummerWorks Review

photo by rockitpromo

the marquise of O- (the red light district), adapted and directed by Lauren Gillis and Ted Witzel for SummerWorks, is loosely based on an 1808 short story by Heinrich von Kleist, filtered through Kant’s ideas on reality and knowledge, and the remix culture of Reddit.

This story, about a widow whose life and honour are saved from an encroaching army by an instantly-besotted count, and who later mysteriously falls pregnant, is both devotedly retold and revised into a modern exploration of how we treat rape, and how belief and rationalization can be tenuous and dangerous things.

Continue reading the marquise of O- (the red light district) 2015 SummerWorks Review

Review: The Short Short Play Festival – Cassandra, Table For Two, Salty Bachelors (Social Capital Theatre)

Director Kerry Ann Doherty rehearses with Allan Price and Randy Read

Last night, I reviewed three of the twelve plays being presented at The Social Capital Theatre as part of The Short Short Play Festival. It’s a great idea: present four different groupings of three plays twice each over four nights in a casual setting with a bar.

As the adorable, tiny shorts hanging from a clothesline on the ceiling indicate, these are short works of theatre, twenty minutes tops, that don’t often get to see the stage. After my second night, and having seen half of the festival, I’m inclined to agree that good things come in small packages.

Continue reading Review: The Short Short Play Festival – Cassandra, Table For Two, Salty Bachelors (Social Capital Theatre)

Review: The Short Short Play Festival – In Frame, The Park, Grow Up Juliet (Social Capital Theatre)

Anand Rajaram, Taylor Trowbridge, Sunnie James, and Tahirih Vejdani

The Short Short Play Festival delivers bite-sized plays on stage in Toronto

The Social Capital Theatre serves up a buffet of short plays in an intimate Toronto setting in The Short Short Play Festival — a perfect evening for those who find hour-long plays to be taxing. It’s snack-size theatre, full of variety; a 20-minute play has to make its point quickly, and leave us with one indelible impression.

Plays of this length rarely get a chance at performance and so an appetizer menu of 12 plays over four days is a treat. As Shakespeare might say, though, they be but little, they are fierce.

Continue reading Review: The Short Short Play Festival – In Frame, The Park, Grow Up Juliet (Social Capital Theatre)