2012 Toronto Fringe Festival: Q&A With Tracey Erin Smith

Tracey Erin Smith talks about her solo show Snug Harbor

In Snug Harbor, a one-woman show now playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival, Tracey Erin Smith deals with a deeply personal subject: her father’s suicide. Here, the Toronto-based performer and founder of SoulOTheatre gives us some background on this project, and her other Fringe production SOULO, a circus show featuring three Queer men sharing their personal stories of love, loss and how cross-dressing can save lives.

Theatromania: Tell us about Snug Harbor, why did you write this piece?

TES: I wrote Snug Harbor as an exploration of how we cope when something happens to us that we never imagined, and yet here it is. I use a lot of humour in the story because that was a major way that I coped. The event that happened to me, was my father taking his own life in 2010. I want to help take this topic further out of the closet and start a discussion. That is why I have a talk-back session after every show, where the audience can ask me questions and share their own stories if they like.

Theatromania: What inspired you to stage the play in the Centre for Psychotherapy (316 Dupont Street)?

TES: This is such a personal story and so intimate that my director, Anita La Selva and I chose take it out of a traditional theatre setting and have it in a more intimate setting. The magical room we found at The Centre seats a 60 person audience very comfortably, it has a cozy feel and the very unique lighting they installed 40 years ago makes it feel like part theatre, part group therapy room. It’s really cool.

Theatromania: What do you hope audiences take away from this show?

TES: What was my hope has now become a reality. I have performed the piece to several sold-out audiences and they have told me that they were deeply moved, they laughed and were grateful to be able to talk about the show and it’s topic in the talk-back after the performance.

Theatromania: You also have another show, SOULO, in this year’s Fringe Festival. How do you manage both productions at the same time?

TES: It has been a crazy and wonderful time. I would rehearse Snug Harbor and the next day, SOULO. All at my house! My husband has been very patient and actually said he enjoyed having all the actors over and hearing us laugh and create in the living room. I have also had an incredible team of stage managers and my co-producer, Elenna Mosoff, from Toronto’s Acting Up Stage as my saving grace.

Theatromania: What’s next for you?

TES: I’d love a Sea Breeze and a plate of Nachos on an outdoor patio, with my husband! And after that…my next sessions of SoulOTheatre courses start in the fall in Toronto, and I am teaching a weekend intensive in New York City in August. I will tour Snug Harbour and plan on a remount of SOULO. We are very lucky and excited that both shows received rave reviews and Critic’s Pick in NOW Magazine.

Catch Snug Harbor and SOULO at the Toronto Fringe Festival (dates and show times below). Visit fringetoronto.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Snug Harbor – The Centre (316 Dupont St.)

July 12 09:30 PM
July 13 07:30 PM
July 14 07:30 PM
July 15 03:00 PM

SOULO - Robert Gill Theatre

July 14 07:00 PM


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