2015 SummerWorks Performance Festival

Six theatre productions to see at the 2015 SummerWorks Performance Festival

The Templeton Philharmonic: An Evening in July

SummerWorks is back! Canada's largest juried and curated performance festival takes over Toronto for 11 days from August 6 to 16, with more than 50 productions and performances happening all over the city. This year's edition– SummerWorks 25 – marks the organization’s 25th anniversary.

Here, we list six shows that caught our eye in the theatre category this year.

An Evening in July
Presented by The Templeton Philharmonic
Venue: St. George the Martyr Anglican Church 197 John Street

Gwynne Phillips and Briana Templeton, otherwise known as the sketch comedy duo The Templeton Philharmonic, bring their outlandish style and wit to SummerWorks this month with An Evening in July. Inspired by cult documentary Grey Gardens and Helene de Rothschild’s 1972 Surrealist Ball, this immersive, site-specific dark comedy transforms the garden and parish hall of St. George the Martyr Anglican Church into the strange and lavish home of two eccentric sisters as they prepare to host the garden party of their dreams.

Beautiful Man

Presented by Groundwater Productions
Venue: The Theatre Centre Mainspace 1115 Queen Street West

Erin Shields' Beautiful Man is a response to the aggressive and relentless violence against women in film and television. Directed by Andrea Donaldson, the play is performed by a powerhouse ensemble, including Melissa D'Agostino, Brett Donahue, Ava Jane Markus, and Anusree Roy. 

Better Angels: A Parable

Presented by Call Me Scotty Productions
Venue: Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace 16 Ryerson Avenue

Andrea Scott's Better Angels: A Parable tells the story of Akosua (Akosua Amo-Adem), a young woman who moves to Canada from Ghana to work as a nanny/housekeeper for Toronto couple Leila (Sascha Cole) and Greg Tate (Peyson Rock). Does Leila miss her high-powered job? Is Greg cheating again? Taking cues from Anansi, the West African spider god, Akosua teases out the answers and uses them to turn the tables on her friendly captors in this tale of modern day slavery.

That Synching Feeling

Presented by Outside The March
Venue: The Lab (3rd Floor) 483 Queen St. W

That Syncing Feeling is divided into two, connected experiences, downloaded into one immersive evening: Tethered Together (30 minutes): an intimate and anonymous one-on-one experience created by Outside the March that brings you and a stranger together by breaking down barriers of intimacy – using only your cellphones.

I Wish I Was Lonely (60 minutes): a no-holds-barred game of technological truth or dare that questions whether “being connected” is the same as actually connecting with another human being. Written and conceived by Hannah Walker and Chris Thorpe, in a new adaptation devised by performers Nicola Elbro, Alex McCooeye, and director Simon Bloom.

The Hum

Presented by A Theatre Gargantua SideStream Cycle with the GzAp Collective
Venue: Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace 16 Ryerson Avenue

Composer John Gzowski and choreographer Julia Aplin partner with their daughter Jenny Aplin in The Hum. Like her parents, Jenny explores big ideas through art. Her drawings focus on how we, and everything in nature, are made from the same elements, all from recycled stardust. Jenny is part of a generation growing up at the world’s tipping point, for whom climate change is the defining issue, and who will find her way in the world she inherits. The Hum is a playful exchange between science, art and family.

Tough Guy Mountain

Written and Directed by Iain Soder, Tough Guy Mountain combines theatre techniques inspired by Meyerhold and Brecht with a comedic musical theatre style and digital animation to create a fast-paced, engaging spectacle. The play follows intern Lisa on her first day at the hyper-capitalist extra-dimensional corporation known as Tough Guy Mountain, the place where brands are manufactured and sold to companies, celebrities and anything deserving of a brand.

The young protagonist interacts with a colourful cast of powerful executives, lifelong interns and strange computer programs. Tough Guy Mountain utilizes digital projections, holograms, choreographed dance and iPads to create a fantastical office aesthetic.

SummerWorks Performance Festival runs from August 6 to 16, 2015. Visit summerworks.ca for more information and to buy tickets.

Show Dates: 
Thu, 2015-08-06 - Sun, 2015-08-16


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