Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘Sketch Comedy’

“Mixing Sketch Comedy, Disney and Broadway, THE ADVENTURES OF TOM SHADOW Will Take You Down the Rabbit Hole, With a Little Help from These Hilarious Friends” In Conversation with Creator/Performer Christian Smith

Interview by Hallie Seline

After hearing the buzz about its first short run last spring, it was a pleasure to chat with creator/performer Christian Smith about the return of The Adventures of Tom Shadow, this time at the Factory Studio Theatre. We spoke about where the idea for the show came from, how this impressive group of performers came together to create it and then we delved deep into some childhood nostalgia… as you do.

Don’t miss your chance to catch The Adventures of Tom Shadow, on stage from October 11th to 22nd.

HS: Tell me a little bit about the show The Adventures of Tom Shadow.

CS: Think Disney for Adults. We’re combining the traditions of a sketch comedy show under the guise of a musical. It’s funny, but we’ve added a hefty dose of heart.

HS: Where did the idea for the show come from?

CS: One of our cast mates, Mark [Little], used to be in a sketch troupe and he had come up with a premise a while back called Tom Shadow. I won’t spoil what that sketch was about (that would spoil our show too!) but when we were meeting to discuss the show we wanted to create, that idea sort of stuck. It has evolved a lot from the original premise but, at its core, we take you down a rabbit hole in The Adventures of Tom Shadow the same way Mark originally intended with his premise. You’ll see what I mean.

HS: Can you speak to me a bit about how it was created?

CS: All five cast members (Kevin Vidal, Natalie Metcalfe, Lisa Gilroy, Mark Little & Myself) all started coming up with a story. We then broke the show down into beats, went away and wrote our own separate scenes and brought it to the group so we can then re-work the scenes as a group. Once we knew where we wanted the story to go, there was a lot of improvising through muddy parts of the script on its feet, then subsequent re-writes. It was a ton of work. Luckily all of us are improvisers and writers so we just had to find a way to meld our individual styles to suit the creation of the show.

HS: Amazing! And it’s also a musical?! Tell me a bit about the music in the show.

CS: Lisa, Natalie and Mark are exceptional song writers. We just started writing music that was both funny to us and told the story. We took a lot of inspiration from Disney and Broadway musicals, breaking down why they were so successful. We brought on a musical director (originally Nicola Dempsey, now Jordan Armstrong) and they’ve created the original music. Both M.Ds are the absolute best and crucial to the success of the show.

HS: Talk to me about the people involved: How did you come together? Have you worked together before? What has it been like working with this group?

CS: We all wanted to work with each other so we just met for coffee and decided we were going to put up a show! What came out of it was a surprise to us!

All of us have worked together in some capacity except for our director Peter Stevens. Peter is a writer/performer in the sketch comedy troupe Elephant Empire and his work is soooo very good. We all agreed he’d be the director to steer this ship and we couldn’t be happier. The cast members have all worked together before in many capacities. Natalie, Lisa, Kevin and myself have worked with Second City, as well as our M.D. Jordan Armstrong and our Lighting Designer, Meg Maguire.

We knew our Stage Manager/Sound Engineer through the Toronto comedy scene, Bad Dog Theatre Company and his group Sex T-Rex. This industry feels small sometimes, where everyone can seem to get a chance to work together. This group of people also so happen to be some of my best friends.

HS: If you could be any character from a children’s story, who would it be and why?

CS: Great question. What constitutes children’s story? I love Simba from The Lion King because he’s mischievous and can SING SO WELL! If we’re thinking younger… Sam from Green Eggs & Ham.

Rapid Fire Question Round

Favourite movie growing up: Independence Day

Favourite childhood snack: Dill Pickle Chips

If you could choose one song that represents your childhood or yourself as a kid, what would it be? Ugh. Tough. Simpsons Theme Song? A lotta theme songs. Doug. Rugrats! For sure theme songs.

What advice would you give yourself as a kid before, as you mention for Tom Shadow, “real life comes flooding in”? Read more.

If you could have an adventure anywhere (real or made up), where would it be and what would you do? Oh man. Tokyo or the deep woods. I want to have an extended adventure (live in Japan) or try to fend for myself in the woods. That last adventure is a pipe dream. I’ll have to get better at… many things.

Describe the show in 5-10 words: We’ll make you laugh a lot and maybe cry maybe

The Adventures of Tom Shadow

Who:
Presented by Theatre Lab
Written and Performed by Lisa Gilroy, Mark Little, Natalie Metcalfe, Christian Smith, and Kevin Vidal
Directed by Peter Stevens
Music Direction by Jordan Armstrong
Sound Design / Stage Management by Seann Murray
Lighting Design by Meg Maguire

What:
Written and performed by Toronto’s top comedians, The Adventures of Tom Shadow is a hysterically-funny yet heart-wrenching comedic musical that follows the whimsical character Tom Shadow as he travels through the magical Cloud Kingdom! But what begins as a typical children’s story is immediately derailed as real life comes flooding in to destroy the magic. Think Peter Pan meets Taken…but with music!

Where:
Factory, Studio Theatre
125 Bathurst Street, Toronto, ON

When:
October 11–22, 2017

Tickets:
In the spirit of accessible theatre, Theatre Lab will be offering tickets at three price-points to allow patrons to pick the price that fits their budget: $23, $33, $43 + HST. Patrons are encouraged to pay what they can afford. All tickets are General Admission.
https://www.factorytheatre.ca/what-s-on/tomshadow/

Connect: 
t: @TheaterLab
fb: /TheatreLab
#TomShadow

#FiercelyFringe 2017 – Part 2

It’s the most WONDERFUL TIME of the year! Happy Opening to the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival! Every year, we are constantly inspired by the core values of The Toronto Fringe Festival:

  • It’s about creating art at a grassroots level.
  • It’s “theatre by the people, for the people“.
  • It’s about taking risks and exploring something new.

So, we asked this year’s Boss Fringe Artist Babes: How are you FIERCELY representing these values? How are you #FiercelyFringe?

After an overwhelming response, we’re thrilled to share our first #FiercelyFringe preview with you, listed in no particular order, and in two parts (because we can only get our scroll on for so long…)

We hope this gives you a more personal look at these shows and the artists behind them as you plan your viewing schedule over the next two weeks.

Be sure to follow along with us on twitter, facebook and instagram for our full #FringeTO coverage celebrating all of the people and moving pieces that make this festival so electric!

See you at the Fringe Club #FiercelyFringe friends!

– ITGR


The Food Project

 

WHO ARE YOU?  

We are Theatre By Committee! We’re a seven-member collective based here in Toronto creating narrative-focused, contemporary work in found spaces. We like to do things “by committee” with an ensemble-approach that rejects role-specific or hierarchical models in our administrative and creative environments.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

The Food Project is an in-depth exploration of where your food comes from – how it’s grown, how it’s transported, and where it goes once you decide you don’t want it anymore. The project is an attempt to answer the question “can we eat our way to a better world?” Dealing with the meat industry, poultry and eggs and even the darker side of veganism, the Food Project asks audiences to explore their own food choices, and consider what changes they are able, and willing to make.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

The Food Project joins a long history of site-specific shows, with an intimate, interactive show based in the SKETCH kitchen. A collaborative effort with Committee members as well as some TBC new-comers, the Food Project aims to present an immediate and entertaining look at the food industry.

CONNECT

t: @theatrebycommittee
i: @TBCommittee


Dear Uncle Wish

WHO ARE YOU?

We’re Theatre Enthused. We believe unbridled and un-ironic enthusiasm is necessary to create mind and heart expanding theatre.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

This show will have audiences thinking about what the past has to offer us. Bride, a young, anxious nurse is convinced that her hometown will never change. The audience knows that the folk-healing her Uncle practices is a lost art, and that old Newfoundland culture is nearly gone. Where do we get our bearings, when pain and loss seem the only constant? This show’s mix of humour and heartache will soothe the most tightly wound Torontonian. 

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

I’m a Toronto theatre newcomer and I’ve hustled with very limited resources to assemble an amazing team (Adam Bailey, Jamie Johnson, Ryan Hughes). I wrote it, I’m producing it, I composed music for it and I’m starring in it. I knew all that would be necessary if I want to break into this scene, so I did it.

CONNECT

t: @dearunclewish 
i: @dearunclewish
#DUW


Odd One Out

WHO ARE YOU?

Playwright Maureen Gualtieri: Our show is about how we all create narratives for ourselves in order to make sense of the world. 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

We’ve all told – and continue to tell – ourselves stories in order to organize impersonal, sometimes terrifying circumstances around us, and give meaning to cosmically unfair events, like the loss of a deeply loved one as we are doomed to always quest for “why.”

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

It’s about identity – how we can spend so much time molding ourselves into a shape that we think pleases others, a shape that doesn’t tip anyone off to what’s inside struggling to be contained, until the day something cracks and we can’t be held back anymore. The play’s about love, but it’s also a mystery, concealing the possibility that somehow, under the brutal truth of real life, there may be a bit of magic that offers a tantalizing escape from normal.

CONNECT

#LesbiansVsAliens #LoveWins


Adult Entertainment

WHO ARE YOU?

Triple ByPass Productions seek to perform work that is relevant, bold and engaging, telling stories from all walks of life, in a way only an acting ensemble can. By focusing on characters and relationships we approach our work as truthfully and honestly as possible, creating unforgettable pieces grounded in realism. This Toronto based collective is; raw, unrelenting and unapologetic.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

George F. Walker’s Suburban Motel series is a Canadian classic. We love his conflicted characters and the unpredictable world they inhabit; it’s an actor’s dream. The Fringe Festival offers us indie artists a platform and the opportunity to perform in a theatre we otherwise couldn’t afford!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Cops, lawyers, husbands, wives, truth and lies. Sex, liquor, secret deals, fist fights and perhaps even love. You never know what you’re going to find behind the door of a motel…

CONNECT

t: @triplebypasspro
i: @triplebypass_to


Sketch Betch

 

WHO ARE YOU?

We are Sketch Betch, a Toronto based sketch comedy troupe who met studying improv at The Second City.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

You should come and see our show, Life’s a Betch, for three reasons: Gregorian monks doing 80s classics, tons of John Travolta, a lot of people dying. And nipple play.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?  

What makes this show #FiercelyFringe you ask? Well, we wrote it. From scratch. And then we baked it at a low temperature for like 6 months. We added a dash of unemployment, a sprinkle of self-doubt, and a whole lot of love and hard work. We bring you our show.

CONNECT

t: @sketchbetches
i: @sketchbetches


Operation SUNshine

 

WHO ARE YOU?  

Jennifer McKinley, playwright, performer and producer of Operation SUNshine. I have a background in clown, comedy and storytelling and I’m an expert cat herder, artist wrangler and ego juggler. I’m also a champion research ferret and stalwart guardian of the grammar, self-appointed and mildly annoying about it. 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Who doesn’t love to be regaled with poetic tales of Toronto’s dark side from the depths of a serial killer’s lair? Operation SUNshine offers something for everyone looking to whet their depraved appetites. Sex! Revolution! Psychedelics! 179 actual SUNshine Girls rescued from the walls of a dank basement bathroom!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

The seed for Operation SUNshine was literally dug up from underground by me for you. 25-year-old pinups and sensational news stories from the Toronto SUN assist with the storytelling while Clara McBride’s fierce direction draws forth a complementary physical narrative from my not-always-so-willing body. I’ve never been so sore. Or so invigorated!

