Hiraeth, playing at this year’s SummerWorks Festival, is a retrospective look at the painful and awkward times of preteen-hood on the brink of Y2K. Stylized as a sharing session during group therapy, this is a one-woman story by Mandy E. MacLean as she emotionally relives those formative years for your pleasure.
Continue reading Hiraeth (The Hiraeth Collective) 2019 SummerWorks Review
Safe and Sorry by Lester Trips (Theatre) is playing at the 2019 SummerWorks Festival. It’s a surreal descent into the dark, nebulous online communities surrounding pickup artistry, and manages moments of frightening hilarity and quiet reflection.
Continue reading Safe and Sorry (Lester Trips Theatre) 2019 SummerWorks Review
Performed partly in ASL, using both surtitles and spoken word, Deafy, written and performed by Chris Dodd and directed by Ashley Wright, is now on as part of SummerWorks 2019.
Dodd plays Nathan Jesper, a liaison with the National Deaf Association who travels the world giving educational talks on Deaf culture. At the top of the show he is late for a scheduled talk. As his presentation progresses, it derails from his usual content and we eventually learn why. Continue reading Deafy (Why Not Theatre) 2019 SummerWorks Review
Follow parking enforcement officer (PEO for short) Rita Mae Nelson (played by Jamillah Ross) on a walk around Parkdale in St. Peon of Parkdale, produced by Theatre-A-Go-Go and playing at SummerWorks 2019.
Continue reading St. Peon of Parkdale (Theatre-A-Go-Go) Summerworks 2019 Review
Crossing into Lullaby is a work in development, and part of the SummerWorks 2019 Lab programming. The best way I can describe the way it’s presented is that it’s like a staged reading, but with actors moving around the stage rather than sitting in place.
I love stage readings. They set my imagination free. Often, when I think back to them, I’m not sure if it’s a reading I saw or a play with a set and costumes that I’m remembering.
Continue reading Crossing into Lullaby – SummerWorks 2019 Review
The year is 1969 — Apollo 11 is about to land on the moon leading to Neil Armstrong’s one giant leap for mankind. The Vietnam war rages on, the Black Panther movement is on the rise, Trudeau (Sr.) is in office, and in Toronto , Rochdale College, an experiment in co-op housing and alternative education, is on the brink of collapse. Playing at this year’s SummerWorks Festival, written by David Yee and directed by Nina Aquino, the graduating class of York University’s Theatre Department is prepared to take you on a journey of Rochdale‘s wild side. Continue reading Rochdale (GovCon) 2019 SummerWorks Review
Closer by Vice Versa Company playing at Toronto Media Arts Centre (32 Lisgar St.) as part of the 2019 SummerWorks Festival, redefines traditional understandings of “upstage” and “downstage” by using a Parkdale alley spanning a city block as the performance space. It was somewhat daunting to sign a liability waiver and be led into a dark alley in advance of this performance, but the show was not at all scary. Continue reading Closer (Vice Versa) 2019 SummerWorks Review
The Breath Between, part of Summerworks 2019, is the result of this year’s AMY Project (Artists Mentoring Youth) Summer Performance Program, the Spring Theatre Creation Program and the Design Mentorship Program. The Theatre Creation program is offered to young women and non-binary youth between 14 and 22 years of age. The Summer Performance Program is offered to youth who have completed the spring program.
Continue reading The Breath Between (The AMY Project) 2019 SummerWorks Review
burn, burned, produced by Rodley Diverlus and Syrus Marcus Ware, is now playing at SummerWorks. Part performance art and dance, the show features a band of revolutionaries regrouping after “decades of race wars” in a fictional future.
Diverlus notes that his choreography primarily strived to explore – but not definitively answer – areas of his own curiosity. As such, I tried not to find a clear story in the movement, but to pay attention to the feelings it evoked.
Continue reading burn, burned (Rodney Diverlus and Syrus Marcus Ware) 2019 SummerWorks Review
CHILD-ISH, a work-in-progress play by Sunny Drake and The CHILD-ISH Collective is playing at the 2019 SummerWorks Festival. If you’re missing school over the summer, or the child-like wonder of your youth, this one’s for you. It’s fun, silly, earnest and heartfelt, and gives voice to the unbridled curiosity and wisdom of children.
Continue reading CHILD-ISH (Sunny Drake and the CHILD-ISH Collective) 2019 SummerWorks Review