Archive | July, 2017

2017 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: The Seat Next to the King

3 Jul

04-27-2017-051849-3711Your name: Tanisha Taitt

Your production: The Seat Next to the King

Your role: Director

Tell me about your show.

It is September of 1964 and behind the doors of a public washroom in a Washington D.C. park, two lives linked to two of America’s most important figures collide when a white man seeking sex meets a black male stranger. Steven Elliott Jackson has written a bold and affecting play — one that explores race, sexuality and masculinity — and the cost of reconciling these things to two very different human beings with a shared innate need.

Now again in the style of a tweet by Donald Trump.

It is not September 1964! It is 2017! FAKE NEWS! Also — SEX in Washington D.C. I have a lot of this.

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

I definitely want to support the work of fellow female creators who are talented friends of mine. I’m looking forward to Welcome To The Bunker, Bad Baby, This Is Not She, and Nourishment. Really hoping to see them all — unfortunately I’m working fulltime during Fringe so hopefully I can make the calendar work.

This year we lost the great Jon Kaplan who was a incomparable supporter of independent theatre and a ubiquitous presence at the Fringe. Are there any thoughts, stories, or memories of Jon you’d like to share?

I miss Jon so, so much and it breaks my heart that he isn’t here to see this show. I really hoped that he would make it. Jon was incredibly kind, passionate and ever-encouraging. We had the loveliest conversations. He was so supportive of my first play, and interviewed me for a preview piece in NOW when no one else would have considered me enough of a “name” to do that. I especially loved Jon’s intense respect for TYA, and always enjoyed running into him and sharing hugs at YPT. He saw children and youth as critical audiences, which so many adult theatre artists still fail to understand. It will be so strange to not see Jon making his way around the festival. It will be so strange to never see him again. I adored him. He made our artistic community more reflective and more loving. An absolute gem of a human.

The world is becoming an increasingly crazy and volatile place. If you could air-drop an elite squad of theatre artists any place in the world, where would you drop them and what would their mission be?

That is a next to impossible question. I could choose one place, but then I couldn’t justify it over somewhere else. Art isn’t needed one place more than another; it is a universal imperative. I also think that elite theatre artists already exist in just about every nation on earth. I would never presume that I could give any nation artists that could do for their societies more than there own creators could. Not the sexiest answer, but my honest one.

2017 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: Welcome to the Bunker!

3 Jul

04-25-2017-223841-1788Your name: Clare Blackwood

Your production: Welcome to the Bunker!

Your role: Writer/Actor/Producer

Tell me about your show.

Welcome to the Bunker! is an immersive zombie apocalypse comedy set in a bunker deep below Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. Katie, a young zombie rights activist, and Todd, an antisocial doomsday prepper, will give you and your fellow survivors an orientation into bunker living that could just save your lives- if everything goes according to their half-assed, yet optimistic, plan. Feelings Circles! Obsessive rationing! Nearly fully figured out chemical toilets! Just ignore that scratching coming from the walls, won’t you?

Now again in the style of a tweet by Donald Trump.

Canadians hiding from zombies in bunkers? Not surprised! Isn’t pot legal up there? Sad! #brainless

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Definitely Sex T-Rex’s Bendy Sign Tavern at the Paddock Tavern; Peter N’ Chris’s Chris’tmas Carol; Dear Uncle Wish by Theatre Enthused; The Coincidence Men Presents Shakespeare’s Ghostbusters; and Everything There is to Know by Musicals Canada.

 

The world is becoming an increasingly crazy and volatile place. If you could air-drop an elite squad of theatre artists any place in the world, where would you drop them and what would their mission be?

How did you find out about the Initiative?! I have to go make some untraceable calls now….

2017 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: She Grew Funny

3 Jul

04-28-2017-145329-8548Your name: Brett McCaig

Your production: She Grew Funny

Your role: Producer

Tell me about your show.

Comedian Joanne O’Sullivan tells the touching, funny and true story of how her life changed when her daughter turned 6, the same age that she was when her own mother died.

A pivotal moment that sent her on a journey to try answer the question she sees in everyone’s expression the moment they find out about her loss – “What did you become having lost your mother so young?

