Out at Alumnae Theatre last night for the opening night of the 10th annual InspiraTO Festival. The festival of 10-minute plays has grown over the years to include two full line-ups of plays running throughout the fest, as well as a series of one-off performances – including site-specific shows – as well as art exhibits, live music, readings and talkbacks.
I did a double header last night: the redShow and blueShow performances. Here’s the scoop on the redShow line-up:
Meeting Mr. Right by Stephan de Ghelder, directed by Nick May. A charming and playful look at a secret admirer/blind date night out at the theatre. Truly engaging and endearing performances from Scott Labonte and Kevin Chew.
Call Raul by Joseph Borini, directed by Sarah Finn. During a spring cleaning purge, Rozzelli’s wife includes his personal nuclear device in a Salvation Army clothing/house wares donation – hilarity ensues. Great work from the cast (Peter Mazzucco, Tracy Jennissen, Bruce Williamson and Jack Ritchie) in this wacky, darkly funny look at who’s got their finger on the red button – and the mysterious, powerful man to whom people seem to turn for everything.
Leo Rising by Angie Farrow, directed by Dominik Loncar. A jilted bride stands outside the window of her AWOL groom and calls him out. Poignant, humourous and edgy work from Liz Laywine in this intense one-person show.
Broken Windows by Fiona Raye Clarke, directed by Chiamaka G. Ugwu. In a world of extreme policing, a black man and an Arab man get into a fight on a streetcar – and their wives are left to pick up the pieces. Strong, moving work from the cast in this piece that examines cultural and police bigotry, stereotyping and violence – and the fallout for those who are left behind: Marina Moreira, Anthony Morgan, Aisha Bentham and Basel Daoud.
The Ugly by Tabitha Keast, directed by Sarah Finn. A woman’s routine physical check-up with her GP has unexpected results. Lovely, nuanced performances from Alex Bortoluzzi and Lavetta Griffin.
The Twelve-Forty by Barry Brodsky, directed by Chiamaka G. Ugwu. It’s late at night and a white man and a black man strike up a conversation while waiting for the last train of the day – assumptions and misunderstanding ensue. Excellent work from Cameron Grant and Rob Renda in this two-hander that shifts back and forth from dramatic to hilarious.
Border Lines by William S. E. Coleman, directed by Erin O’Hanley. Four roommates sharing a cramped apartment have a disagreement get out of hand – and resort to some unusual mediation tactics. Big, fun crazy times with this cast: Chris Pereira, Austin Leggett, Irene Theocharis and Katie Witkowski.
Shouts to the InspiraTO creative team: Dominik Loncar (AD & producer), Lumir Hladik (Associate AD, set & motion media designer), Paul Hardy (lighting designer), and music mixes by DJ Angus James (redShow) and DJ Parker Nowlan (blueShow).
InspiraTO’s redShow line-up is a collection of intense, passionate, darkly funny and thought-provoking theatre pieces. Some like it hot – do you?
Here’s the full line-up for the 2015 InspiraTO Theatre Festival – check the website for exact dates/times:
redShow: Seven 10-minute plays in one show performed on the Mainstage
blueShow: Seven 10-minute plays in one show performed on the Mainstage
quickies: Ten stand-alone, 10-minute plays, are performed at the Trinity studio (2nd floor) every half hour
urbanART X: OCAD University Curatorium – curator Victoria Mohr-Blakeney presents three contemporary artists and their work on stage
urbanART Y: OCAD University Curatorium – curator Matthew Kyba presents three contemporary artists and their work on stage
theatreSafari: Audiences are led to four off-site-specific shows and watch a 10-minute play at each venue
theatreCarrousel: Audiences attend four site specific “rotating” shows within the Alumnae building and watch a 10-minute play at each venue
readings: A reading of select plays from InspiraTO’s 10-year history (180 10-minute plays produced to date)
talkBacks: Post-performance Q&A session with the Artistic Director, Associate Artistic Director and graduates of Theatre InspiraTO’s Playwriting Academy
The InspiraTO Festival continues all over the Alumnae Theatre space until June 6; you can purchase festival passes and advance tix online here or get them at the door.