On The Inside – Toronto Fringe 2017 Press Release

From the press release:

ON THE INSIDE: Docutheatre
The Brutality of Confinement and the Hunger for Connection

For immediate release- June 5, 2017 Toronto, ON

On The Inside is inspired by Ashley Smith, a young female inmate from New Brunswick who was convicted of a minor infraction at the age fifteen.

During her time in isolation, Ashley was a constant victim of the abuses and degrading conditions experienced by inmates in Canadian prisons.

This docutheatre production takes a close look at the traumatic impact of solitary confinement on a young person, while giving voice to our universal hunger for connection. This powerful piece also explores the complex emotions, relationships, and perspectives of a nurse and two guards who struggle to make sense of their own humanity.

The developmental process for On The Inside has been unique and rewarding for everyone involved. The company has the pleasure of introducing Kelechi Ofoha as the main character who will be playing the role of Tracey Obi.

It was pivotal in the early stages of rehearsal to establish the treatment that Ashley endured, and the impact it had on her and those working within the prison. Often, the cast and crew stayed after rehearsal to discuss issues such as power, vulnerability and socio- political issues impacting women of colour.

Learning about the justice system and its flaws has also been at the forefront of the production’s creative process. Michelle Thoms’ is the writer and director of On The Inside. This is Michelle Thoms’ directorial debut at The Toronto Fringe Festival. The company includes Kelechi Ofoha, Ryan Christopher Kotack, Harry Lavigne and Marnie Wohl Bennett. Harry has been widely recognized in Community Theatre, earning multiple awards such as, “Actor in a Lead Role: Drama” presented by ACTCO for his work as John Barrett in Dangerous Obsessions. Ryan is known for his work in shorts such as Mars Is Laughing At Us and is featured on the CW’s Reign.

SandM Productions in association with The Toronto Fringe Festival presents: On The Inside Written and directed by Michelle Thoms Featuring: Kelechi Ofoha, Marnie Wohl Bennett, Harry Lavigne, and Ryan Christopher Kotack Stage managed by Catherine Gava Sound design by Clayton Barr Opens July 7 to July 16 , 2017 Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Ave, Toronto, ON


  • On the Inside plays at the Tarragon Mainspace. (30 Bridgman 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.
  • Content Warning: Mature Language.
  • This venue is barrier-free. The designated accessible seating is in the middle of the auditorium.


  • Friday July 7th, 05:15 pm
  • Sunday July 9th, 03:00 pm
  • Monday July 10th, 01:00 pm
  • Wednesday July 12th, 08:45 pm
  • Thursday July 13th, 06:15 pm
  • Friday July 14th, 11:15 pm
  • Sunday July 16th, 08:00 pm

Photo of Kelechi Ofoha by Catherine Gava