CONNECT

#OpSUN
t: @JennyDonkey, @claramcbride
i: @jay_mac77@helingungoren


Rough Magic

WHO ARE YOU?

Theatre Arcturus is an award-winning company that creates visually stunning plays that weave aerial arts into the world of the story. Winners of the 2016 Cutting-Edge Award for creating innovative theatre, we’re back at Toronto Fringe with our brand new show, Rough Magic.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

A collision of air and earth, Rough Magic creates a vertical world to tell the story of Ariel and Caliban in a newly imagined prequel to The Tempest.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Unlike anything else at the festival, this highly physical show features demanding performances by a duo of grassroots creator/performers who put the story first, meeting between air and ground as two very different beings, erasing boundaries that make us fear the “other.”

CONNECT

#RoughMagic
t: @theatrearcturus
i: @theatrearcturus


SNAP!

 

WHO ARE YOU?

We are NightShift, a Fiercely Fringe company started by a couple of working class artists who wanted to build meaningful stories! Every one of our company is a Fringe veteran. Allan Michael even started his career doing Shakespeare on the street. We are a half-a-shoestring company, doing it all ourselves, every project. Heck, we don’t even have a theatre. We’re performing in a room at Scadding Court!

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

SNAP! began as a writer’s challenge and grew into a 20-minute play. People liked it, said it was about them and people they knew. It grew into a 50-minute play. It’s about anger and the day-to-day experiences that make us all crazy. Nobody’s exempt.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

When people see this show they may not leave with useful strategies to manage their anger, but they will definitely have laughed hard enough to forget why they were mad in the first place! SNAP! Fiercely Funny!

CONNECT

t: @snaptofringe
i: @snaptofringe


Brain Storm

WHO ARE YOU?

LUCID LUDIC, a company specializing in devising physical and visually striking theatre, with an emphasis on interdisciplinary collaboration and exploring the unifying power of live performance.

BRAIN STORM is a viscerally experienced, arresting journey, about one woman dealing with a brain injury, another communicating with the spirits, and the neurosurgeon who is convinced that consciousness supersedes death.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

It is at once super personal, hyper-local and universally accessible. It offers a unique look at the cross-section between history, science, and spiritualism, and manages to do it in a visually stunning and physically evocative way.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Brain Storm was created on and is communicated through the bodies of women. The effort and artistic research that has gone into the piece shows the creators’ passions and fierce determination to make this work live, breathe, and move. This is what makes Brain Storm so very fiercely – and proudly – Fringe.

CONNECT

t: @lucid_ludic
i: @lucid_ludic
#brainstormplay


The Teeny Tiny Music Show  

WHO ARE YOU?

SNEAKY SNEAKY PRODUCTIONS. Toronto’s first marching band theatre company dedicated to creating unexpected musical events within a theatrical setting.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH OUR SHOW?

This ten-piece band enters the world of the show through the bathroom door, from behind the bar, and to the complete surprise of the audience! Meanwhile, the lead vocalist doubles as a storyteller narrating how she approached a musician in the middle of his performance to ask his name, his age and if he was single! 

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We know there are more women than men in theatre. So if ya got it, flaunt it! Our band is an all-male cast with a female vocalist at the helm of it all! We’ve got it reversed – the gentlemen are sexy in matching bowties and cummerbunds, and the lady is a fox-onesie wearing silly bum! As we combine storytelling, design and staging with what begins as a duo lounge act, our musicians become pieces of the narrative’s progression. 

CONNECT

i: @SneakySneakyProductions
t: Hayley Pace @haelaaaaa @sneakysquared
#TTMS #sneakysneakysneaky #teenytinymusicshow 


Moonlight After Midnight

 

WHO ARE YOU?  

Concrete Drops Theatre, based out of Brooklyn, NY, we are an American and a Canadian couple who met on the fringe in 2010 and have been touring our own original work ever since.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Moonlight After Midnight has won the top critic’s prizes at fringes in Orlando, Ottawa, Cincinnati, Vancouver, and Adelaide, Australia. It’s a two-person show about a couple who randomly meet in a hotel room, nothing, though, is as it seems, not in the story, the relationship, nor the room in which they’ve met. Moonlight After Midnight, then, is both a love story and a puzzle to be solved by the audience – a fantasy about a fantasy we’ve all shared.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Moonlight After Midnight is told in a unique style – one that plays with time and space, offering multiple layers of reality that play out concurrently, but never conflict. It’s mind-bending, but always clear; it leads towards a conclusion, but allows the audience to actually reach it on its own.

CONNECT

t: @ConcreteDrops
i: @ConcreteDrops
#moonlightaftermidnight, #concretedrops


Delirium  

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m a New York-based storyteller who’s been touring festivals around the world for a decade.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

In Delirium, I’m telling a story about our biggest two pre-occupations: love & death. It’s about making meaning in an indifferent universe. Laughing about it, crying about it – feeling it together. The show is fun, it’s meaningful, it’s unabashed, and high-energy. Delirium just got an award at the biggest US festival (Best Solo at Orlando Fringe) and has gathered lots of swell reviews. But most importantly, everyone in the room, including myself, seems to get what they need from the show as we huddle around the virtual campfire for a story about ourselves.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

What makes me “fiercely fringe” is that I’ve been creating, touring, and entirely self-producing my own original work for ten years, living out of a suitcase the majority of that time. All for the pleasure and privilege of telling true stories to other people about what it is to be a person. It’s an experience that needs no approval from an artistic director, or similar cultural gate-keeper. 

CONNECT

t: @martindockery
f: /martindockery
#martindockery, #delirium
w: martindockery.com


Bad Date: a cautionary tale…

WHO ARE YOU?

Hi there, my name is Erin Aubrey. I am a single female in my 30’s who is the creator, co-producer, writer (of book, music and lyrics) as well as lead actress of the upcoming Toronto Fringe Play, Bad Date: a cautionary tale..

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Privy to the inner-most thoughts of the play’s hero (Molly), which are all delivered through original song (song titles include: “Dick Pics” and “Why Can’t I Cum? (from oral stimulation?)), the audience gets an unfiltered look into the mind of a single, 30-something woman, whilst bearing witness to one of the most awkward dates in the history of dating. 

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Toronto audiences will love this insanely funny, bold, and risky show… It is as fierce as a play could be, and IS, in no uncertain terms, #FiercelyFringe.

CONNECT

t: @date_bad
i: @baddatethemusical
#baddatethemusical


Plays in Cafes 

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m Alex! I started Shadowpath in 2002. We’ve been creating new works with our project Plays In Cafes – animating public cafe spaces. This year we’re at Free Times Cafe (320 College). As patrons sit at their table, there are tables all around them coming to life with short plays. This way the audience becomes part of the world of the play. Audience or actor? Who knows? Anyone can be anyone at Plays In Cafes.

Plays in Cafes features an all-female production team, our directors, playwrights, publicist, producer are all FEMALE.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?  

Everyone should have a cafe-theatre experience. It’s express, it’s tasty, it’s fun! Free Times Cafe is known for their GREAT FOOD. You can maximize your Fringing by sampling THREE new plays. Add some snacks and drinks and you’ve got the perfect Fringe experience. 

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We transform everyday spaces into creative places. We bring theatre to the people by creating in hotels, libraries, wineries and most recently, a car dealership. This makes theatre interesting, accessible and helps to build new audiences. We love discovering ‘found’ audiences as we produce pop-up performing arts experiences throughout our community.

CONNECT

t: @Shadowpathic


Bugger the Butterfly!

 

WHO ARE YOU?

We are Pencil-Neck Theatre, a group of theatre pros and soon-to-be pros that met at the University of Guelph.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

You should see our show because: it’s funny as hell, it’s about time travel and the banality of celebrity, it’s a little bit gay and a lot of other stuff, and it’s written by the only guy to win Fringe’s Best New Play prize twice (along with a whole buncha other good plays), T. Berto.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

This show is Fiercely Fringe because it’s about as grassroots as it gets. K. Nestruck said that Fringe needs to be silly and fun and cheap, so we’ve taken that to heart – but also added poignant and thought-provoking. We’re also fierce because we’ve attempted to fill theatre’s void in sci-fi. Last year, 6 of the top 10 films were sci-fi, but in theatre – look at the Doras – it’s tumbleweeds for sci-fi. But no more with Bugger the Butterfly!

CONNECT

#buggerthebutterfly


The Seat Next to the King

 

WHO ARE YOU?  

We are Minmar Gaslight Productions and we are presenting the play, The Seat Next To The King.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

You should come see this show because not only was it picked as the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival Best New Play for Steven Elliott Jackson’s work, it is an intimate, sexy, powerful and provocative story of two men struggling to find a place for themselves in a world that shuns them. It is a play about two real lives who risked the safety of their worlds while being connected to the most powerful men in America in 1964.

WHY ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Directed with rawness and passion by Tanisha Taitt, the production delves into the world of sexuality, masculinity, race and politics and presents two actors, Kwaku Okyere and Conor Ling, challenging stereotypes and exploring boundaries of theatre and performance. For all these reasons, The Seat Next To The King is Fiercely Fringe.

CONNECT

t: @minmargaslight
i: @Minmar_Gaslight


D&D Yoga 

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m Christine Desrochers, local yoga teacher, avid gamer, and creator of the D&D Yoga show.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

D&D Yoga is a unique immersive experience that fuses a yoga class with the imagination and gameplay elements from Dungeons & Dragons. Audience members will choose to be a mage, warrior or rogue and will follow the quest leader (me!) through a grand fantasy adventure. Participants use dice rolling and various thematic movements to delve deep into a dungeon, overcoming goblins, traps, and ancient magic in the pursuit of their goal.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?  

This show is Fiercely Fringe because it’s experimental, original, and amateur. This is the first time this style of theater will be preformed in Canada! This is also my first Fringe and I’m so excited (and nervous) to bring this creative project to the public. I can’t think of a better opportunity to showcase this alternative creation to open-minded people.

CONNECT

t: @Downward_d20
fb: /Downwardd20


Office Hours

Photo by Dahlia Katz

WHO ARE YOU?

Confirmation Bias Theatre is brand new, full of politics and vinegar, founded by playwright Glenn Clifton. Guided by the belief that political catastrophes are often a result of bad storytelling, the company’s mandate is to explore how political reality shapes individual choices.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Office Hours is about an Iraq war veteran suffering from PTSD, his girlfriend, and her English Professor. It’s a love triangle full of meditations on narrative: a tightly scripted, intense drama, marked by powerful subtext and edgy chemistry between the performers. Starring Michael Orlando (CHAD), Nicole Marie McCafferty (CAROLINE), and Greg Solomon (TYLER).

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

In our site-specific production, the audience is seated like students in CHAD’S university class. In a couple of moments CHAD asks questions of the audience. The audience can answer, interfere, say anything, and the actors will have to roll with whatever happens. It’s an immediate, democratic, theatre-in-the-rough experience that alternates between the intimacy of CHAD’s “Office Hours” and the chaos of a town-hall meeting. Anything could happen!

CONNECT

t: @CBias_Theatre
#OfficeHours


You Are Perfect

 

WHO ARE YOU?

White Horse Theater Company is producing Cyndy A. Marion’s original play You Are Perfect at the Toronto Fringe at Theatre Passe Muraille – Mainspace.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

The play is a new and uniquely original dramatic play that delves into the psyche of Charles Manson and his followers, a group that has both reviled and fascinated the American public for nearly a half century. Set in Susan Atkins’ prison cell on the eve of a key moment in the Manson murder trial, You Are Perfect is a theatrical re-imagining of her life and inner demons.

