SummerWorks 2014

5 shows to watch this at this year's SummerWorks Performance Festival

Unintentionally Depressing Children's Tales by Erin Fleck

Launched in 1991, the SummerWorks Performance Festival is the largest juried and curated performance festival in Canada. This year's event runs from August 7 to 17 at venues across the city.

Programming includes The National Series, a grouping of projects from outside of Ontario; The Juried Series, curated by a group of four arts professionals, including SummerWorks Artistic Producer Michael Rubenfeld; The Live Art Series and The Music Series, featuring artists such as Broken Social Scene's Brendan Canning performing with Brendan Healy of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, to name just one act in the lineup.

While we recommend seeing as many shows as possible, here are five that top our list of must-sees in the Juried Series this time around.

1) Gash!

David Benjamin Tomlinson pays homage to the the Hag Horror films of the 1960s and early 70s (remember Bette Davis in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?) with his new play Gash! performed by Aurora Browne, Elley-Ray Hennessy, Ryan Kelly, Shane MacKinnon, Tim Post, Carolyn Taylor and the author himself. Venue: Theatre Passe Muraille.

2) Tragedy: A Tragedy

Stewart Arnott directs Don Allison, Benjamin Clost, Miranda Edwards, Cyrus Lane and Christopher Stanton in Will Eno's apocolyptic comedy Tragedy: A Tragedy. Described as "a Samuel Beckett for the Jon Stewart generation" by the NY Times, this playwright's work promises to be darkly funny and relevant. Venue: Lower Ossington Theatre.

3) The Container

Winner of the 2007 Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award, Clare Bayley's The Container makes its Canadian debut at this year's SummerWorks Performance Festival. The play tells the story of five people, thrown together by circumstance and necessity, who travel across Europe together in a shipping container. Sounds like an intriguing premise. Venue: The Theatre Centre Backlot.

4) Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales

Shadow puppets, projection and stop motion storytelling come together in Erin Fleck's Unintentionally Depressing Children's Tales—a bedtime saga for grown-ups directed by Maya Rabinovitch. Bring a blanket and leave the kiddies at home. Venue: Lower Ossington Theatre Studio.

5) Unknown Soldier

SummerWorks regulars lemonTree creations return this year with Unknown Soldier (written and directed by Jonathan Seinen), a fictionalized drama inspired by the actions of Chelsea (formerly Bradley) Manning, a US Army Private who leaked classified documents to Wikileaks and was recently sentenced to 35 years in prison. Don't miss it. Venue: Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace.

The SummerWorks Performance Festival runs from August 7-17. Visit for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Thu, 2014-08-07 - Sun, 2014-08-17



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