“She Grew Funny” is a look into the age-old connection between tragedy and comedy and how our pasts can irrevocably affect our future.

Now again in the style of a tweet by Donald Trump.

My fabulous mother died when I was little. Sad. But it made me amazing!

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

I’m actually looking forward to seeing as many as I can, all of them if possible!

This year we lost the great Jon Kaplan who was a incomparable supporter of independent theatre and a ubiquitous presence at the Fringe. Are there any thoughts, stories, or memories of Jon you’d like to share?

I did not know Jon Kaplan personally. But losing anyone who is so committed and vested in the arts community is always a sad thing.

The world is becoming an increasingly crazy and volatile place. If you could air-drop an elite squad of theatre artists any place in the world, where would you drop them and what would their mission be?

I definitely think the US should stop dropping smart bombs and start dropping musicals anywhere and everywhere in the world…it always makes people happy.

2017 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: Bendy Sign Tavern

3 Jul

06-12-2017-141758-7707Your name: Seann Murray

Your production: Bendy Sign Tavern

Your role: Collective member of Sex-T-Rex

Tell me about your show.

Bendy Sign Tavern is a puppet rom-com set inside the Paddock tavern. It’s like Cheers if everyone was made of foam. Also, there are songs, because they are puppets. Also you can order a beer from the puppets, because they are running the bar. The beer is made out of hops and barely, but also, appropriately enough, has foam.

Now again in the style of a tweet by Donald Trump.

Despite starting out as a joke, Bendy Sign Tavern actually is in the Toronto Fringe asygdy

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

There are so many great comedy acts in the Fringe this year. We always look forward to Ingrid Hansen’s work (Interstellar Elder) and Peter N’ Chris never disappoint, but I’m particularly interested in taking in some of the many promising sketch shows in the festival, as Sex T-Rex is looking to move into more sketchy work in 2018.

The world is becoming an increasingly crazy and volatile place. If you could air-drop an elite squad of theatre artists any place in the world, where would you drop them and what would their mission be?

I don’t think you need to send theatre artists very far afield to find craziness and volatility- all people need entertainment in trying times, and an entertained audience is much more open to internalizing whatever call for change might be in your work.

2017 Toronto Fringe Preview Questionnaire: Caitlin & Eric Are Broken Up

3 Jul

06-08-2017-153628-1484Your name: Caitlin Robson

Your production: Caitlin & Eric Are Broken Up

Your role: Actor/co-writer/producer

Tell me about your show.

The play is centered on an imaginary rebound between Caitlin Robson (Karenin’s Anna, Fringe 2014; Seams, Summerworks 2015)and Eric Miinch (Behold! The Barfly! Fringe 2016; Fratwurst Comedy) In 2015, the respective actress and improviser met at an open-mic where they each told true stories from their past relationships. He liked hers. She liked his. This play is a combination of both their stories. Throughout the show, they transition between the present and their past, playing each others’ partners. Through this painfully funny encounter Caitlin and Eric explore the meaning of love, marriage and divorce, fidelity, growing up, growing out of love, and the art of moving on.

The show is directed and co-written by Toronto’s own feminist comedian, Jess Beaulieu, of the Crimson Wave Comedy and Podcast; and devised through a one-of-a-kind experiment in storytelling, improv and written sketch.

If there are any lonely hearts out there looking for a laugh, this one goes out to you!

Now again in the style of a tweet by Donald Trump.

MAKE CAITLIN & ERIC NOT BROKEN UP AGAIN!

What other shows or artists are you looking forward to seeing?

Peter ‘n’ Chris, Sex T-Rex, Shakespeare’s Ghostbusters, Diddlin’ Bibbles

This year we lost the great Jon Kaplan who was a incomparable supporter of independent theatre and a ubiquitous presence at the Fringe. Are there any thoughts, stories, or memories of Jon you’d like to share?

He was a big supporter of young artists. He was very gracious about our 2014 Fringe play Karenin’s Anna.

The world is becoming an increasingly crazy and volatile place. If you could air-drop an elite squad of theatre artists any place in the world, where would you drop them and what would their mission be?

I would air-drop all of Sesame Street into the White House to explain to Trump about world history and politics along with all the lessons he should have learned as a child.