Garage Collective: Down a Laneway
Garage Collective founder Kathleen Reichelt will not be paying the big bucks to rent theatre space in downtown Toronto. Instead, the collective transforms her 400 square foot downtown garage into a performance space to explore new work that is experimental, feminist and immediate. Reichelt says, "It's the most studio space I have ever had in my ten years living in the city."
Walking down the laneway beside the house leads to the candle-lit box office. There's an outdoor seating area that can be used for pre- or post-theatre chat. Inside The Garage is brightly lit with the usual stage props scattered throughout, and a prelude video installation playing on the television screen. Two rows of folding chairs are set up along the back wall facing the double garage door, as patrons gather to experience something beyond the ordinary in theatreland.
'Throw Like A Girl' explores DADA, memory and psyche from a feminist perspective. It was written and produced by Reichelt, and features Olivia Roblin performing in her first one woman show. Actually there is quite a bit of internal dialogue throughout, courtesy of the interactive video piece by Christina Kozak. Roblin plays a strong role characterizing both Mimi and C1. "I am not trying to make a one-size-fits-all narrative that claims to pinpoint the female experience, I am only sharing what I know", states Reichelt.
Not only is the space unique in itself, the performance piece provides 30 minutes of dark serenity, that questions is reality a mind debate? The creative use of music including tunes by Cat Power, Velvet Underground and The Breeders tie everything together nicely. This is DIY theatre at its best. Mr. Harper, please take note: you cannot stop creativity from happening in this country.
The Garage is located at 468 Bathurst Street just three houses north of Cineforum, another DIY initiative started by local activist Reg Hartt several years ago. 'Throw Like A Girl" runs until October 25th only, with shows nightly at 8pm and weekend matinees at 2:30pm. Very limited seating so get there at least 30 minutes prior to start time. PWYC admission ($5 - $10 suggested). Beverages are available for purchase. 416.203.7785.
Writing and photography by Bryen Dunn.
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