WHY ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

What makes this play #FiercelyFringe is its highly theatrical structure, which plays with time and spaces and aims to entertain, enlighten and surprise. White Horse Theater Company is a 14-year-old New York City based off-Broadway Theater Company committed to making high-quality theater and sharing our passion for American plays and playwrights with our fellow artists and audiences.

CONNECT

#YouArePerfect
t: @whtcnyc
i: @whitehorsetheater
f: /whitehorsetheatre


Things Drugs Taught Me 

WHO ARE YOU?  

I’m a writer, performer and founder of Four Face Productions, which focuses on storytelling. My solo show, Self-Exile, won Best of Fringe in Montreal in 2016 and has been touring Canada since. This year I’m presenting a two-person storytelling show called Things Drugs Taught Me at the Toronto Fringe.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Things Drugs Taught Me is at once funny and affecting. The stories include all the paranoia, highs and bad decisions you might expect, but as Montreal Rampage Magazine said, “Stark moments of insecurity, feelings of failure and the desire to be normal make for the most poignant and hilarious moments in the play.”

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We push the boundaries of traditional storytelling. The stories are broken into sections that weave in and out of each other and we take turns playing characters in each other’s stories, most often playing the opposite gender. This offers a new and dynamic dimension to true life storytelling.

CONNECT

t: @NishaColeman
i: @NishaColeman
f: /NishaColemanwriter
#ThingsDrugsTaughtMe


Contagious

 

WHO ARE YOU?  

An artist with the big heart. A teenager, immigrant from a war country. This whole journey made me value and respect the meaning of free mind, which Canada represents. I forever owe to Toronto for opening my eyes. Time to pay back.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

We stand up to ask important questions. There is magic in the air and we’ll make sure you see it.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We dance! We sing! We have a passion! You have a passion! All of us do. Let’s not forget about that. And never let anyone dictate how and why and what we should do. Bring it from the heart. One life to live!

CONNECT

t: @contagious2017


I Am Hope

WHO ARE YOU?

My name is Mia Raye Smith and I’m an actress and playwright in Queens, NY. A few years ago I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety, panic disorder and agoraphobia. My anxiety disorder left me home-bound. Thankful I was able to seek treatment and healing and now tell my story!!

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

My solo show was developed in Emmy Award-winning, writer and teacher Matt Hoverman’s Go-Solo Workshop in New York City. People should come and see my show because anxiety is the most common mental illness in Canada. In fact, statistics reveal that one in four Canadians (25%) will have at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime. I have been touring my play at universities and colleges across the United States.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

My solo show is fiercely Fringe because it’s about finding hope and humor living with an anxiety disorder. It’s jammed packed with 19 characters. I’m fiercely Fringe because I’m sharing my battle without shame, in hopes to reach people suffering in silence!

CONNECT

t: @miarayesmith
#Iamhope


Nourishment

 

WHO ARE YOU?

Erin Maxfield, Jessica Watkin and Gloria Mok are co-artistic directors of ECM Theatre, a company that supports female artists and creates theatre in an accessible, inclusive, and collaborative environment. Our show Nourishment is a collaborative piece created by a team of kick-ass women with many different backgrounds and perspectives. 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

It’s important to support female artists and seek out their stories because they have been historically underrepresented. With Nourishment, we hope to encourage audiences to think about the places women gather, the knowledge and experiences they share, and the invisible work they do.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We challenged ourselves to create a show that is accessible to a wider audience. We built theatricalized audio description into our piece, and hope to have two ASL-interpreted performances throughout the run. The Fringe Festival should be for everyone, and we hope to bridge some of the gaps that exist for audience members with disabilities!

CONNECT

t: @ECM_Theatre
i: @ecm_theatre
#NourishTO


SELF-ISH

 

WHO ARE YOU?

Diana Bang, Kuan Foo, and Dawn Milman of Classy Little Bitch Productions. The first three met through sketch comedy. 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

SELF-ish is the show for you if you’ve ever dealt with loss. It’s about death, identity, family and the internet. This show is funny in small ways. And not so funny in other ways. We hope you stop by to support this Classy Little Bitch Productions show, because it’s classy, little and a big ol’ bitch. 

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?  

SELF-ish is Fiercely Fringe because it’s a One Woman show thrown together by a Korean-Canadian girl named Diana Bang who has never done this before and was sick and tired of NEVER being the protagonist of any show, and wanted to showcase Kuan Foo’s writing talent (It’s the first play he’s written!) and Dawn Milman’s directing and dramaturgy abilities (She trains assistance dogs. Cool, right?) and Maggie Chafe / Giuseppe Condello’s technical brilliance (Trust me, they’re great).

CONNECT

i: @dianabangarama & @arugulagal
t: @thedianabang


This Is Not She

 

WHO ARE YOU?

This is Not She is an immersive solo show written and performed by Julia Haist. (that’s me!) The audience is assigned the role of the “class” and is invited to answer questions, read passages and do some creative writing of their own.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

We have foregone any theatrical flash in favour of creating a realistic classroom setting; the character of the teacher is raw, flawed, and hanging on by a thread; a large portion of the show is based off of improvised interactions with the audience, so there is no safety net; if I don’t do my job as a performer of engaging the audience, there is no show.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

All of this to say, this show is bold. It is risky and thrilling for me every time I perform it, and dare I say, fierce. (There is also the fact that this show is made entirely by women; playwright/performer, director, stage manager and ASM!)


High Park Noir

 

WHO ARE YOU?

Simply Twisted Productions is made up of three old theatre school friends from Montreal. We haven’t worked together since theatre school which was 15 years ago! Yeah, we’re old! We’re also diverse: two of us are women and the other is a gay man.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

We wanted to put on a comedy that had grounded characters but that was also wacky and wild. Our show, High Park Noir, is a must-see for anyone who loves the unconventional, hybrid theatre fun that one can only find at the Fringe!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We wanted to Fiercely call attention to urban animals and to condo construction in Toronto. We are expanding the genre of film noir in a fierce way too: by making all of the characters Toronto urban animals! And really, what’s more Fierce than a raccoon detective on the edge?!

CONNECT

t: @HighParkNoir


The Atomic Tradition  

WHO ARE YOU?

After losing confidence in my creator’s “voice,” I discovered a passion for reviewing theatre. I’ve been a senior writer for Mooney on Theatre since 2013. I’ve experienced so much of what Toronto artists have to offer and developed my own personal convictions as a critic, which lead to the return of my confidence as a storyteller!

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Our inherent capacity for violence and the precariousness of civilization are the major themes of my play. As people around the world fear the ominous promise of “Trump America,” seeing how quickly a relationship can collapse will resonate with an audience worried about a fragile and volatile civilization.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Having experienced Fringe as a reviewer, I have a fierce affection for the sense of community it fosters. I’m thrilled to contribute as creator with a show that was greatly influenced by the collaboration of the creative team that worked on the original workshop production.

CONNECT

t: @IstvanDugalin
i: @istvandugalin
#TheAtomicTradition


Shirley Gnome: Taking it Up the Notch  

WHO ARE YOU?

I am a country/soft-rock musician that writes and performs comedy songs about all sorts of unspoken truths and emotions, and enough people laugh at them to make it my job. I’ve ridden this wave of high art all across the world – Australia, the UK, and the US of OHGODPLEASEMAKEITSTOP. They give me awards and fancy stars which I use to trick people into coming to my shows. I got real drunk one night and woke up with a record deal. It’s with 604 Records and so far I’ve managed to steal a lot of their money.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?  

Because we all might die tomorrow and my music is as important as telling people in your life you love them and cherishing every moment of existence. So get your ass in here baby, because your number may be coming up.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?  

I sing about feelings surrounding sexual desire (and other enjoyable emotions like anger, loneliness, and dying alone). Yet (as we all know) freedom from sexual shame would cause the collapse of society, so my songs are considered risky. I tend to swear and make ugly faces, which is obviously completely upsetting because of this pesky vagina I have shoved up between my legs (it’s a niche genitalia only shared by half of the planet). In conclusion, God is dead and I’ve never felt more alive/Fiercely Fringe.

CONNECT

t: @ShirleyGnome
#takingitupthenotch


Open Rescue: The Play

 

WHO ARE YOU?

3D Theatre is a troupe of Toronto-based actors and stage technicians who passionately believe in animal rights and animal welfare. 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

3D Theatre asks: Can an awareness of animal testing elicit sentient empathy among a Fringe Festival audience?

Far from being gratuitously shocking or politically preachy, OPEN RESCUE:The Play brings another side of this animal liberation issue to audiences, specifically, as animals ourselves, can human beings empathize with other animal species who are being intentionally harmed for the sake of human-centered research?

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

3D Theatre is creating an opportunity to dialogue with Toronto audiences about an important societal issue – should millions of animals be harmed and then killed in the name of science? 3D Theatre converted real-life interview findings into fiercely dramatic scripts that explore a dark side of animal testing in universities. The Toronto Fringe’s risqué programming is the perfect inter-connective venue where audiences can explore the issue of animal testing – and how “Open Rescue” – as a credible alternative. 


“Am I Pretty Now?”: A Musical Romp Through Plastic Surgery! 

WHO ARE YOU?

I am Toronto native who moved to Durham Region to have a family and created the not-for-profit company Durham Improv Collective Inc., hosted/created/produced five shows on Rogers TV in Oshawa, including two with Colin Mochrie. I am a Canadian Comedy Awards and Latin American Achievement Awards nominee and have just released my first book: The Ten Commandments…of Improvising! 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

This is a the first ever musical on plastic surgery and the trials and tribulations of going under the knife! A journey of insecurity and “never quite fitting in”. 

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Whether you are curious about plastic surgery or you just can’t fathom why anyone would do such a thing, this show will keep you laughing and tapping your feet as I examine race, gender, motherhood, and Liza Minnelli in 60 min.

CONNECT

t: @antimommy
i: @comedianstephanieherrera.com


Seeking Refuge

 

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m Rick Jones, writer/composer of the Paul O’Sullivan Prize-winning script Seeking Refuge. Seeking Refuge is a story about the love, devotion, and sacrifice of two sisters separated by contemporary civil war and extreme hardship. The challenges and horrors they face each day are met with perseverance and the will to survive and re-unite.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

There are moments of brutality, but also moments of joy. The songs are the core of this show, revealing each character’s innermost thoughts and feelings, supported by music that was written intuitively, raw emotion pouring out in melodies underscored by relentless rhythms, capturing and seducing your ears. They’re like nothing you’ve ever heard before on the musical theatre stage, written from my heart.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Seeking Refuge was created as my visceral response to the unfathomable, mind-numbing crisis in our humanity unfolding daily before our eyes. Come and immerse yourself in the experience.

CONNECT

#SeekingRefugeTO
t: @SeekingRefugeTO


Butt Kapinski

 

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m a comedy artist, teacher and director devoted to interactive and immersive experiences. I create work that (on a good day) challenges the notions of what audience participation means, what a theatre community can be, how gender and comedy work together, and how far you can go and not frighten anyone. My show has been touring for almost 4 years, and has delighted folks in the UK, Australia, and a bunch of Canadian and US cities.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?  

