Thursday, 6 August 2015

SummerWorks 2015: Women!

SummerWorks Performance Festival
August 6 - 16, 2015
Missing the Toronto Fringe Festival, well, satisfy your love of theate and add some dance, live art and music to your days and or evenings at SummerWorks 2015! The 11 day festival kicks off tonight at various venues west of Yonge Street, and branching north and south of Bathurst. The festival is in its 25th year, and plays are selected by jury. 

There are a few plays by women that caught my eye. Here are a few that I intend to check out. Be sure to share your thoughts on these and other plays, by commenting on this post or at, or on twitter at @tmtmshow. Let's inspire and engage each other.

Written and Created by Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton; Performed by Gwynne Phillips , Briana Templeton and Thom Stoneman; Stage Managed by Vanessa K. Purdy 

Yes, July has passed, but what intrigues me about this play is I like to mix things up when it comes to my venues, and if I can see something set outside, then I'll give it a try. This performance is set at St. George the Martyr Church on John Street. This sentence drew me in "Inspired by the cult documentary Grey Gardens and Helene de Rothschild’s 1972 Surrealist Ball, An Evening in July gives audience members a chance to attend their surreal fete as guests."  I can't resist a surreal fest, can you? My imagination is running wild, so I hope this is really dark and really funny.

Written by Andrea Scott; Directed by Nigel Shawn Williams; Performed by Sascha Cole, Peyson Rock, and Akosua Amo-Adem; Stage Managed by Farnoosh Talebpour; Lighting Design by Jennifer Lennon; Sound Design by Verne Good; Costume and Set Design by Laura Gardner; Produced by Call Me Scotty Productions

She looks so darn sad, doesn't she? Yep, this picture really spoke to me, then when I say that the production company was Call Me Scotty, my trekker brain cells said beam me up. (Yes, I know that's not how it's spelled in Star Trek).  This treatment of the nanny/employer dynamics promises an influence of the West African spider god, Anansi. How will magic realism play out in this all too common tale of employee oppression and "modern day slavery"? Stay tuned...

Written and Performed by Ngozi Paul; Directed and Dramaturged by d'bi.young anitafrika; Choreographed and Assistant Directed by Roger C. Jeffrey; Dramaturged by Birgit Schreyer Duarte; Musical Composition and Collaboration by L'Oqenz and Waleed Abdulhamid; Costume Design by Jeannette Linton

I honestly did not select this play because I wanted to contrast slavery (Better Angels) with emancipation. I just wanted to see the amazing Ngozi Paul (da kink in her hair). This play about identity offers a journey into "a musical landscape using movement, sound, dance and projection while reexamining our relationship with ourselves, our sex and the dark matter that binds us all."  I am so there. Plus any play that references Sarah Basrtman, is one that I want to see. Don't know who Sarah is? That's why I want you to see it. 

adapted and directed by lauren gillis and ted witzel; set concept by camie koo; costumes by amanda wong; sound by christopher stanton; video by wesley mckenzie; production managed by christopher ross and amanda wong; performed by kaleb alexander, rong fu, tyler hagemann, richard partington, g. kyle shields, and eve wylden

Here is a bit of the description: "the marquise of O— is pregnant, but doesn’t know how it happened. was it the immaculate conception or an ordinary sex crime? she puts an ad in the newspaper to find out." Are you kidding me?! Of course, I want to find out how this happened and who the father is. Plus, the set design is by Camie Koo, and she is talented beyond belief, and her Dora Award wins and nominations are no fluke. It's put on by the red light district and this promises to be, let's say, far from normal:-)

All photos courtesy of 

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