HOT ON THE HEELS OF PRIDE, TORONTO’S SUMMER FESTIVAL LINEUP KICKS IT UP WITH THEATRE
Story by Kate Fane
Images provided by Fringe
Starting this Wednesday, Toronto will be overrun with actors, directors, writers, dancers, musicians, among all manner of performers, for the 23rd anniversary of its largest annual theatre festival: Toronto Fringe Festival. Featuring 150+ uncensored artistic creations, the 11-day extravaganza welcomes 90,000+ patrons every year.
With tickets selling for under $11 across the board, Fringe is a great way to dabble in Toronto’s thriving independent theatre scene without breaking the bank. And with past Fringe shows including major hits like The Drowsy Chaperone, Kim’s Convenience and ‘da Kink in My Hair, it’s an excellent opportunity to catch the next big thing before it hits the larger theatres.
Equally exciting is the return of the Fringe Club behind Honest Ed’s; “Part speak-easy, part soap-box, part art-experiment,” it’s the spot for showgoers to discuss their favourite performances while enjoying live music, visual art, micro-plays, industry talks and some tasty McAuslan craft beer.
Just in case you’re feeling a little overwhelmed by the options, here’s five plays we are looking forward to.
Art, architecture, humanity, health, and politics, all feature prominently in the Toronto Premiere of Tim Crouch’s England‚ a powerful, thought-provoking play written for art galleries. This experimental play examines the architecture of a person; and the costs one will go to to maintain their personal “temple”.
Written by Tim Crouch, through Toronto’s brand new SoCo Productions. On at the Urban Space gallery, 401 Richmond Street West.
Ladies-in-Waiting brings together several generations of women to explore aging, power, regrets, hindsight, and the pain of unrequited love. On the night of his death, Henry VIII’s dead wives have returned to throw him a “welcome to the afterlife” party. Seduction, betrayal, beheadings… These women have a few things they’d like to say to each other before he arrives. After all, if a man had six wives in life, who is he married to in the afterlife?
By Kate Kudelka and Lise Maher with the Little Black Dress Theatre Company. On at Theatre Passe Muraille Moonscape
WINNER OF THE FRINGE NEW PLAY CONTEST
Donny wants to help Ted do a bad thing… Hot on the heels of the Next Stage Festival hit, LOVESEXMONEY, comes a dark comedy about a man whose job is to justify the immoral acts that most of us only dream of.
By Kat Sandler, co-created by Daniel Pagett. From the Theatre Brouhaha Company, and playing at the George Ignatieff Theatre
Shockingly funny and equally moving, Fishbowl slyly reveals the connections between four wildly different – and outrageously hilarious – characters, all played by Mark Shyzer in a stunning performance.
Created and premiered at Buddies in Bad Times to great acclaim (2009), then a festival favourite on tour and Audience Choice Award winner (New York 2010).
By Mark Shyzer at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse
Tracey & her Dad did everything together. Canoed, partied, volunteered. After an unspeakable magic trick, he disappears. Forever.
Founder, Tracey Erin Smith, is the only solo performer to win Best of the Toronto Fringe and the Audience Choice Award in New York City’s Frigid Festival, two years in a row.
By Tracey Erin Smith with Burning Bush Productions. At The Centre, 316 Dupont St.