From Press Release
IMPEL THEATRE TO DEBUT A NEW SITE-SPECIFIC INTERACTIVE PRODUCTION OF TIM CROUCH’S ACCLAIMED I, MALVOLIO
Toronto, ON – impel theatre proudly present a new site-specific and interactive production of Tim Crouch’s I, Malvolio at the Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival. The show will mark the company’s Toronto Fringe debut, from July 3-13 at Smart Cookie Club inside Artscape Youngplace, Fringe Venue #24 180 Shaw Street.
This production is among the first English Speaking productions to be performed by an actor other than Tim Crouch, who wrote and originated the play to great acclaim at Brighton Fringe, subsequently travelling the world. The play takes the character of Malvolio from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, positioning him at the end of the play, and re-interrogates the plot of Twelfth Night from the perspective of the character who is the butt of everyone’s jokes and much abused throughout the course of that play.
This new site-specific production, conceived by Kendra Jones, features actor Justin Otto in the title role, invites the audience to think about concepts of school overcrowding, digital interaction, and consent, in the context of the ongoing cuts to education curriculum and funding in Ontario. The production also contains a digital element, encouraging audience members to interact with the performer before the performance starting July 1st via Snapchat, as well as during the performance, positioning them as middle schoolers in an overcrowded and underfunded classroom.
impel theatre is a company created by Kendra Jones in 2009 with a focus on re-thinking the way women and gender roles are portrayed in existing works in the theatre & film canon through the creation of new work in response, which amplifies the voices and perspectives of female characters and re-thinks the role of gender. Over time, this has taken many forms, from dance to immersive theatre, to audio installations, and has expanded to work that challenges our understanding of how we relate to other people and the urban physical environments we find ourselves in. Each project is an exploration that requires a new language, new collaborators, and new ways of thinking about the way the performance and audience will interact.
Where/when: Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival, July 3-13
Time: 7:30pm nightly (No nhows on Sundays)
Where: Fringe Venue #24 (Smart Cookie Club @ Artscape Youngplace)
Press contact: Kendra Jones/ impel theatre
Kendra Jones is a Winnipeg-born, Toronto-based artist whose work mingles between theatrical performance and performance art; her interest lies in pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the theatre, and the kinds of discussions that can stem from encounters with theatrical creation. She graduated with Distinction from the MA Text & Performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and also holds a BA(Hons) in Theatre Performance from the University of Winnipeg.
Her work, which alternately takes the form of directing, dramaturgy, writing and performing, is comprised of a unique blend of dance, physical theatre, and academic argument and has been showcased at various festivals in Canada and the UK. Her academic writing has been published by Common Ground Publishing, Brunel University and the Humanities Education Research Association. She is a company member of Theatre By The River, Artistic Director of her own company impel Theatre, and has been an instructor at Prairie Theatre Exchange School and the University of Winnipeg Department of Theatre & Film.
Recently she was assistant director to Steven Schipper for Clever Little Lies at RMTC, and co-director for the TBTR smash Winnipeg fringe hit Sea Wall by Simon Stephens, which was the Canadian Premiere of the play (5 Stars CBC, 5 Stars Winnipeg Free Press “A master-class in the art of tragedy” – CBC), and directed a unique one-woman interpretation of Sarah Kane’s 4.48 Psychosis at Toronto Fringe & Winnipeg Fringe 2017 (4 Stars CBC, “It drowns you in the twisted, isolated, and bittersweet mindset that comes with major depression.” – Mooney on Theatre). Her installation Intersection was an official Illuminate The Night selection for Nuit Blanche Winnipeg, and her adaptation of Christopher Marlowe’s Edward II was produced by Theatre By The River *4 Stars CBC, ““Modern Marlowe has the power to shock audiences” – Winnipeg Free Press).
Justin Otto is a Winnipeg-tested; Toronto based artist whose work is primarily theatrical performance and devised creation; his interests revolve around pushing new Canadian work, emphasizing a closer look into masculinity and what existing writing can be re-imagined into saying. A graduate of the University of Winnipeg, BA (Hons) in theatre performance.
Justin’s performances and writing have been showcased across Canada, from Equity houses, The Magnetic North Theatre Festival, the Canadian Fringe circuit and many a production, workshop or reading in Winnipeg. His play The Manic Pixie Dream Girl was awarded Best New Play from the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. A company member of Peachy Keen Productions, Prairie Kid Productions, and Co-Artistic Director of Have You Seen This Theatre(?). Most recently Justin was seen as Danny in John Patrick Shanley’s Danny And the Deep Blue Sea for Love2Theatre Company (“You feel at any moment he could explode” – Slotkin Letter).
Recently he has performed with Prairie Theatre Exchange, Marriage: A Demolition in Two Acts, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and acting/co-producing a sold out run of Harry Rintoul’s, Brave Hearts, at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. In film he can be seen starring in Prairie Kid Productions (IndieFest Award Winner) film This Is Why We Fight. Currently he is re-imaging Chuck Palahniuk novels to work as a response to masculinity in the forms of the recent American election and Alt-Right movements and his play The Manic Pixie Dream Girl is in development to become a film.
Artscape Youngplace (Fringe Venue #24) is accessible from the #501 streetcar to Shaw Street.