Is it a comedy? Is it a sociological experiment? Who’s to say? You know when you enter the room, something different is afoot: the chairs are everywhere, it’s hard to tell where the performance will be and where the audience is, and that’s the point… It’s funny and gentle and bold and weird and totally reasonable at the same time. It is a unique experience every time.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?  

BUTT KAPINSKI is a love letter to Fringe audiences, who are weird and bold and brave and fierce, and it is the audience who make the show beautiful, surprising and hilarious, every time.

CONNECT

t: @buttkapinski


Not Good

WHO ARE YOU?

James MartEntz’s (who?) newest play is a story about the inner human struggle. The feeling of being wanted, the worry of no one noticing. Directed by Cedric Martin, and Ryan James, starring Daniel Entz (again, who are these guys?) three people who know the most about trying to make a life for themselves in a society dead-set against actors.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

An artist is at their best when they are struggling, when you can feel that truth in the focus of the piece. This show is simply an actor on a stage talking about his life. As Fringe veterans, we promise you a story of personal connection, and true longing for more. We pinky-swear this production will be Not Good.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

In terms of being “grassroots” we are walking talking examples. None of us have artistic families. We all had to make our way with no real guide. The sacrifices we make to put on a show at Fringe, with 4 people in the house is both heartbreaking, and well, worth it. We do it because there is a story to be told. Our show is our very real stories as actors rolled in a fictional one-man show, portrayed by Daniel Entz.


Kara Sevda

 

WHO ARE YOU?

Now What Theatre is a group of international artists who met while studying for their Masters in Classical and Contemporary Text (Acting) degrees at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. We’re from all over America and the UK. Our mission is to create new work and tour it all over. Because if theatre is about making a difference one audience at a time, it’s better to have more audiences, all over the world.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

We wanted to create a piece of theatre that made people think, and that made people feel connected. We want people to escape with us, and to take a look at nostalgia and regret.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Our show was created for the fringe environment. We made a simple but impactful show that we could take anywhere. We crowdfunded for travel expenses, have taken epic road trips to festivals, slept in cheap hotels, overnight buses and billets. We’ve been poor and have dealt with crippling self-doubt like all artists do. But, we are Fiercely Fringe, because our passions outweigh our fears.


No Place

 

WHO ARE YOU?  

My name is Graham Isador and I’m the artistic director of Pressgang. I write for VICE. We’re friends. The show I’m producing is NO PLACE. It’s written and performed by Jillian Welsh, who is an amazing storyteller that has made appearance on CBC’s LOVE ME. Her appearance on the RISK podcast was downloaded over a million times. It’s being directed by Shari Hollett, a director for the Second City, who has had smash Fringe Hits with For the Record and Radio:30.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

It’s an established funny woman helping an up and coming funny woman tell a deeply personal story about her family. Welsh has been making a name for herself in Toronto’s storytelling and comedy scenes. Here she blends the best of those world’s for a show that’s deeply touching piece. It’s being put on by a company who has been critically acclaimed in both Summerworks and Fringe.

HOW IS YOUR SHOW FIERCELY FRINGE?

The one woman show is a staple at the Fringe, but the thing that really pops about No Place is its willingness to take emotional risks. The show is funny, for sure, but at it’s core it is a raw portrait of the desperate need to belong and feel accepted, and what happens when those needs aren’t met.

CONNECT

t: @presgang @jillpickled @sharihollett
#noplaceTO


 In Sundry Languages

 

WHO ARE YOU?

“In Sundry Languages” pushes the boundaries of understanding through multilingual dialogue and experimental dramaturgy! We are a show that reflects the linguistic and cultural diversity of Toronto with a cast of emerging and established multigenerational immigrant actors, performing in many languages and no translations!

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Produced by the Toronto Laboratory Theatre, an experimental collective, “In Sundry Languages” is a series of comic vignettes that draws on the use of body and media to translate what language cannot. The play is a performative experience that asks for a diverse audience to be created in full, which is why we need all kinds of people to come out to watch the show!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We are #FiercelyFringe in our commitment to creatively unpacking and challenging narratives of immigration, displacement and negotiated identities, through language, multimedia, humour and a lot of heart!

CONNECT

t: @insundry
i: @insundrylanguages
#insundry


Algonquin Highway

WHO ARE YOU?

We are 17 Syllables Theatre Company with a creative team from Peterborough and a Toronto cast.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

It’s a brand-new world that’s breaking through the old world, and life-altering events have changed millennials Alex and Nic. They have each survived the last five years apart to get to who they really are: Alex, an indigenous female activist, and Nic, a transgender man. Now, they’re stuck together on the back roads of iconic Canada, and must talk through the real issues – identity, belonging, gender, appropriation – in order to save their childhood friendship, in a story that reflects the issues roaring through the current zeitgeist like a mad fire.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

A comic-drama about the power of real friendships, told with passion, humour, and action, Algonquin Highway winds its way through emotional twists and turns that will have you guessing at the each revelation and leave you wanting more of the two honest and complex characters, Alex and Nic

CONNECT

t: @17_syll
#AlexandNicgetstuck! #AlgonquinHighway


*Submissions have been slightly edited for clarity and length.


 

But wait! There’s more!

If you haven’t, be sure to check out

Part 1 of #FiercelyFringe here.

 


 

#FiercelyFringe 2017 – Part 1

It’s the most WONDERFUL TIME of the year! Happy Opening to the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival! Every year, we are constantly inspired by the core values of The Toronto Fringe Festival:

  • It’s about creating art at a grassroots level.
  • It’s “theatre by the people, for the people“.
  • It’s about taking risks and exploring something new.

So, we asked this year’s Boss Fringe Artist Babes: How are you FIERCELY representing these values? How are you #FiercelyFringe?

After an overwhelming response, we’re thrilled to share our first #FiercelyFringe preview with you, listed in no particular order, and in two parts (because we can only get our scroll on for so long…)

We hope this gives you a more personal look at these shows and the artists behind them as you plan your viewing schedule over the next two weeks.

Be sure to follow along with us on twitter, facebook and instagram for our full #FringeTO coverage celebrating all of the people and moving pieces that make this festival so electric!

See you at the Fringe Club #FiercelyFringe friends!

– ITGR


Pineapple Club 

WHO ARE YOU?

The Pineapple Club team is comprised of Director/Choreographer Robin Henderson (of last year’s Best of Fringe hit, Dance Animal) and performers Paul Barnes, Jonathan Shaboo and Pascale Yensen.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

The Pineapple Club tagline is “Come for the comedy. Stay for the calamity”. With everything that’s happening in the world, it’s especially important to be laughing right now.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Where else would you find a mash-up of comedic dance, sketch comedy and social commentary? Pineapple Club speaks to the emotional fallout of the world’s events in 2016 through the unique lens of comedic dance, sketch comedy, puppetry and music.

CONNECT

t: @PineappleClubTO
#PineappleClubTO


Bad Baby Presents: Rules Control the Fun

WHO ARE YOU?

From a group of seasoned Fringers boasting a total of 13 Fringe tent romances collectively, Janelle Hanna’s new solo show Bad Baby Presents: Rules Control the Fun is not simply a clown show, but it does feature her clown Bad Baby, prominently. Think of it instead as a new play about love, loneliness and humans’ need for connection, as well as it being Bad Baby’s first Fringe appearance, all rolled into one.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Bad Baby has seen a lot of Fringe shows, and she is a self-proclaimed fringe expert. So she knows exactly what to do and what not to do. She knows all of the rules.

WHAT MAKES YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

What makes us FIERCE is how the play itself goes deeper, exploring themes that writer and performer Hanna feels strongly about: love, relationships, vulnerability and shame. Expect a lot of laughter and comedy at this show, but don’t expect to see only that.

CONNECT

t: @lark_and_whimsy
@janellemhanna
#BabysFirstFringe
i: @janellemhanna


Interstellar Elder

WHO ARE YOU?

SNAFU is the creators of SOLD-OUT shows ‘LITTLE ORANGE MAN (***** – VueWeekly) and ‘KITT & JANE,’ (****½ – Edmonton Journal)

We’ve been touring across Canada for the last ten years, both to all the fringes and to curated festivals like Wildside, Undercurrents, Next Stage and SummerWorks. All of our shows are weird.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

In Interstellar Elder, we meet Kitt, fierce lone geriatric astronaut adrift in a spaceship carrying cryogenically frozen human cargo. Her mission: protect the last of humankind.

“Amazingly versatile physical comedian with the BEST ENDING IN THE HISTORY OF FRINGE.” – Montreal Gazette.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

This summer, we’re touring 9 FRINGE FESTIVALS across Canada. #FringeHogs. This is my second time winning the CAFF lottery in the past three years, whereas some artists have applied for CAFF every year for the past two decades and never been drawn. If I win CAFF a third time, I expect death threats from other fringe artists.

CONNECT

t: @snafudance
#InterstellarElder


Picaza 

WHO ARE YOU? 

#FiercelyFlamenco – Inamorata Dance Collective was found in 2014 by Mexican Canadian dancer, Sofía Gudiño, to explore experimental crossovers between contemporary and flamenco dance, music and theatre.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Their premier full-length work, Picaza, is an honest and visceral look into one woman’s journey to self-awareness, told through bilingual poetry, dance, traditional Latin music, and experimental compositions!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

One of this year’s Culturally Diverse Projects at the Fringe, this group of twelve multidisciplinary artists is #FiercelyFringe, building everything in their grassroots show from scratch and pooling their creative resources to learn from each other and create something completely new.

CONNECT

i: @inamoratadance
#Inamorata2017 #Picaza


Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons

WHO ARE YOU?

The Howland Company with Slow Blue Lions

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

(1) It’s about love, and law saying you can’t say more than 140 words/day; (2) It’s the healthiest, most citric, show in Fringe; (3) It’s funny and touching, also has a couple of tips for mostly silent relationships.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

(1) women directing and producing*, each for first time; women AD and intern; *producer won Cayle Chernin Award for theatre production’; (2) show is by first time playwright Sam Steiner and comes from UK Fringe.

CONNECT

f: /TheHowlandCompanyTheatre
t: @TheHowlandCo
i: @thehowlandcompany
#lemonslemonslemonslemonslemons


Welcome to the Bunker

WHO ARE YOU

Portius Productions is a brand new company that aims to explore the opportunities different theatrical spaces offer for experimentation with audience immersion and interaction, with an emphasis on all things nerdy. Its inaugural show, Welcome to the Bunker! is written, produced, and performed by Clare Blackwood and Ryan F. Hughes, and is an immersive zombie apocalypse comedy set in a bunker deep below the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

This is a show for nerds, comedy lovers, and anyone who wants to laugh at two weirdos trying and failing to lead an apocalypse orientation for the survival of humanity.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We’re pushing the boundaries of how to involve audiences inside of a traditional theatre space, taking them out of their pre-armageddon comfort zones, and maybe singing welcoming songs to them. That is, if the zombies don’t get to them first…

CONNECT

t: @bunkertofringe
#bunkerTO


Macbeth’s Head

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m Kyle McDonald, the founder of Malfi Productions, whose mandate is: to produce entertaining and interesting film, television, theatre, and literature by merging tradition with innovation for an audience who craves emotional and intellectual risk. We’re dedicated to injecting classical material into something contemporary and relevant.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

How many people can say they’ve seen a disembodied head with magical powers running around on a dessert trolley while threatening to destroy all of Shakespeare’s work?

