2013 Toronto Fringe Festival: Fort Isabel

Friends encounter a grave secret in Sarah Miller-Garvin's dark two-hander

Presented by Blood Orange Theatre & Deviant Productions
Written by Sarah Miller-Garvin
Directed by Evan Vipond

A traumatic childhood experience can have lifelong repurcussions for those involved. In some cases, the events that transpire in our lives as children can come back to haunt us in ways we may have never expected, years down the road. Fort Isabel, now playing at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace as part of this year's Toronto Fringe Festival, shines a harsh light on the effects of a traumatic childhood experience on the lives of two friends, and the secrets that dwell within each individual as a result of what they saw all those years ago.  

Lifelong best friends Jen (Jennifer Krukowski) and Clinton (Victor Pokinko) are the sole characters in the play, and narrator Jen describes their upbringing in quiet rural Ontario, a place where there has been one murder in the last 100 years. Fort Isabel, a fort they built in the woods, is a symbol of their childhood, an innocence that was destroyed when they found a body in the tall grass while walking to school one morning.

In the years following the discovery of this bodya man dressed in women's clothingJen and Victor go on to high school and begin to discover things about themselves that they, at first, find troubling. The small-town stigma around homosexuality is a major theme in this production, and is portrayed very effectively by both Krukowski and Pokinko, as they describe how their parents would react if they found out their children were gay, and how people in general would feel.

Krukowski is an articulate narrator and carries the production through monologues directed at the audience, and dialogue with Pokinko. Pokinko shines in a scene where he acts out his father's  furious and disturbing reaction to his son's homosexuality. Fort Isabel is very dialogue-heavy, but engaging, boldly touching on difficult themes.

Fort Isabel plays until July 13 at Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace. Visit fringetoronto.com for more information.




Show Dates: 
Wed, 2013-07-03 - Sat, 2013-07-13
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