Cirqular – Toronto Fringe 2014 Press Release


From press release

Time Stands Still

for Artichoke Heart’s Cirqular

Set in a world governed by the tick tock of the clock, a young girl explores beyond the city boundaries and comes upon a group of rebels uncovering a dark secret hiding within the clocktower.  Cirqular, a new puppetry piece by Artichoke Heart, investigates our relationship with man-made mechanical time and how it affects our views on life, aging and death.  This story is told without the use of language; sound and movement guide the narrative.

The development of Cirqular was funded by the Ontario Arts Council (and backed by five theatre companies!) through the Theatre Creators’ Reserve program.  This funding enabled project leaders Michelle Urbano and Tijiki Morris to drive across the country to take residency with Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia and begin devising a show under the mentorship of Artistic Director Jim Morrow.  Exploring the theme of “biological time vs. mechanical time,” the two took apart old mechanical clocks to create puppets from their parts.  Through improvisation, discussion, play and trial and error, a story emerged from the ether.

This project is headed by director Tijiki Morris, recently nominated for Buddies’ Queer Emerging Artist Award, artistic intern at fu-GEN Theatre Company and puppet coach for Canstage’s Shakespeare in High Park.  “Puppetry can be powerful and allow the imagination to explore,” says Tijiki.  “In bringing an inanimate object to life, the audience is drawn into a surreal world where anything is possible, there are no boundaries and everything is accepted as truth.”  Breaking ground in the Toronto puppetry scene, Artichoke Heart’s wordless storytelling has gained reputable acclaim over the past four years at Toronto and Montreal cabarets and festivals.  Their first full-length show We Walk Among You was voted Top 10 Production at the Montreal Fringe last year, garnering the attention of CBC’s Jian Ghomeshi who reported on Q the next day that it was “one of the best things [he’s] seen in a long time.”

Puppetry is not just for kids anymore, in fact “puppets can be as real and as emotionally evocative as any human being.” (RL for CultMTL)  Cirqularpremiers at the Toronto Fringe Festival this July 3-13.  Don’t waste any time, come see this show!

Artichoke Heart in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents Cirqular

Directed by Tijiki Morris

Concept by Michelle Urbano & Tijiki Morris

Starring Aisha Bentham, Talia DelCogliano, Michelle Urbano
Sound & Lighting design by Sam Bergmann-Good

Stage managed by Kristina Abbondanza

Opens July 3 runs to July 13

TARRAGON EXTRASPACE – 30 Bridgman Avenue


Thursday, July 3, 2014 – 11:00pm
Saturday, July 5, 2014 – 5:15pm
Sunday, July 6, 2014 – 8:45pm
Tuesday, July 8, 2014 – 1:15pm
Wednesday, July 9, 2014 – 3:30pm
Thursday, July 10, 2014 – 9:15pm
Sunday, July 13, 2014 – 1:45pm

Please note that there is absolutely no latecomer seating.

 – $10

  • Starting June 12, 2014
  • Purchase online:
  • By Phone: 416-966-1062
  • In Person: During the Festival Box Office in the parking lot behind Honest Ed’s (581 Bloor St W).

Photo by David Chinchilla