Seasons produced by Sol Express playing at the Toronto Fringe Festival is not your typical Fringe show. Most of the performers are members of L’Arche Toronto, a community of people with intellectual disabilities who live and work together. In Seasons, they explore life through the lens of the four seasons in an hour of movement, music, poetry, film, and clown. It’s an incredibly moving work.
Each short vignette takes a particular season as its inspiration. The performers have a picnic, go apple picking, and get caught in a rainstorm. One returns to the stage periodically, dressed in a suit jacket, to deliver the television weather report. Some of the scenes have dialogue, some don’t. There are two short films. It’s a real mix of styles.
But it all works. The theme carries through beautifully, and in surprising ways. One of my favourite scenes had dancers holding leaves moving gracefully across the stage. They came together at the center and formed a tree, their bodies making the trunk and their arms the branches. Slowly the leaves began to wave in the wind, and, one by one, they fell to the ground. It was such a perfect and simple embodiment of autumn, and it brought tears to my eyes.
It’s a large cast of almost 20 people. All of the performers were very polished and showed real stage presence. Their joy in performing was palpable.
Seasons is a great example of what I love about Fringe. The festival provides an opportunity for artists of all different backgrounds, levels of training, and abilities to showcase what they have created. And it gives audiences the chance to experience those creations. I’m really glad I saw this show. You should check it out too.
- SEASONS plays at the Al Green Theatre. (750 Spadina 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 barrier-free. Note that only certain building entrances are wheelchair-accessible. Accessible seating is in front of the front row, and may have poor sightlines for certain productions.
- Friday July 7th, 04:45 pm
- Saturday July 8th, 07:00 pm
- Sunday July 9th, 06:45 pm
- Tuesday July 11th, 01:00 pm
- Thursday July 13th, 07:30 pm
- Saturday July 15th, 12:00 pm
- Sunday July 16th, 03:30 pm
Photo of Melissa Marshall by Matt Rawlins