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Thursday Theatre Review: Summerworks


Summer is the time of festivals galore in Toronto, and it's no different for theatre. We've just finished Fringe, and now today marks the beginning of Summerworks.

As Jack mentioned, Summerworks is different than Fringe in that it is a juried festival (so, not quite as hit and miss as Fringe which works on a lottery system) and the shows are mostly from local Toronto artists, as opposed to the international offerings of Fringe.

This is more a preview than a review as the festival starts tonight. It runs for two weeks with shows happening in the evenings on weeknights and all through the day on weekends.

Shows are categorized under drama, experimental/interdisciplinary, reading series, youth reading series, and comedy.

The festival may not be as well known as the fringe, but it certainly isn't new. This is it's 17th year, and they're going strong with over 45 shows, most of them new works by Canadian playwrights, along with several free reading. Free readings are a neat thing to go to, because not only are they, well, free... But they are also a testing ground for an author to see how the words work with an audience.

I've listed some shows that have stood out to me. I hope to review some of these for you on Thursday - but don't wait for me to see them, check it out and add your voice when I do write them up. For now the below commentary just comes from the play publicity itself.

drama
A Thought in Three Parts - groundwater productions, Tarragon Mainspace (30 Bridgman Ave.)
Part porn, part debate - the Toronto debut of Wallace Shawn's most controversial work.

What They Don't Know - Next Play Productions, Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgman Ave.)
Don't be fooled. They're both telling the truth. A theatre-noir thriller.

experimental/interdisciplinary
HONK, If You Can Hear Me! - Converse-Station, Royal St. George College parking lot (120 Howland Ave.)
An outdoor, symphonic play that takes a humourous look at life in the fast lane.

comedy
Muhammad of Yorkville - Nobody's Business Theatre, Factory Mainspace (125 Bathurst Street)
A play about religious controversy, artistic integrity and getting dumped on the phone.

Mexico City & Yogyakarta - AbsitOmen Theatre & Belltower Theatre, Tarragon Extra Space (30 Bridgman Ave.)
Two cities - two playwrites - exploring "exotic" travel and cultural voyeurism in the post-colonial age.


Prices for all shows are $10, or $12 in advance, or you can get a 3 play pass for $25.

For more details check out the Summerworks website.

Photo of cast of Muhammad of Yorkville by Jessie Hayes and Chris Altorf


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