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We’ve gotten this show on the road with pure love: from the illustrator who did our amazing artwork, to the composer who made original music, to our photographer who’s shot us free of charge. Also, there is little to no set, and we’re relying only on our wits to tell the tale of this maniacal head! And, the script is half in original verse, which seems like a pretty bold move in the age of one liner TV scripts!

CONNECT

t: @malfiproduction
#macbethshead #malfiproductions #longlivethehead


Perfect Couples

WHO ARE YOU?

We’re an indie theatre collective dedicated to generating bold new work. We are passionate about stories from underrepresented voices, and providing opportunities for emerging artists to flex their muscles.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Our fringe show, Perfect Couples, is a good example of this. Written, directed, designed and performed by emerging artists, the show is distinctly millennial. Yet, refreshingly, it’s never reductive or patronizing— there’s not one mention of twitter or selfies. Perhaps more defining as a millennial piece is that it talks about mental illness, which is rampant among 20-somethings. The play is a twisty trip down visual artist Valencia’s unravelling, and we see how her struggle with mental health impacts her relationship and community. Women-driven, queer, sexy as hell…

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Perfect Couples by Mitchell Janiak is both witty and dark. It takes advantage of what Fringe provides— an opportunity to take risk and tell stories that aren’t heard often enough.

CONNECT

t: @PencilKitProd
i: @PencilKitProductions
f: /PencilKit


Monsters By Nature

WHO ARE YOU?

We are Kindling Collective! We take an intersectional feminist perspective to classical works. Our show Monsters By Nature was created in a similar fashion to how Frankenstein made his creature, by piecing together classical and self-written texts, punk and folk music.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Audiences explore what makes them feel empowered by their inner monster and reflect on their perceptions of people that they fear.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Monsters by Nature owns the term Fiercely Fringe by its bravery to examine the roots of our fears. It’s terrifying to watch pieces that force you to look into what makes you a monster. But it’s also empowering to do so. At rehearsal last night I thought how fulfilling it feels to be in a room with 6 fierce women, an electric guitar, and bare hearts telling these stories of characters that have remained relevant through the ages. We can’t wait to meet you in the midnight.

CONNECT

i: @kindlingcollective
f: @kindlingcollective
t: @kindlincollec3
#kindlingcollective #whatareyouafraidof


13 Ways the World Ends

WHO ARE YOU?

Good Morning Apocalypse is a comedy troupe from South Ontario, formed in 2015.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Why see our show? For one thing, we have a hour-long revue about all the ways the world will end, and not once does someone mention Donald Trump. Nothing about what’s happening in the U.K. either, since we couldn’t find a rhyme for “Brexit.” There’s zombies, but not enough to get you all zombied out. At one point someone plays the saxophone – badly. There’s a killer robot, and a killer plague, and a lovely little sketch about how all the bees are dead and we’re next. Mostly it’s full of people who go through their days with a vague sense of dread, and who also have opinions about which of the Mad Maxes is the best Mad Max.

WHY ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

This is the kind of show that can only happen at Fringe, and we’re fiercely proud of it.

CONNECT

t: @ApocalypseGood
i: @GoodMorningApocalypse
#13WaysTheWorldEnds


White Wedding

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m a female writer / director who is trying to combine those skills for the first time with a new play called “White Wedding”! I’ve had a lot of luck in the past as both a writer and director and now I’m trying to bring those two sides of my brain together with an incredible group of creative individuals!

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

White Wedding explores really recognizable feelings in a new way. Instead of asking what happens as a wedding, White Wedding asks what happens in a hallway above a wedding. What private conversations and secrets are told? Who makes out with who? Who ends up drinking themselves into a sad quiet corner somewhere? Why do we celebrate stupid emotions like love again?

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We are creating theatre in a found space firstly because we think it’s a cool thing to do, but also because it’s a necessity. Re-imagining theatre for new spaces for today’s audiences is what will bring in new audiences, make people feel invited to the art form, and open up the stage to something new, something novel, something fierce!

CONNECT

t: @PortAlbertPro
i: @portalbertproductions


Bendy Sign Tavern

WHO ARE YOU?

Sex T-Rex is a comedy collective that has been in the Toronto Fringe since 2013!

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Bendy Sign Tavern is our most Fiercely Fringe show yet- a site specific puppet show where six-legged barflies trade actual Fringe reviews and you can order a pint from a puppet!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We’ll have rotating fringe guests from our favourite shows. Throw in live music and Sex T-Rex’s signature wit and you’ve got a real tour-de-fierce.

CONNECT

t: @sextrex
f: /sextrexcomedy


MUTTS OR: 101 LIBATIONS

WHO ARE YOU?

The Gracie May Theatre Company, named after the creator’s late childhood dog, is devoted to creating new Canadian content. The company refuses to take any political stand and holds no beliefs whatsoever.

 The founder, Joey Monahan, currently resides in a fortified compound near Georgetown, Ontario.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

MUTTS OR: 101 LIBATIONS is a unique comedy, not for the faint of heart. As dark as it is funny, the story follows two hopeless, helpless, and hapless drunks who steal dogs and return them for reward money to support their addiction. After taking a service dog and causing the death of a blind man, the two find themselves at odds with each other when one wants to continue their lifestyle and the other decides to stop.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

It has been created and is being performed by a small group of local artists. Although the play itself never states a location, it is very much a Canadian, and specifically a Torontonian piece. It has been made with the intention of making people laugh and hurt at the same time, because in life sometimes something can be humorous and heartbreaking at once.

CONNECT

i: @GracieMayTC
f: /GracieMayTC
t: @GracieMayTC
#MUTTS


The Stories of Lantern Tales

 

WHO ARE YOU?

I am a storyteller.

Encountering the storyfire in 1981 at the age of 28, when I hitchhiked 70 miles from St. Catharines to Toronto to hear my first storyteller, Trinidadian Paul Keens-Douglas. I became interested in composing original tales, especially stories inspired by my childhood in the Ottawa. Valley. I am a violinist/fiddler and featured in festivals across Canada and abroad.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Composed in traditional forms The Stories of Lantern Tales are unique, shaped by a childhood spent in the countryside of Black Bay Road.
 They are an excellent opportunity for listeners to meet the devil, a 4 tonne traction engine with a soul, 12 sea serpents and a cedar canoe pulled by six Ottawa Valley beavers.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

The distillation of images and experiences that came from growing up as a child in an isolated Ottawa Valley countryside, wandering alone along endless trails in the woods, the silence of a winter moon.

Through the imagination of the listener those experiences live again.


Death Meets Harlequin

WHO ARE YOU?

Unspoken Theatre was founded in 2011 by sisters Nina & Natalie Kaye, and focuses on new writing with a classical influence. We have produced over a dozen new plays by local women writers.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Our short comedy, Death Meets Harlequin tackles big themes with a light heart, using archetype, music, dance, Commedia dell’Arte, and physical comedy to infuse our attitude on life and death with a little optimism.

Our cast and crew are Festival veterans, with credits at Alumnae Theatre’s New Ideas Festival and Big Ideas Festival; SoCap Theatre’s Short Short Play Festival; InspiraTO; and the Toronto Fringe.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Death Meets Harlequin offers something for everyone. A deeper meaning for the philosophical thinkers; bright costumes and silly songs for the kids; great new writing for the lovers of literature; a touching family story for the ones who cry and laugh at once; and a circus pre-show by Deflying Feets for anyone else!

CONNECT

t: @TheatreUnspoken
#FringeKidsFest
#FringeFemmeTO
#deathmeetsharlequin


The Diddlin’ Bibbles Live in Concert!

WHO ARE YOU?

Lesley Robertson and Matt Shaw are “The Diddlin’ Bibbles”, a comedy band making their Toronto Fringe debut. Co-written and directed by the hilarious Dana Puddicombe, “The Diddlin’ Bibbles Live in Concert” tells the story of Rose-Marie and Jessop Bibbles, a sex-positive and spiritual singer-songwriter duo, who have travelled from small-town Wisconsin to Toronto to perform at the Toronto Fringe Festival – their lifelong dream.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE COME SEE YOUR SHOW?

Their show, “The Diddlin’ Bibbles Live in Concert” is part sketch comedy, part live concert, part mockumentary, part metatheatre, and part love story. Think: Flight of the Conchords meets Christopher Guest’s A Mighty Wind meets #the6ix.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

This show is “fiercely fringe” because it’s a new play written and designed specifically for the Toronto Fringe Festival, St. Vladimir Theatre, and Toronto audiences! The entire show is a self-reflexive comedy spoofing the experiences of the Toronto Fringe Festival, the arts, and the city of Toronto.

CONNECT

w: www.thediddlinbibbles.com
f: /thediddlinbibbles
i: @thediddlinbibbles
t: @DiddlinBibbles


Madeleine Says Sorry

WHO ARE YOU?

Prairie Fire, Please was founded by Aaron Jan and Madeleine Brown, lightweights with no taste whatsoever in alcohol. We welcome you to judge our poor choices – we’re likely already judging yours. Madeleine Says Sorry is the company’s inaugural production. Will it be our last? Depends how bad the hangover is…

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Where else can you see a 6×4 foot poster-shrine of David Suzuki, and a magical cardboard Apologemeter X that descends from the heavens?

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

How are we #FiercelyFringe?
 We collectively had three very successful fringe shows last year. Rowing, Silk Bath, and Knots. This one is nothing like any of those shows. Our process has been entirely funded by popsicles. 
We never start rehearsal on time. Our director cannot afford underwear. We are one of the most diverse teams in the Toronto Fringe! #FiercelyFringe

CONNECT

t: @MadeleineSaysTO
i: @madeleinesaysto


Pillow Talk

WHO ARE YOU?

We are a group of comedians, actors and creators who met while attending the Second City Conservatory Program. Shortly after graduating, Charlotte Cattell and Olivia Brodie-Dinsdale reconnected to start a sketch duo, the O.C. After their successful show at Montreal Sketchfest they thought there would be no better idea than asking their friend and fellow creative, Adam Martignetti to join them in making a completely original sketch revue.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Pillow Talk is not what you would expect from a traditional sketch revue, we wanted to keep things real and make it more than just making people laugh. We tackle those intimate and vulnerable moments in life that people wouldn’t normally talk about openly. Pillow Talk, doesn’t imply the usually sexual connotation. I mean, we would like to think we are pretty darn sexy!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Written by 3 real people about real experiences, Pillow Talk couldn’t be anything more than “Fiercely Fringe”! We are people with anxieties, fears and the notion that ghosts are real! But what is more fierce than displaying those moments for everyone to see.

CONNECT

f: @Pillowtalkfringe2017
t: @PTFringeTO17
i: @pillowtalkfringeto


Lysistrata

 

WHO ARE YOU?

how.dare.collective. is making their debut at this year’s Toronto Fringe. The brainchild of two-time Las Vegas Burlesque Hall of Fame performer-choreographer St. Stella and writer/director Kay Brattan, their mandate is to create theatre for the underdog – representing the underrepresented. The Lysistrata company is made up of experienced and talented performers from both the theatre and burlesque communities, and some of whom are well-known in both scenes, such as Sebastian Marziali (El Toro to the burlesque & boylesque community).

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Lysistrata brings an appetizing take on classic Greek comedy to the contemporary audience. Brattan has used her own words to combine three different translations of Aristophanes’ work, and through the combination of slam poetry, songs and striptease, this will be a retelling of the story the likes of which has not been seen before, with the two mediums blending to embody and convey the messages of the piece (such as female empowerment, peace not war and, of course, equality).

