All posts by Trevor Abes

Review: Human Animals (ARC)

ARC presents a site-specific production of Stef Smith’s play Human Animals in Toronto

Stef Smith’s Human Animals, produced by ARC, presents us with a dystopian vision of neighbours hanging onto sanity as Toronto’s animal population turns crazed with disease. Staged in St. Matthews Clubhouse, this site-specific work delivers on the thrill of impending apocalypse through realistic characters, whose everyday problems don’t go away just because the world might end.

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Review: Canadian Rajah (Canadian Actors’ Equity Association)

 Unknown true story from Canadian history is rediscovered in new site-specific performance at Toronto heritage building

The beauty of Canadian Rajah is in the ambitious stakes that playwright Dave Carley sets for himself, which the cast and crew quite admirably exceed. Namely, they bring a little-known piece of Canadian history to life: a family drama, involving sex, racism, Borneo royalty, and political intrigue, with only two actors to step into the roles of this sprawling, decades-long story. The play is at the end of a run of intimate performances at the Campbell House Museum.

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2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival Review: A Bear Awake in Winter (Binocular Theatre)

A Bear Awake in Winter —playing at Toronto’s Factory Theatre as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival—is an absorbing, character-driven story about a high school music class. It’s a play on a mission: that of undoing the connection between discrimination and the need for constant vigilance in a world run by entitled men, and a sense of shame that it’s one’s own fault for having to always be on guard.

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Review: The Runner (Human Cargo)

A play by Toronto’s Human Cargo explores the Arab-Israeli conflict from a unique perspective

The Runner, produced by Human Cargo, dives into the moral and psychological weight of working for Z.A.K.A., a humanitarian group in Jerusalem in charge of gathering body parts—including those of perpetrators of violent acts—to be returned to families after disastrous events. Currently on at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, the work offers a ground-level view of the difficulty of seeing every person as human in a place where some are considered lesser than.

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Review: The Monkey Queen (Red Snow Collective)

Shapeshifters, spirits and demons take to the Toronto stage in The Monkey Queen

The Monkey Queen (Red Snow Collective)—on at The Theatre Centre—is a quietly subversive play that adds childlike wonder and a female perspective to Wu Cheng’En’s fable-filled novel Journey to the West, an adventurous quest for knowledge featuring monsters, demons, and spirits galore.

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