Wistful, whimsical, dreamy & mind-bending theatre in InspiraTO Festival blueShow line-up

inspiratofestival-1Part two of my InspiraTO Festival opening night double header at Alumnae Theatre on Thursday night. Here’s what went down during the blueShow line-up:

Intersection by Josh Downing, directed by Yehuda Fisher. Why does a heartsick young man want to cross the dangerously busy road? And why is the crossing guard so reluctant to help him? Actors Tom Beattie (the squirrely, despairing Rich) and Christina Song (the wonderfully deadpan and seemingly unflappable crossing guard Cat) have amazing comedic chemistry in this wacky tale of connection and interaction – nicely done!

Of a Feather by Dale Sheldrake, directed by Kelsey Laine Jacobson. Marjory and Dean have conversation. Bingo is happening soon. A poetic, fantastical exploration of communication, empathy and connection. This piece uses beautiful, lyrical language – evocatively delivered by actors Camille Marshall and Kevin Chew (who also appears in redShow Meeting Mr. Right – and I wouldn’t have known had I not recognized the name).

Poison Control by Rebecca Gorman O’Neill, directed by Rebecca Ballarin. An emergency call to a poison control centre is not what you think. The comedic impact of this show owes a lot to the hilariously earnest performances of Madeline Leon and Derek Masterson.

Last Night at the Paradise by Elektra, directed by Annemieke Wade. A disco fantasy/memory as we watch DJ Larry Levan setting up for one last party at Paradise Garage. There’s a lovely, optimistic melancholy in Ryan Singh’s performance as the intensely committed party maestro DJ Larry; and Sheree Spencer is Donna Summers and all that as the stunning and sparkling Disco.

Save the Date by Caity-Shea Violette, directed by Josh Downing. Remarkably poignant with touches of rom-com to ease the ache as two former lovers meet hours before one of them gets married. Did they make a mistake? Lovely, tender and truthful work from actors Amanda Pereira and Marissa Spada.

Brother, Brother by Meghan Greeley, directed by Dale Sheldrake. Two kids meet after school in the schoolyard. Four bucks for four words. A beautifully rendered two-hander as one kid helps a kid with a speech impediment get the words right for a very important event tomorrow. Really nice work from actors Danny Parkes and Madeleine Brown as the two kids, who have very different personalities, but tightly connected in their united goal for their bittersweet project.

Roaming by Phillip Gerson, directed by Kelsey Laine Jacobson. Set in New York City, three people sit at separate coffee shop tables, each having a conversation on their cell. Perspective is everything when it comes to attitude and point of view. This cast nails the three very different responses to life in NYC: hopeful optimism of a newcomer (Christina Leonard), the jaded irritation of an out of work actor (Marko Djurdjic) and the wistful nostalgia and romance with a city of a life-long resident in transition (Abbas Pajooman).

TEN: A Short History of InspiraTO, written/directed by Dominik Loncar. A bonus show performed only on opening night and again on June 2 at the end of the blueShow program – a brief, fun look at the history of the InspiraTO Festival. Shouts to the cast for taking us on this tense, funny and inspirational journey: Farah Farah, Irene Theocharis, Tom Beattie, Natalie Bazar and Dominik Loncar.

With shouts again 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 blueShow line-up is a sampling of wistful, whimsical, dreamy and mind-bending theatre. Some like it sublime – 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.


Published by life with more cowbell

Multidisciplinary storyteller. Out & proud. Torontonian. Likes playing with words. A lot.

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