A Woman’s Guide to Peeing Outside by Holly M. Brinkman is a conversational, coming-of-age story. It’s playing at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival and it’s well worth watching for Brinkman’s humour and clever way of tying various urination incidents with her making discoveries about her body, identity and the culture around her.
Brinkman reads parts from A Woman’s Guide to Peeing Outside which is an actual book that’s been translated into several languages. So “peeing” gets mentioned dozens of times, and I’m happy to report that I’ve taken away a technique or two.
Highlights of this solo performance include a brilliant re-enactment of the movie Titanic (my favourite moment) to evoke her Leo-mania phase, a demonstration of how to squat with a buddy, and the sharing of a cute scrapbook from Brinkman’s teenage years, complete with celebrity photos.
The set is the opposite of sophisticated. There is an easel used to display a handful of poster-sized images as well as a bench where she puts down her book. There is no visual polish, but there is music from the 80s and 90s to evoke Brinkman’s youth.
I personally found A Woman’s Guide to Peeing Outside to be a bit long, but I think my fellow audience members would disagree. There were hoots of laughter throughout Brinkman’s performance as well as shouts of encouragement and solidarity. Earnest and endearing, Brinkman tells stories that resonate, bravely demonstrating vulnerability and boldly sharing her empowerment.
- A Woman’s Guide to Peeing Outside plays at the St. Vladimir Institute. (620 Spadina Ave.)
- Tickets are $13, including a $2 service charge. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes and discounts for serious Fringers.
- Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Festival Box Office at Scadding Court (275 Bathurst St.), and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
- Content Warnings: mature language; sexual content; audience participation; not recommended for children.
- This venue is wheelchair-accessible through a secondary route. After the building’s business hours, a staff member will need to escort you through this route, so plan to arrive at least 15 minutes early for evening shows.
- Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.
- The Toronto Fringe Festival is scent-free: please do not wear perfumes, colognes, or other strongly-scented products.
- Wednesday July 3rd, 10:00 pm
- Friday July 5th, 8:30 pm
- Saturday July 6th, 1:00 pm
- Sunday July 7th, 10:15 pm
- Wednesday July 10th, 4:30 pm
- Friday July 12th, 8:00 pm
- Sunday July 14th, 3:15 pm
Pictured: Alice Jones and Holly M. Brinkman in A Woman’s Guide to Peeing Outside. Photographer: Derek Ford Photography