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

With this show, we bring together the varied talents of our diverse company to tell this story in a fresh, powerful and memorable spectacle. Bring on the glitter and good times!

CONNECT

i: @LysistrataTO
t: @Lysistrata_TO
#LysistrataTO
#SlamPoetrySongsAndStripTease
#GlitterAndGoodTimes


The Miserable Worm

 

WHO ARE YOU?

We are Let Me In, a theatre collective spearheaded by Justine Christensen and Patrick J. Horan. We seek to remix, alter, satirize, and break “classical” plays, thrusting them into a contemporary landscape.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Our show, The Miserable Worm, exposes gendered expectations often ingrained in old works, bringing to light new colours from Chekhov’s “untitled play”, which our show is based off of. The story is made new through gender-bent casting; particularly by placing a woman in the title role of the smarmy playboy Platonov.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Let Me In’s The Miserable Worm is Fiercely Fringe because it draws in and implicates the audience into the action. As soon as they walk through the doors of the Annex, each audience member becomes a guest at the Platonov Estate. They are privy to the events and intimacies of a fatal night of hard drinking and painful nostalgia. Oh, and it’s going to be really funny. 

CONNECT

t: @LetMeInTheatre


Lover Lover

WHO ARE YOU?

Subverting Something is a company founded by Veronika Gribanova and is now based in Toronto and New York. Our mandate is our name. We’re almost half serious.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

A lesbian and a straight man walk into a bar: a love story. It’s complicated. Lover Lover is a story about the limitations and possibilities of love. This site-specific play is an intimate conversation between strangers in a public space. At Nightowl, a bar in Little Italy, audience members can have a drink and watch the story unfold. Allow us to subvert your expectations.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Lover Lover explores issues that aren’t often discussed in a public setting. Questions of sexuality, identity, and polyamory, as well as of vulnerability and intimacy, are brought to light. We have risked placing emotion at the centre of our work and we are telling the truth as we understand it, which is both an obligatory and subversive act.

CONNECT

i: @subvertingsomething
t: @subvertingsome
#loverlover


For the Love of Pie

 

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m the daughter of a French Canadian mother who taught me the importance of butter and extravagance. For the Love of Pie, my play, showcases a lot of that French “je ne sais quoi”! Montrealers and Chicagoans were dazzled by the show nominating it for Best Solo Theatre Production (Montreal Fringe) and naming it one of of the 5 Best Bets of the Chicago Fringe (TimeOut Chicago).

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Why see it, Toronto? Because sometimes we take ourselves too seriously and need to be reminded that life is not as easy as pie and why not embrace failure as opposed to suppressing it.

HOW IS YOUR SHOW FIERCELY FRINGE?

It’s fiercely fringe because, well, it’s just me writing, producing and playing three very extravagant characters leading over the top ridiculous lives and my challenge is to make their story resonate with the audience.

CONNECT

t: @PieGeorgiaPeach
#FortheloveofpieTO


HEXEN  

WHO ARE YOU?

The Creation Coffin is a Toronto based company that focuses on progressive work, emerging artists and female creators. The cast and crew of Hexen are all recent Randolph Academy Alumnae.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Fringers should be sure to see Hexen because it is a savage critique on the society that we have constructed for ourselves, through a powerful, sexy and feminine lens.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Hexen is truly “fiercely fringe”. The show and our site-specific venue are designed to make you feel like you’re deep in a forest. Because of this we did the majority of our rehearsals outdoors and we have benefited greatly from the inspiration that nature provides. Stylistically, Hexen is quite pioneering – we would describe it as a “deconstructed musical”, something we have never seen done before but are fiercely experimenting with for this year’s Fringe Festival!

CONNECT

f: /thecreationcoffin
i: @thecreationcoffin
#hexenfringe


Wanted

WHO ARE YOU?

Sue Morrison is a world-class teacher of performance-oriented Clown and Bouffon.

Mélanie Raymond has been working and training at DynamO Theatre (acrobatical theatre) for 15 years.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?  

The performance has been described as like having a conversation with a best friend that you didn’t know you had. The arc of the show is affected by the qualities that the performer brings to the theatre each night, and the qualities of the audience, and how those interact. The audience is part of what happens each night and no two shows are the same.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

This is outsider theatre. This is bottom-up, grassroots theatre. The collaborators developed the script through a process of question and answer, call and response between the outside eye and the inside eye… a bricolage brought to life using the language of twelve masks. There is a universality to the experiences that the performer encounters and explores.

CONNECT

t: @guayoyo_ca
i: @guayoyo_ca
#WantedTF


RISE/FALL  

WHO ARE YOU?

Malcontent Theatre Company is a diverse, grassroots indie company made up of performers from students to seasoned professionals. We are committed to inclusiveness and challenging standards.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

RISE/FALL is an immersive, site-specific production that has the audience divided by a wall. A unique show happens on each side, and occasionally interacts with the other side. The wealthy percentage of society has gained control of the government and banished anyone of minority to the other side of a wall.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

This production is fiercely Fringe because we are an independent group of local artists, who are playing around with new theatrical concepts and tackling political issues with no holds barred. We are creating a show unlike anything any of us have ever seen, and are taking a huge risk with such a complicated concept. This deals with subjects that are close to everyone’s hearts, including segregation, prejudice, racism, homophobia, and Trump’s America.

CONNECT

t: @MalcontentTC
#RiseFallFringe #BreaktheWall


The Night Hart Crane Kissed Me  

WHO ARE YOU?

We are Spindrift and our combined talents include: acting, writing, directing, magic, music and stage combat! We put all of these to use in our very first Fringe outing, The Night Hart Crane Kissed Me.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

What’s a Hart Crane you may be asking? Answer: a sailor-loving, hard-partying poet who burned through the burlesque houses, vaudeville theatres, boxing matches and speakeasies of Jazz age New York before blazing out at 32. His grave merely says: Lost At Sea.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We chart his final hours, explore how his life and art intersect with our own, and attempt to invoke the feeling of encountering his poetry for the first time using all of the rad methods mentioned above. This summer we invite you to get #KissedByHart

CONNECT

t: @spindrifttc
i: @spindrifttheatreTO


Ten Creative Ways to Dispose of Your Cremains 

WHO ARE YOU?

We are Theatre Rhea and Neoteny Theatre.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Yes, it may have the longest title ever, but most importantly it’s a millennial love letter dedicated to the misfits of the Peter Pan Generation. Lucy and Bennett, our two main characters, are lonely but are given the chance to connect. Written by Rose Napoli and directed by Carly Chamberlain, be sure to visit us in the backspace of Theatre Passe Muraille, just down the street from the tent!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Our characters are just like the people who come to the fringe. People who exist on the periphery, and find a connection by being on the outside. The show itself may be about nothing. Or it may be about everything. But it’s definitely about an urn of ashes and six popsicles.

CONNECT

#CreaminsTO
t: @TheatreRhea


The Life Henri 

WHO ARE YOU?

Award winning Artist Adam Bailey: creator of Fringe hits The Assassination of Robert Ford and Adam Bailey is on Fire, and director of The Enchanted Crackhouse .This year I’m doing The Life Henri, a play about dead painter Henri Rousseau. It includes a slideshow and we’re selling wine. 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

It’s a really intimate experience that’ll sweep you away. We got four stars when we tested it in Edmonton and it deftly touches on some modern issues like bullying. Plus, slideshow!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

Henri Rousseau should be the patron saint of Fringe. An outsider artist, spends years unlocking the key to success, overcoming poverty and incarceration along the way. Also, I mash his story with a 1970s horror movie and somehow that makes it all very touching.

CONNECT

i: @still_your_friend
t: @stillyourfriend
w: www.stillyourfriend.com
#thelifehenri


Traffic Jams

 

WHO ARE YOU?

Resilience Theatre. We are a feminist theatre company dedicated to telling women’s stories and those of the underrepresented. This is our first production and hope this opportunity will allow us to make connections and create more content that young people can relate to that illustrates their experiences.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Five-word pitch: woman attacks depression with ukulele! See this show because it’s funny, relevant, and sometimes uncomfortable. It deals with issues many young people are facing, particularly artists, and highlights the different ways mental illness can surface within one person.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

This show came from a late-night phone call between two friends about mental health and artistic struggles. We refused to wait for this story to be told, so we’ve brought it to the stage ourselves. Mental illness is tough to talk about, even for us, but by taking the risk to show this battle, we can contribute to a dialogue on mental health.

CONNECT

f: /resilienceTO
t: @resilience_TO
i: @resilience_to
#trafficjams


Love and Information  

WHO ARE YOU?

The play is by Caryl Churchill, will be directed by Andrea Donaldson and performed by the 5th term students at Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. Our show is essentially 50 mini shows packed into one.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Contemporary issues regarding knowledge, communication, and our capacity to love and be loved are beautifully represented. We explore these issues in the most unique ways, incorporating movement, song, and even silence. There is so much to take away from this beautiful painting of humanity.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

As the actors, we have been very thankful for the process. Every day we go into rehearsal and are utterly moved by our discoveries. We dive into various human behaviours, points of view, sexualities and cultural differences. When something doesn’t work, we ask ourselves why, and approach it from a different angle. It has been the most incredible journey for us, and we cannot wait to share it with Toronto.

CONNECT

#RALoveandInformation #LoveandInfo #LoveandJan #JanLovesInfo #RAPA


 The Resurrectionists  

WHO ARE YOU?

House of Rebels Theatre started in 2014 as a podcast audio drama company, that has since expanded into interviews and original stage plays. In the 2016 Toronto Fringe, we produced King of the Castle, and are excited to bring another exploration of morals and humanity to the Randolph Theatre this year!

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?  

The Resurrectionists tackles one of the western world’s best-kept, darkest secrets. Grave-robbing in the 19th century was a rarely-reported crime that occurred anywhere people studied medicine. Shortages of bodies with surpluses of students lead to creative, criminal solutions to the growing demand. This play examines Canada’s habit of hiding it’s less-savoury history, and why we keep letting ourselves do so. 

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE? 

The Resurrectionists is co-produced with Theatre Parallax. We are companies interested in theatre that is provocative AND entertaining – and we don’t believe those are mutually exclusive qualities. We want to have our art, and like it too.

CONNECT

t: @RebelsTheatre
i: @RebelsTheatre
w: www.rebelstheatre.com


Kassandra aka Joyia, Fringe Concert Series  

WHO ARE YOU?

My name is Kassandra, aka Joyia, and I’m a musician. I’ve made it my mission to make unique music, which represents myself. I make all of my songs in both acoustic and electronically produced versions. I make music that combines R&B with a bit of an electronic sound. I’ve coined my genre as “soultronic,” and want to bring the genre to life in my own unique way.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?  

I’m part of the Fringe concert series on July 9! True songwriting and composition has always been my passion, and I’ve been building up a new repertoire over the last few months. For the first time, I’m making music that I feel is 100% me, and it’s the most liberating feeling ever.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

I create art for the reason art was created. It’s a freedom of expression, a chance to connect people. It’s finally giving me a chance to share my true self with people. It’s been a long journey of self-discovery, and I can finally say that the music I make truly represents me. 

CONNECT

t: @joyiamusic


Life Records 2: Side B 

WHO ARE YOU?

I’m Rhiannon Archer & I wrote/perform Life Records 2. This company is just me & I named it after my late dog Beefy. He was really great! 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

2 words: IT’S FUN! Everyone should see Life Records 2. Unless if you hate fun, then maybe just stay home.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

7 words: Because I’m Fierce & in the fringe! I’m really putting myself out there in order to connect myself and the audience with one another.

