Blindsided, currently playing at SummerWorks, began as a lecture but quickly left the classroom. Performer/creator Sabrina Reeves doesn’t linger in one persona for too long; she skillfully transitions between characters and settings throughout the performance. This play is populated by a wide range of personalities, revealed at various moments across the span of their lives, but only claims a cast of one.
Reeves is anything but alone in creating the show, however. A theatre-maker with a fascination for exploring new possibilities in collaboration, the program for Blindsided includes a long list of contributors and co-creators, including Montreal-based video artist and cinematographer Paolo Santos, who works across three different screens and in a variety of styles.
The multi-media component of the show integrates beautifully with Reeve’s many character transformations. Together with Lucie Belanger‘s inventive video installations, Santos’ excellent cinematography complements Reeves’ various incarnations without overwhelming or stealing from them. Aesthetically, the show is both visually rich and even-handed.
Blindsided doesn’t so much tell a story as reveal the storied quality of our lives. Not that Reeves abandons dramatic tension or narrative sensibility; she’s just trying to reveal a complex network of interconnected human experiences that can’t be unspooled like a thread, but must be supported everywhere at once. Think of a figure floating up to the surface, until suddenly it’s there and you see it.
The catalyst for this play is trauma: an accident triggers the memory of another accident, which evokes a history of suffering and a reminder of disappointment. It’s not as gloomy as that sounds, but basically Blindsided is a very serious play. Nevertheless, Reeves steers this dark meditation with a sure hand, and ultimately manages to use the weight of her material to reach for the light.
Blindsided plays at Scotiabank Studio Theatre (6 Noble St).
Show times: Thursday August 7, 9:30pm
Sunday August 10, 5:00pm
Wednesday August 13, 7:30pm
Thursday August 14, 7:30pm
Friday August 15, 9:30pm
Saturday August 16, 3:30pm
Sunday August 17, 4:00pm
All individual SummerWorks tickets are $15 at the door (cash only). Tickets are available online at http://summerworks.ca, by phone by calling the Ticketwise Call Centre at 416-907-0468, or in person at the SummerWorks Info Booth – located at The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen Street West) August 5th-17th from 10AM – 7PM (Advance tickets are $15 + service fee).
Several money-saving passes are available if you plan to see at least 3 shows.
Photo by Paolo Santos