If your teenage son was murdered by his fellow student a few months after you lost your spouse to cancer, could you ever find forgiveness? Is it possible to understand the factors that drove a young man to kill? Grey, a Toronto Fringe Festival play by Three Five Productions, asks audiences to consider more than just black and white answers before we pass judgment.
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At the end of the world, when a devastating plague looms at your door, it’s the relationships at home that will do you in. At least, that’s the idea presented in Plague: a sic love story, produced by Ou est Billy Ou Ou at the Toronto Fringe Festival.
The black comedy examines the dynamics between a couple with an infant who are among the last survivors of a plague. The daily quest for community, food, and purpose is undermined by the quintessential conflicts of a couple in close quarters. The real threat of death brings new gravity to their mind game question: If you had to save me or the baby, who would you pick?
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Theatre by the River‘s 4.48 Psychosis feels like a 60-minute suicide note. It should, given that it was the final work that British playwright Sarah Kane wrote before she took her own life. As such, it’s not for the faint of heart: the Toronto Fringe Festival production explores the tormented thoughts looming in the mind of a severely depressed woman. It drowns you in the twisted, isolated, and bittersweet mindset that comes with major depression. There are funny and charming moments to this poetry of self-disgust, but somehow this portrayal of deep emotional turmoil ultimately left me numb.
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Laugh Serious Theatre’s SCAT is designed to make you uncomfortable. The site-specific play, staged for the Toronto Fringe Festival in the waiting area and public bathrooms of the Queen West Community Centre, is an intimate portrayal of the impact of restroom politics.
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Woody Sed is ostensibly a biography of American folk musician Woody Guthrie, but ultimately it’s a showcase for creator and performer Thomas Jones to mesmerize by embodying the spectacular everyman. The Toronto Fringe Festival show, produced by Two Dollar Shoes, is politically rousing, historically informative, and it just might move you to sing.
Even if you’re not familiar with Guthrie, you’re likely aware of his legacy 50, even years after his death. The author of numerous social justice ballads, including “This Land Is Your Land,” has been acknowledged as an inspiration for musicians such as Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and The Clash.
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