CONNECT

t: @rhiannonarcher
@LifeRecordsTO
i: @rhiannonarcher


A Flea in Her Ear

 

WHO ARE YOU?

Pulse Theatre’s “A Flea in Her Ear” is a modern adaptation of one of the greatest vaudevilles ever! We made the characters quirkier, the relationships more sensual, the show more exciting! A splendid cast, terrific creative team, a visionary director.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

The energy, the sexiness, the colorfulness, the playfullness- our show is funny and entertaining! All the original comedy gold, plus hippies and furries, and just a touch of…well, let’s not spoil the surprises! Even if you do know the original script – you don’t know this show!

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

A part of Pulse Theatre’s mandate is working with immigrant artists and diverse performers – “visible and audible minorities”, and we did just that – our talented cast and crew depicts the wonderful diversity of Toronto’s theatre scene. A fierce comedy with a powerful ensemble and crew, and beautiful promo art by the amazing Derrick Chow! Our Flea roars like a tiger!

CONNECT

#afleainherear


The Balding 

WHO ARE YOU?  

Jeff Gandell is a Montreal writer, storyteller, actor, musician and teacher. I tell stories that aim to make people laugh and feel a greater connection to the emotional landscape of the universe.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

The Balding is a hilarious story about a twenty-year-old man who’s convinced he’s going bald because he’s still a virgin. In his quest to find romance, he falls down a rabbit hole of dangerous car accidents and property destruction. It’s a show about learning to love the fleeting nature of all our lives. Basically, the lighter side of mortality and decay.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?  

It’s funny! The rawness and vulnerability of the protagonist will make audiences concurrently laugh and feel better about their own insecurities. Plus, there are a couple of raucous rock n’ roll numbers. And it’s a masterfully constructed story that will leave audiences breathlessly anticipating what comes next. Come on!

CONNECT

t: @jeffgandell
i: @jeffgandell


Recall

 

WHO ARE YOU?  

Seven Siblings Theatre utilizes the Michael Chekhov Acting Technique to create the Theatre of the Future, Fantastic Realism. We’re presenting a sci-fi thriller that pushes the boundaries of government control. Written by genre-shattering female playwright Eliza Clark, the show is centered around a mother and daughter relationship holding their ground as the government tries to “RECALL” potentially dangerous or psychopathic children. 

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

Clark dives into a troubled child’s mind and examines emotional understanding as the two desperately try to start fresh. The world of this play is a truthful and surreal depiction of our future society.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

This Fiercely Fringe show not only gives us sci-fi in theatre, something you don’t see often, but gives women the lead narrative in what is usually a male domain. Plus… we have violence, blood, guns, mature language, a shopping list of food props, sci-fi machinery, and a sick sense of humour. We’re fierce as f$%k.

CONNECT

t: @SevenSiblingsCo
#RecallTO


On The Inside  

WHO ARE YOU?

My name is Michelle Thoms and I’m the writer and director of On The Inside, a play about a young woman caught in the vicious cycle of Canada’s Corrections System. It doesn’t stop there though, it’s also about humanity and the lengths people go to survive.

WHY SHOULD PEOPLE CATCH YOUR SHOW?

People should watch this show because it raises questions about solitary confinement, society and about the grey area that sits between professionalism and caring.

HOW ARE YOU FIERCELY FRINGE?

We are pushing the envelope by taking a true story and extending and exploring further questions that surround it. Questions like: Why is the rate of women of colour increasing at a dramatic rate in Canadian federal prisons? Why is self injury increasing in women’s prison? Is “othering” used in the prison system and to what extent?  As well, On The Inside is taking a risk because it is being presented as a docutheatre production. 

CONNECT

t: @ontheinside17
i: @ontheinside17


*Submissions have been slightly edited for clarity and length.


But wait! There’s more!

For more #FiercelyFringe, continue here.

 


 

Embracing the Fast & Funny in the Site-Specific Fringe Show “Behold, the Barfly” – In Conversation with Justin Haigh

In the Greenroom’s Madryn McCabe sat down with Justin Haigh, writer, director and co-producer of Behold, the Barfly! playing at the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival, to chat about the thrill behind how the show came together, working with a killer team, and the challenges and joys of working in a site-specific venue.

MMC: Why don’t you tell me a little bit about the show?

JH: 

Behold, the Barfly! is a surreal and cerebral sketch comedy revue set in the subconscious mind of a slumbering barfly. It’s got traditional sketches, some rather dark humour (bring the kids!), some theatre of the mind, a couple of musical numbers, a Christmas pageant that is just plain ridiculous, and a loose through-line that I won’t spoil here but that I hope will add just a smidge of genuine emotion to counterbalance the sheer silliness of it all.

MMC: I’ve read that you were asked to do a site-specific show after one had dropped out. What was it like putting together a show in only two months?



JH: I got an email at the end of March (I guess that actually makes it three months from email to opening night… but still, a timeline of madness) informing me that another site-specific show had dropped out and I was next on the waiting list, and did I want to take their place? Having no script, no plan, no venue, no cast, no creative team, and no budget, I was hesitant for obvious reasons, but Sarah [Thorpe – assistant director/co-producer/actor] said, “If you don’t do it, you’ll probably regret it.” I realized she was right. The Fringe is probably the most affordable way of independently producing a show in Toronto with the bonus of having a built-in enthusiastic audience willing to take a chance on just about anything. I’ve always loved sketch comedy and had always wanted to give writing it a shot, so I figured this was the universe telling me to shit or get off the pot.

It’s been pretty non-stop ever since then. I’ve found the biggest challenge (other than the lack of sleep and absence of free time) was to have to put a lot of pieces together simultaneously that would normally be done sequentially. I was writing the script at the same time as securing a venue, working on graphics, approaching potential cast members – I even had to come up with a description for the show for the Fringe program when I didn’t even have the thing written.

Needless to say it’s been an incredibly stressful yet productive two and a half months, and we will see what audiences have to say, but I’m quite proud of what we have managed to accomplish in so little time.

Photo Credit:

Photo by Laura Dittmann

MMC: You’ve got a great cast, full of popular indie theatre actors. How did you put this cast together?

JH: 

Your question makes it sound like I put together the A-Team – which in some ways is accurate. We’ve got performers Jeff Hanson and Sarah Thorpe, who are well-known in the indie scene; Eric Miinch, Ned Petrie, Marsha Mason, and Steve Hobbs, who are known within the sketch and comedy community; Elizabeth Anacleto is a respected figure in the clown community; and Kevin MacPherson is a classically trained actor who has made his mark in the east coast Shakespeare scene. It’s a bit of a Swiss Army Knife of a cast in that sense, which I love because everyone brings something a little different to the table and makes for a more interesting production over all.

As for how we assembled it, I was already friends with half the cast, so call that the benefit of having a social circle filled with talented individuals. It wasn’t really a question of if we wanted to work with them, but just what parts they’d be good for. The other half were either actors that I or Sarah saw perform somewhere at some point and we made a note of their talent and that we should keep them in mind for future projects (that’s how we got in touch with Kevin and Marsha who I think were both kind of surprised to get messages out of the blue from someone they’d never met), or actors who were recommended to us, like Steve.

MMC: How do you find doing a site-specific show different from a more traditional theatrical venue?

JH: 

The biggest difference is the lack of tech – you are very much dependent on the concept, writing, and performance to get the idea across. In some ways this is a limitation, but I think it enhances the immediacy of the work. The less artifice on stage, the closer to a shared reality you are with the audience. There is also that magical element of seeing a room or space unexpectedly brought to life by performance; theatre in a theatre leaves no room for surprise or spontaneity, but theatre in a non-theatre setting still feels fun and oddly risqué.

Behold, the Barfly! 4 (Credit - Laura Dittmann)

MMC: You’re known for the cabarets Love is a Poverty You Can Sell 1&2. What can your audience expect from Behold the Barfly! that is similar? Or what sets this show apart from your others?

JH: Like LIAPYCS 1 & 2Behold, The Barfly! is set in a licensed establishment so one can expect the mood to be a bit more relaxed and a little more festive. We hope to give audience members more time than at a traditional venue to settle in, enjoy the atmosphere, grab a drink… maybe chat with some of the characters who will be floating around. I think the joyous atmosphere of the LIAPYCS shows and this one is the greatest common factor. I hope audiences will find the work to be intelligent but not labourious; the world is an increasingly dark and nutty place – I hope we can offer respite from it, even if it is only for 75 minutes.

What sets it apart is the fact that as a format and genre, this is totally unlike many of our past works which include Antigone and No Exit – Greek tragedy and existential drama this ain’t.

Behold, the Barfly!

Presented by Spoon VS Hammer as part of the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival

13310539_650687425080100_1231861444835730337_n

Behold, the Barfly! 1 (Credit - Laura Dittmann)

Photo by Laura Dittmann

Who:
Written By: Justin Haigh
Company: Spoon vs. Hammer
Company origin: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Cast: The Spoon Vs. Hammer Players

What:
From the writer of the smash hit ‘Love is a Poverty You Can Sell’ (★★★★★ / NNNNN) comes a surreal and cerebral sketch spectacular featuring some of Toronto’s finest comedy talent! Peer into the pickled subconscious of a slumbering barfly and behold the wonders within: Mirth! Adventure! Mediocre Poetry! Sober contemplation of life choices! Dinosaurs?

When:
June 29-July 3 & July 5-10 @ 7pm; plus July 9 @ 3pm
12 Performances!

Where:
Monarch Tavern, 12 Clinton Street, Toronto



Tickets:

$12, here: http://fringetoronto.com/fringe-festival/tickets-and-passes/



Connect:
Web: www.SpoonVsHammer.com
Facebook: SpoonVsHammer
Twitter: @SpoonVsHammer
Instagram: @SpoonVsHammer
#BeholdTheBarfly

WARNINGS: Strobe Light, Nudity, Sexual Content, Mature Language

Artist Profile: Gwynne Phillips & Briana Templeton of The Templeton Philharmonic’s “Unbridled & Unstable” at the NSTF

Interview by Hallie Seline

I had the pleasure of chatting with two hugely-talented, intelligent and down-right hilarious performers – Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton of The Templeton Philharmonic about their current sketch show, Unbridled & Unstable, a good-time-havin’ must-see at the Next Stage Theatre Festival (NSTF). 

We discussed the importance of taking risks, the freedom of making your own work, a remixed Downton Abbey theme song, inspiring artists, The Comedy Bar and putting the focus on the work.

HS: Tell us about yourselves.

B: I grew up in Kitchener, ON.

G: And I grew up in the country, near Orangeville, ON.

B: Both of us studied drama at the University of Toronto, where we met. We ended up doing a play together at Il Piccolo Teatro in Milan through the program, which needless to say was very, VERY fun. Since then, I’ve done a lot of theatre and worked behind the scenes for film companies. Right now, in addition to acting, I work as a writer and producer for advertising. It’s very fun and beneficial to infuse whatever comedy I can into my work in that arena, as well.

G: When I’m not performing with The Templeton Philharmonic, I work for a charity called A Ticket Forward as their Social Media Manager. Briana and I have also worked for TIFF doing various jobs. As far as other acting gigs go, I also starred as Barbra in Night Of The Living Dead Live! directed by Christopher Bond last year, which was an incredible experience and probably the most fun I’ve had on stage other than doing sketch.

