Annabel Soutar’s documentary play, Seeds, plants dissention. Scientists, researchers, industry representatives, advocacy groups and farmers argue the safety of genetically modified organisms, commonly called GMO’s. Through verbatim trial transcripts, interviews and speeches Soutar crafts a powerful mine field of what if’s.Though obviously attempting to appear unbiased, Soutar’s script weighs heavily on the side of banning GMO’s. And the production, at the Blyth Theatre, is at its most powerful and poignant when the playwright strips away her attempts at being objective and presents her true feelings no holds barred. Photo courtesy of Terry Manza
Review by Judith Robinson
The Shaw Festival’s production of Ibsen’s The Lady from the Sea is sheer perfection. The backstage elements, the direction, and the acting combine to create an otherworldly, enchanting experience. This is not typical Ibsen. Although there is the usual strong female protagonist who struggles against the conventions of middle class morality, as in The Doll’s House and Hedda Gabler, this play goes deeper. The added mythological dimensions, the heightened poetic language, and the ever present pulse of nature overpower the domestic storyline. Photo courtesy of Shaw’s David Cooper
After a three-year hiatus, the editorial staff of ONTARIO ARTS REVIEW has decided to conclude its boycott, citing a positive change in the Fringe’s Directors. Every Festival demands only the highest level of professional attitude.
A THOUSAND NATURAL SHOCKS Hamilton Theatre Inc.
NYC- ‘Garner; Ferguson- Brown; LA- Ford; CLEVELAND- Rice; MADISON- Robinson, all recent front-page headlines about Police shootings, even Toronto had one on the TTC. But the follow-ups about what really happened or the effect on the officer usually end up buried in section two – BTF. Writer/producer Bryan Boodhoo and director Luis Arrojo scrutinize and explore the emotional effect on said police officer. More…
Images powerfully portray the message at the heart of Annabel Soutar’s play, The Watershed—that it’s time for Canadians to stand up and protect their water supply. Soutar’s message was most powerfully communicated subliminally through a visceral encounter with the land. A CanStage production, projection designer, Denyse Karn creates a sense of movement, atmosphere and mood through a series of projected images on the walls, floor and ceiling. The Environmental Lakes Area (ELA) near Kenora came alive through the projections of ice particles dancing in the air. More…
Director Peter Hinton’s skillful weaving of modern trends among the classical themes in the Shaw Festival’s production of Pygmalion, grabs the audience’s attention right from the start. The atmosphere is foreboding, contemporary, and prophetic. By placing the action in present day London, this production takes the emphasis away from the sexism of Henry Higgins, played by Patrick McManus, to focus on the modern generation of unemployed youth among out of touch elites. The focal point is on the class struggle–even more pronounced than it was in 1912. Photo by Emily Cooper
Review By Judith Robinson
Some cages are gilded with gold. But no one wants to be trapped for too long, according to playwright, J.M. Barrie, in The Ten Pound Look. Barrie, the author of ‘Peter Pan’, was an apparent champion of women’s rights. It certainly appears so in this 1910 comedic drama that focuses on the hard fought freedom of a wealthy man’s wife. With the price of a portable typewriter (ten pounds), Moya O’Connell, as Kate, has managed to escape from her dictatorial husband, Sir Harry Sims, played by Patrick Galligan. Photo by David Cooper