Brain Storm – Toronto Fringe 2017 Press Release

Excerpt from press release:

After undergoing surgery, Kate is left with a brain injury, completely upending her sensory perception and relationship to the world. As she struggles to navigate her new life, she looks to her deceased grandmother, a medium who communicated with the spirit of famous Canadian neuro-surgeon Wilder Penfield, channeling his message of hope for a conscious mind that outlives the physical brain. At the core of Kate’s path to recovery is a desire to create art that speaks to her new perceptions, but the process is fraught with seemingly unsurmountable obstacles.

Those living with brain injury know that the linear narrative of a triumphant journey of recovery is often not available. The experience of living with a compromised brain is difficult to endure and explain. In BRAIN STORM, we look to theatre to provide us the tools to explore the unexplainable. By investigating the experience using movement, sound, and image, we attempt to display the results of our own personal surgery – the dissection and examination of moments too mysterious to describe in words. We ask the audience to approach this piece as both the surgeon and patient: with an attitude of curiosity crossed with vulnerability, allowing oneself to be explored and even prodded through the process.

Creation History: Director Taliesin McEnaney’s grandmother was a ‘script mentalist medium’ who channeled written messages from the spirit realm. One of her spirit guides was Dr. Wilder Penfield. Fast- forward 40 years and Taliesin is dealing with a major brain injury within her own family and struggling with many of the questions that Penfield devoted his work to: sensory perception, epileptic seizures, and cognitive changes. Using the scripts from her grandmother’s writings as a textual resource, and translating them into a physical and visual style, BRAIN STORM is Taliesin’s metabolization of these decade-spanning events which asks the question: are our brains magic, machines – or both? BRAIN STORM is co-created and performed by Hayley Carr, Maïza Dubhé, Shayna Virginillo, and Alexandra Montagnese. Conceived of and directed by Taliesin McEnaney, set and costume designed by Will Bezek with lighting design by Claire Hill. LUCID LUDIC is partnering with the Brain Injury Society of Toronto (BIST) on this production to raise awareness of the challenges facing those living with brain injury.


  • Brain Storm plays at the Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace. (16 Ryerson Ave.)
  • Tickets are $12. 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 Scadding Court, 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.
  • This venue is wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in the very front row.


  • Wednesday July 5th, 07:00 pm
  • Friday July 7th, 09:45 pm
  • Sunday July 9th, 12:00 pm
  • Tuesday July 11th, 06:15 pm
  • Wednesday July 12th, 11:30 pm
  • Thursday July 13th, 01:45 pm
  • Saturday July 15th, 07:00 pm

Photo credit: Dahlia Katz. Featuring: Maïza Dubhé.