Browsing Category

Coming soon

Theatre is where the green grass grows

By June 6, 2019 Coming soon, Performance

Fresh ideas spring everywhere in this fine city. If you’re looking for ways to take a breather from the Raptors frenzy (just a moment, okay?), live theatre is always waiting with answers.

Continuing at Toronto’s Monarch Tavern, Danny & The Deep Blue Sea is an inaugural production from the LOVE2 Theatre Company, written by John Patrick Shanley as an early breakout play before the Pulitzer playwright went on to international acclaim for Moonstruck and Doubt. A two-hander set in a bar, the plot is deceptively simple: two dysfunctional characters from the Bronx meet in a rundown bar, and thus, we have our setting, literally. Ticket holders to this production are rewarded with complete immersion. That kind of site-specific theatre is pure adrenaline.

Toronto actor Jennifer McEwen:

This is the way this play should live. It shouldn’t be removed from the audience.

McEwen founded LOVE2 Theatre Company and said its inception was born out of personal agency after an acting hiatus.

If you want to be an actor, you need to get used to waiting around for auditions to come your way. I have come back to the profession not wanting to wait.

This kind of just-do-it moment deserves to be rewarded. The leap from discovering the text at a routine scene study with a savvy acting partner to mounting a play in Toronto’s dynamic performing arts scene is confidence, writ giant. You can catch the final weekend of this production this Friday and Saturday at 7 pm. Ticket information can be found here.

Over at Soulpepper, they might as well have blasted fireworks with the mounting of The Brothers Size, a spectacular production which ended an extended run last weekend. Will their current production, August: Osage County, be as rewarding? That’s my next show, followed by Godspell at the George Ignatieff. For those of you familiar with Godspell, seeing it over Pride Weekend is your best way to embrace the most exhilarating show in town. If you don’t know the soundtrack and are new to the show, I guarantee you won’t leave without a bounce in your back pocket. Tickets can be purchased here.

Yes, there is room for Raptors fans at all these productions. This fangirl loves it all. Toronto, I’m coming for you.

You Might Also Like

Your next web series to watch

By March 27, 2019 Coming soon, Film, Performance

The Regent Park Project is a dynamic web series, now set to debut its second season on YouTube next month. This is a must-see for those wanting an authentic glimpse into one of Toronto’s most diverse neighbourhoods, a place less storied than stamped with negative stereotypes. Until now. Have a peek at episode 1.

Sheena Robertson has worked in Toronto’s Regent Park for over 25 years. As a teacher, advocate, and artist-educator, Robertson saw a demand for projects that allowed the creative youth she engaged with daily to not only gain access to the professional film world but also to build strong relationships, and skills to share their own stories. To her, the stories were always there; they just needed a forum. Kick Start Arts, where Robertson is artistic director, jumped in with free acting classes where content began to take shape.

Sheena Robertson, director

We used a story circle process where we used prompts to generate story ideas, and over time we told stories, and responded to them, pulling out the ones that felt important to us. Using forum theatre approaches, we improvised those stories, honing them, and eventually filmed them, and created scripts by scribing the improvisations. What developed were a series of fictionalized characters, and interactive stories, drawn from the lived experiences of our participants.”

Sheena Robertson, director

Never before have we been exposed to such a flowering of narrative, spinning out of every corner. Consumers are hardly starved for content, even if it is one look-alike series after another. Along comes this unique interactive story with an absolute mandate of authenticity.

Someone said to me that they think our series is ‘like the Degrassi Street series, but real’ – and I understand what they mean, and take that as a compliment. I think we’re super unique in that I don’t see anything out there where the youth participants are so engaged in all elements of the creation; from acting, to writing, to crewing. Our hope is these episodes give people an opportunity to look beyond the negative stereotypes of Regent Park, and see the amazing, smart, articulate, and talented young people I know so well.”

Season One follows an eight-episode arc exploring a community the cast and crew describe as one of “complexity, friendship, love, fear, laughter, and irony.” I encourage you to check it out. Season Two will begin with a launch party Wednesday April 17th in Toronto. See here for details.

You Might Also Like