Welcome to the year 2015 and to the first inaugural meeting of FLIP (Foundation for Lasting International Peace), an organization whose purpose is to promote world peace by bringing global communities to follow a secular world view and eliminate religion – the cause of most world conflicts. At this meeting, the film The Omega Project by FLIP members Daniel and Lindsay Cooper, an eye-opening documentary of the 2011 Egypt conflicts, will also be debuted.
When I first read about The Omega Project, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Is this a fictional play? Is it actually real? Until I dug a little further I realized that the production takes place in the near future, three years from now, and I started to develop an idea of what is to come.
You are also lead through the Annex Toronto Chapter’s headquarters, namely the “former” Trinity St. Paul’s United Church (interesting for an organization aimed at eliminating religion), to a communal meeting space with yoga mats and pillows on the floor, and refreshments at the back.
You are greeted by a friendly face, Kirsten Scott playing Hannah Sawyer, who offers you information on the session and a fan to beat the heat.
Daniel Cooper (played by Luke LaRocque) welcomes you to the meeting, four years after him and his lovely wife Lindsay (played by Emily Opal Smith) shot their stunning, inspiring and controversial film The Omega Project. The audience is welcome to ask questions about FLIP’s work and involvement in major world events.
Throughout the meeting, one thing becomes painfully clear, Lindsay is very uncomfortable being present. Soon, you understand why.
As the story of The Omega Project unfolds, you lean the history behind Daniel and Lindsay – Daniel a filmmaker from Toronto sent to Egypt to document the conflicts there and Lindsay, a former citizen of Cairo who was striving for social change from within and the family tragedy she endured as cause of this conflict.
You learn that her opinions portrayed in The Omega Project were coerced, that her name and story are being associated with a cause that she actually didn’t believe in. That this beautiful and touching story has been created under false pretenses.
What it asks of the audience is to ultimately be critical of everything you see and hear in the media. That though the source may seem reputable, the cause seem just, you owe it to yourself to dig further, research and learn more, that film as seen and created through a filmmaker’s eye shows only one side of any story.
The performance is highly interactive, thought provoking, intriguing and begs conversation to follow, so bring a friend or two or three and experience The Omega Project, a play unlike any you’re likely to see at Fringe this year.
- The Omega Project plays at Venue 19 Trinity St. Paul’s United Church (427 Bloor St. West).
- Show times are: July 8 at 4 pm, July 9 at 8 pm, July 10 at 3 pm, July 11 at 2 pm, July 12 at 5 pm, July 13 at 8 pm, July 14 at 8 pm, and July 15 at 4 pm.
- All individual Fringe tickets are $10 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at www.fringetoronto.com, by phone at 416-966-1062, in person at The Randolph Centre for the Arts, 736 Bathurst Street (Advance tickets are $11 – $9+$2 service charge)
- Value packs are available if you plan to see at least 5 shows.
Photo of Emily Opal Smith and Luke LaRocque by Doug Hamilton.