Accepting the vow of challenge on stage

I am a sucker for time-challenged, boundary-enhanced performances. I love a mission where artists have a limited amount of time to produce. What you get on show night is essentially the best they could do with the amount of time they were given. I love these challenges because they provide a platform for talent to shine if it is there. Good writing and clever thought is separated from the mundane and although often you have to sit through excruciating works, they add to the mix of the night and make you appreciate the good all the more.

In the case of the short plays at the Tranzac Club (292 Brunswick Ave.) tonight, playwrights were given a theme and a week to write an 8-10 minute play. After choosing their plays, directors and actors had a week before they were brought to the stage as part of the Wedding production. And, after taking their wedding vows, the show started and the audience waited to see what they would be presented with.

Karine Richard started this idea in Montreal, where it was a huge success. In fact, there were waiting lists of people trying to get involved. Tonight's performance was the second Toronto Wedding, so she admits she is not yet sure how Toronto will respond to this approach to so many different elements of theatre all at once. I say, the more you stir it up, the better.

Tonight's theme was Censorship and our response to it. Each play addressed this topic, some more clearly than others. Rosemary Doyle's clever take on the censorship in, 'Don't Show This Play,' was refreshing and original. Racy characters from gay, lesbian and bi-sexual erotic novels were awaiting their fate from Glad Day Bookstore as they go forward in their all familiar battle against censorship. The play, despite a slightly lagging history lesson, used a clever approach to evoke thought.

Unfortunately, none of the other plays left a similar mark or were effectively daring with their message. But, there were still some giggles in Sedina Fiati's 'Unexpected Outing' as two lesbians battle their private status in public. 'One Way', by Hugh Mcharj also brought smiles, but it was hard to know what to make of the plot when it turns out none of the actors or the director knew what to make of it either! Such is the challenge.
Think you can do better? If such a mission intrigues you, the next Wedding will be in May. They will be looking for writers, directors and actors...til death do you part.


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