HS: What sparked The Templeton Philharmonic to get started? 

B: We wanted to create something together as writers and performers, so we applied to the Montreal Fringe back in 2011. Thus, we were forced to create something and ended up making a comedy show. Nothing helps bring art to life like a solid deadline.

G: We were also never cast in anything together at U of T and wanted to create our own work where we could have the freedom to play any type of character we wanted… for instance… two monks in a monastery.

Briana Templeton & Gwynne Phillips

Briana Templeton & Gwynne Phillips

HS: Tell us a bit about Unbridled & Unstable at the NSTF.

B: It’s a comedy show that features a lot of surreal, strange and silly sketches. It’s a lot of fun to perform, and to watch as well (so we hear).

G: U&U (no one calls it that) is a loosely equestrian-themed sketch comedy show with a variety of characters who are all, in some way, either unbridled or unstable.

HS: We are thrilled at how many female artists are representing at the NSTF this year. As artists who hang out in the comedy circuit as well, is that somewhere you see the same vibrancy of female talent being recognized? We’d love to hear your thoughts. 

B: Yup, it’s great. We feel lucky to be a part of both the theatre AND comedy scenes in Toronto – which are home to some awesome talent (of all genders).

G: The calibre of talented ladies in the Toronto comedy scene is exceptional. We are very fortunate to have such a supportive comedy community.

To state the obvious: the entertainment industry is a tough one. And in many ways: it can be even more brutal if you’re female. I think that it’s important for the genders of creators and characters to be more evenly represented in media (the The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has some great stats if you feel like being depressed). And that includes comedy. I think it’s important to acknowledge the disparity and try and actively change that state of affairs.

B: That said… we get asked A LOT about what it’s like to be female comedians. I suppose it’s because humour can be a very powerful thing to wield and/or master… you sink or swim. And there’s that myth that women aren’t as funny, due to our lady brains and all. As such, we’ve had interviewers focus on whether or not we cry after we bomb a set. Somehow, I doubt that’s something they would ask a male comedian…

Of course, our viewpoints as feminists and females does inform our work. It has to, and that’s a good thing. But, I don’t think that’s the ONLY thing we can focus on in our writing, either. We want to be good comedians, period. Not good for comedians that get their period (see what I did there? A pun!). What I’m saying is: we’re very grateful for being recognized as artists, and that people like and/or connect with our work. That’s marvellous. But I hope we don’t get extra kudos just because of our chromosomes, but because we’re doing interesting work. Ya dig?

HS: Totally. Great answer!  Why do you think the NSTF is important for the Toronto arts community and Toronto as a whole? 

B: It helps artists reach a bigger audience, and it helps us to access venues that would be difficult for us to afford otherwise (without jacking up our ticket prices). Getting to perform at the Factory Theatre, for example, is such a pleasure for us.

G: NSTF is great for creating a supportive community of artists gathered in one place to see each other’s work and inspire one another. It’s also refreshing to see so many people lined up outside at the coldest time of year to see some theatre!

Briana Templeton & Gwynne Phillips

Briana Templeton & Gwynne Phillips

HS: Who inspires you?

B: We both really like offbeat, old movies. We recently watched The Innocents (1961) together which is delightfully creepy. And of course, other writers and performers and comedians. I really love Maria Bamford and Key & Peele. In terms of fellow Canadians, I’d say: Tony Ho, Peter ‘n Chris, Kathleen Phillips, Mark Little and Dan Beirne (especially their recent “Space Riders” and “Dad Drives”), we could go on and on.

G: Obviously love Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Kristen Wiig, and Sarah Silverman, among others. But if you just pop into Comedy Bar here in TO, you are surrounded by talented and inspiring folks from stand-ups to sketch comedians who are going out and performing almost every night of the week and just trying stuff out. That’s inspiring.

HS: What is your favourite part of Toronto and why?

B: I love Toronto Island. Probably because of the insane 50-100 year wait list to live there. It makes it that much more appealing because it’ll never happen. Also, name wise: I like Baby Point and Crestfallen Lane.

G: I really love biking in Toronto in the summer and going through all the different neighbourhoods. Seems like it’s becoming a really cool place to live all of a sudden. Maybe too cool…

HS: I would love to hear the best advice you’ve ever gotten. 

B: “Those pants look terrible”. KIDDING. That’s one of the not-so-helpful pieces of advice I’ve gotten. Hmm… a theatre teacher once said “Don’t move unless you need to move, don’t speak unless you need to speak” in regards to being on stage. The point is not to be hesitant on stage but to find your intension and have stakes. Everything you write as a writer and everything you do as an actor should serve a purpose. And, don’t be afraid to streamline your work and distill it. Zero in on what you’re trying to get across, and/or how you are moving the action.

G: Take risks. This is a hard one because it is easy to fall into a pattern that is comfortable – whether it’s in comedy or in life. Just do things that scare you. Don’t fall into old habits or repeat yourself too often. Shake things up!

HS: Favourite part about the NSTF tent? 

B: The heaters. Also, the people huddling around them.

G: The twinkly lights. And one year they had stew. I hope they have stew again.

HS: If you could have your audience listen to a song or playlist before seeing the show, what would it be? 

G: “The Downton Abbey Opening Theme Song” immediately interrupted by “Pump Up The Jam”.

(For your remixing purposes:)

HS: Describe Unbridled and Unstable in 5-10 words.

G: A fast-paced, energetic, comedy/variety show featuring hobby horses.

HS: What’s another NSTF show that you are most excited about?

B: I’m excited to see Dink! Kris Siddiqi makes a voiceover cameo in our show, and Jasmine Chen guest starred in our CBC Punchline web series, “Womanish”. Also, Graham Clark Reads The Phone Book and For A Good Time, Call Kathy Blanchard seem very promising.

G: I would love to see all the shows if I get the chance! They all look intriguing to me. That being said, Graham Clark Reads The Phonebook seems right up my alley.

Unbridled & Unstable

by Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton of The Templeton Philharmonic, presented as part of the Next Stage Theatre Festival

Horse-Photoshoot

Playing everything from upper crust Edwardian snobs to unhinged modern suburbanites, Briana Templeton and Gwynne Phillips have created a show loaded with surreal humour, outrageous dance sequences, and biting social commentary. Unbridled & Unstable will feature best-loved sketches from the duo’s repertoire alongside plenty of daring new material. Expect the unexpected.

Tickets: $15 – Buy here.

Connect: The Templeton Philharmonic

http://templetonphilharmonic.com/
@TempletonPhil 

Where: Factory Theatre Studio (125 Bathurst St.)
Length: 60 min

Created by Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton
Featuring Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton
Stage Manager Vanessa K. Purdy

When:

Wed Jan 7 – 8:30pm
Fri Jan 9 – 5:15pm
Sat Jan 10 – 2:45pm
Sun Jan 11 – 7:00pm – followed by a Talkback at The Hoxton
Mon Jan 12 – 9:15pm
Wed Jan 14 – 6:45pm
Thu Jan 15 – 7:15pm
Sat Jan 17 – 9:00pm
Sun Jan 18 – 6:00pm

Artist Profile: Sam S. Mullins – Storyteller of Fatherly at the Next Stage Theatre Festival

Interview by Hallie Seline

HS: We hear you wear many hats (Comedy, Radio, Playwright, Performer etc). Tell us a bit about yourself and what draws you to the playwright/performer medium with stories like Weaksauce andFatherly?

SM: So many silly hats.

I spend the largest portion of my creative time writing sketch comedy for CBC’s The Irrelevant Show. This is my first year as a full time writer on that show, and it’s been a really terrific experience. Also radio-wise, I’m a regular contributor to the CBC storytelling program Definitely Not the Opera, and I was fortunate enough to get a story on NPR’s The Moth Radio Hour recentlywhich was always a dream of mine.

So. I work in radio, I suppose, which is really exciting for my Grandmother. She tells me that radio used to be a thing.

In the summers, I tour my one-man comedy monologues on the Canadian Fringe circuit. This will be my 4th summer doing the Fringe, and I’m currently trying to decide whether or not I’ll be touring with a version of this current show. I might want to write something new, but then of course, I’d have to go through the agonizing process of premiering a brand new show all over again – which is not for the faint of heart.

So simply, I write sketch comedy and am a storyteller.

What draws me to storytelling? Hm.

I guess I love the simplicity of it. I like the idea of taking something completely stripped of all artifice and theatricality and mounting it in a theatrical space. Of watching something that doesn’t feel like theatre as if it were theatre. I like that I can be funny or poignant or dark or light all at the same time. It doesn’t have to be heavy handed. It doesn’t have to be hilarious. It just has to be true. Theatre is very much a pursuit of truth, so what makes me love going to see a storytelling show, is that it isn’t even a pursuit of truth. It can just be the truth. That will always be captivating to me.

Also. I wasn’t a great actor. And in storytelling, I don’t have to act.

sam-final

HS: Can you speak about Fatherly and where you found the inspiration to write it.

SM: The main story around which I built the show has been my favourite “over beers” story to tell people for a few years now, and it was only a matter of time before I wrote it into a show. It’s a crazy story. Also, I’m a big fan of real-life characters, and the man who raised me is one of those real-life character with whom I knew that audiences would want to be acquainted.

HS: If you could give me 5 words to entice someone to come see Fatherly, what would they be?

SM: You must meet Bill Mullins

HS: What song should someone listen to before coming to see Fatherly?

SM: Yikes. Maybe “The Greatest” by Kenny Rogers. My mother recommended it to be my curtain call song, and thematically, it’s pretty perfect. Maybe too perfect.

HS: Where do you look to find inspiration?

SM: My heroes: Ira Glass, Marc Maron, Woody Allen, Judd Apatow, Mike Birbiglia and David Sedaris.

HS: What’s the best advice you have ever received? 

SM: I used to work in this busy restaurant in Vancouver, and our staff mantra was “Keep doing things. Keep doing things.” The theory behind it is that there’s always something to do in a restaurant. Polish cutlery. Sweep. Clear some plates. But now I’ve kind of extended that mantra into my creative life. Theoretically, if I keep doing things, everything will run more efficiently in my career. It helps me kick myself in the ass.

Aw shit. I’m watching hockey highlights again.  I should be doing a “thing” instead.

Also, I’m a fan of this Louis CK quote:

“Everything you do should be better than everything you’ve done before. That, to me, is a guiding principle.”

HS: What’s your favourite place in Toronto/in Canada and why?

SM: Favourite place in Toronto is the outdoor skating rink by Bathurst and Dundas.  I love playing shinny, and with the city skyline as the backdrop, it’s just stunning.

My favourite place in Canada is the lake on which I grew up – Kalamalka in the Okanagan. Google it. You’ll never see a more beautiful place.

HS: What is you favourite beer in the Next Stage Festival beer tent?

SM: When I’m at a theatre festival, I’m all about the Apricot St Ambroise.  I only drink it in the context of a theatre beer tent, so it tastes like I’m having the time of my life.

Fatherly

Sam_0152

Written and performed by Sam S. Mullins
Where: Factory Theatre Antechamber
When:
Mon Jan 13 8.30pm
Wed Jan 15 8.15pm
Thu Jan 16 6.15pm
Fri Jan 17 6.15pm
Sat Jan 18 8.15pm
Sun Jan 19 6.45pm
Tickets: $10 www.fringetoronto.com/next-stage-festival/

Follow Sam’s blog: http://samsmullins.com/