Wild Dogs – Nightwood Theatre

By Dana Lacey

It wasn’t like anything I’d ever seen before. Wild Dogs is a set of monologues woven together, often competing with each other. The premise, straight from the playbill: “each evening at dusk, six people gather at the edge of the woods calling their dogs back–dogs that have turned wild.” Relationships bloom as the group battles loneliness and loss,
trying to understand why their dogs left them and just what it means to be wild.

The play is an adaption of Helen Humphreys’ novel, and fans can appreciate that all of the play’s dialogue is lifted directly from the book. The result? Not quite play, not quite book reading, Wild Dogs is simply staged poetry (“To be wild is to live by instincts, not imagination.”) It’ll make you uncomfortable in an eerie, I’m-learning-something-about-myself way.

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The dangers of a liberal arts degree

by Megan Mooney

Okay, so, this isn’t really about theatre, although, for me this comes about as a result of my university theatre education.

So, last week we had an ultra sound.  As I was watching the screen I noticed a heading that said ‘gender’.  What went through my head was:

“You can’t tell gender, you can only tell sex, gender is a societal construct”

 

By the way, you can all thank Ric Knowles for me having that thought.  *grin*

Offensive Shadows – Studio 180

By Alex Rayment

So I have a confession to make. I have never seen A Midsummer Nights Dream. Theatre sacrilege, I know. You purists can send your hate mail to someone who cares. However, when I realized that Offensive Shadows being put on by Studio 180 was the sequel to said classic, I thought it would be prudent to at least read a Wikipedia synopsis on the subject.

Thank God I did, or I would’ve been bored out of my mind for the first half of this relatively short piece. I even did my research and still felt like the outsider of an inside joke.

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An Evening With Uncle Val – Theatre Passe Muraille

By Megan MooneyAndy Jones as Uncle Val

Cross posted with blogTO

I’m not entirely sure what John and I expected when we went to An Evening with Uncle Val at Theatre Passe Muraille last night, but it wasn’t what we got. We were expecting straight up comedy, maybe even sketch comedy (as much as you can get in a one-person show). But this was more. Don’t get me wrong, it was very funny, but it was also, I don’t know… illuminating?

As John said to me after the show, it does an amazing job of evoking a sense of place. Uncle Val comes from a Newfoundland outport, but is now living with his daughter and son-in-law in the suburbs of St. John’s – and you really can kind of feel the suburbs while you’re watching.

I was introduced to a few Newfoundland traditions, learning things about other parts of the country is always really interesting to me. One tradition that really caught my ear was the Newfoundland recitation tradition. I also hadn’t thought how Newfoundland joining confederation would affect the culture and even day-to-day life of the province. I forgot how recent it was, sometimes I think I lose sight of the things that happened before I was born. But since they joined confederation in 1949 there are still plenty of people alive and well who were born in the independent Dominion of Newfoundland, not Newfoundland the province.

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AGOKWE – Buddies in Bad Times

By Megan Mooney

Waawaate Fobister in AGOKWE

 

Okay.  First, a confession.  For some reason I have found this a very difficult article to write.  I saw AGOKWE ages ago, and have been turning the show over and over in my head since then.  The main problem is that I can’t actually figure out what I think of the show. 

Here’s what I do know…  I am glad I saw the show.  There are some stunning moments in this show.  And, this can’t have been an easy show to write and perform for Waawaate Fobister, in fact, the whole thing felt pretty brave.

Why brave?  Well, I wondered out loud to Lisa, who accompanied me to the show, whether this would be harder to do in front of a First Nations audience, or a non-First Nations audience (which, in the Toronto theatre scene usually translates to white).  But Fobister did this in Toronto, so it will be in front of both, since I seem to remember being told that Toronto has the highest population of First Nations people in Canada.

 

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Harold Nights – Wednesday's at Dog Theatre Company

By Alex Rayment

Away from the Numbers

The Bad Dog Theatre company is a place of improv. Unscripted shows rule at this place, with different types on different nights. Wednesday Nights are Harold Nights – “a show featuring improvisers of all experience levels teaming up and tackling . . . improvised storylines inspired from a single audience suggestion”. So, I imagine you can tell where I’m going with this. Let me tell you about last Wednesday…

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