Graceful Rebellions, playing in the SummerWorks Festival, tracks experiences of (and with) queerness in war-torn Afghanistan to Canada through two generations and four characters. We start with an idealistic fourteen year old, probably around sixty years ago, imagining her own future wedding on the eve of her sister’s. She is so good-natured and naïve that it is hard for us, the audience, who know her reality will not be able to meet her fantasy. Continue reading Graceful Rebellions (Lapis Productions) 2014 SummerWorks Review
For all its didacticism, Caterwaul Theatre‘s Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales has a misleading title. Meticulous, wistful, and wise, not a single moment in this set of stories is either depressing or unintentional. It might more accurately be called Emotionally Complex Tales for Imaginative Adults.
Continue reading Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales (Caterwaul Theatre) 2014 SummerWorks Review
Anne Carson’s pseudo-translation of Sophocles’ ancient tragedy Antigone, which she published in 2012 as Antigonick, is a weird and wonderful work of dramatic poetry. (Unfortunately, it was perhaps too weird to receive much attention at the time.) I’m happy to report that the new production at SummerWorks this year is just as surprising and innovative as Carson’s original.
Carson, a poet I love for her ability to marry instinct and wit, teaches classics and ancient Greek, and this play is definitely an intellectual exercise as much as it is a gut-wrenching story. I found it very entertaining, but audiences should prepare to sing for their supper: enjoying this one takes some effort.
Continue reading Antigonick (Guilty by Association and Suitcase in Point) 2014 SummerWorks Review
And Now, The End, presented by ANTE up Productions, opened on Thursday as part of this year’s SummerWorks Festival. This new musical has a powerhouse cast and is worth adding to your list of must-see shows during SummerWorks. If the opening night audience was any indication, the show is going to sell well, and it’s definitely going to get people talking. Continue reading And Now, The End (ANTE up Productions) 2014 SummerWorks Review
In Yarn, playing as part of Toronto’s SummerWorks Festival, Alex Eddington — a composer who hasn’t written a decent song in months — explores a radical solution. And once he arrives on the far-flung Isle of Mull, primed for six months of hard labour as a hotel chambermaid in the hopes of clearing his creative block, two things happen.
In this land of ancient tales, standing stones, selkies and solitude, Eddington finds an important part of himself.
But surrounded by sudden death, indifferent nature, and only the voices in his own head to keep him company, he also begins to unravel.
Continue reading Yarn (Alex Eddington) 2014 SummerWorks Review