Cowboy Mouth – Toronto Fringe 2016 Press Release

From press release

Frolick Theatre is excited to announce Cowboy Mouth – Sam Shepard and Patti Smith’s 1971 classic – at Toronto Fringe 2016. This twisted psychedelic love story will be brought to life at Theatre Passe Muraille’s Mainspace, with seven show dates starting June 30. A mythology of their own real life tryst, Smith and Shepard’s iconic personas inspire the play’s action. 

Cavale kidnaps Slim at gunpoint convinced he’s the rock-and-roll saviour, a “Jesus with a Cowboy Mouth,” and she’s ready to make him a star.  Only problem is, they fall in love.  These two accidental lovers occupy a room at the famous Chelsea Hotel in New York City, where they face each other, their creative dreams turned nightmares, and the constant desire to escape from their sordid reality, through sex, love and rock & roll.

Directed by L’ecole internationale de Jacques Lecoq graduate Maria Wodzinska, the production examines without censure the fantasy, folly, and freedom embodied in counterculture. Written at the beginning of the punk rock movement, Wodzinska urges the viewer to fast-forward to the here and now, inspired by the loft-living arts collective growing locally in Toronto at Frolick’s base: Bartley Studio. 

“It’s escapism pushed to its most intense extreme, pure creative mania,” she says. “It can be revolutionary, it can be visionary, it can be beautiful as equally as it can be turbulent, chaotic, and destructive.”

For Frolick Theatre’s artistic director, Matthew Krist, Cowboy Mouth resonates strongly with the company’s mandate: presenting plays that explore dreams and other realities, mythologies and their impact on the artist’s path.  A huge fan of both Shepard and Smith, Krist describes it as a “maverick play with rock n’ roll edge and a great comedic seriousness that will resonate with the Fringe audience.”

This production premiered in April 2016 at Frolick’s space in Toronto, Bartley Studio, as a dinner theatre fundraiser for the Multidisciplinary Association for Disciplinary Studies (MAPS).  MAPS advocates for the safe use of psychedelics in association with PTSD and other mental health issues. Continuing on this successful run, the play will be re-imagined for the Fringe stage.


  • June 30th at 6:30 PM
  • July 2nd at 5:45 PM
  • July 3rd at 9:15 PM
  • July 5th at 9:45 PM
  • July 7th at 5:45 PM
  • July 8th at 12:30 PM
  • July 10th at 5:00 PM


  • Cowboy Mouth plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille. (16 Ryerson Ave.)
  • Tickets are $10 at the door, $12 in advance. The festival also offers a range of money-saving passes for serious Fringers.
  • Tickets can be purchased online, by telephone (416-966-1062), from the Fringe Club at Honest Ed’s Alley, and — if any remain — from the venue’s box office starting one hour before curtain.
  • Be aware that Fringe performances always start exactly on time, and that latecomers are never admitted.

Image provided by the company