- Category: Arts
- Written by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard
This year’s Summerworks Festival gives us a most revealing look at new works by some of the city’s busiest performance personalities, all with something to say and really great lighting to say it under. The festival runs until August 16, so get a schedule, make a plan and show your support to these passionate performers.
Sedina Fiati is a familiar name, face and voice on Toronto stages and behind the scenes. By day she connects with the
community through bcurrent theatre’s outreach and development, as well as putting together any number of independent productions. When she steps out of the phone booth, however, Ms Sedina is a full blown diva. Her pin up show, which is part of this year’s Summerworks Performance Gallery, evokes the iconic 1950’s pin up and invites audiences to get in touch with their own inner out-there. Like all divas, the girl can belt a tune with the best of them, as demonstrated in the cabaret she puts on with Night at The Indies. But lately it’s the acting bug she’s been indulging. Sedina was recently seen in the chorus of Rebecca Fisseha’s Wise Woman and joins the Summerworks line-up as part of bcurrent’s rAiz’n the sun ensemble in The Centre, directed by Joan M. Kivanda. The Centre, a collaborative creation of the ensemble, takes us into an analysis of our times through the eyes of two futuristic emissaries on a quest to save civilization as they know it.
rAiz’n the sun ensemble presents
by rAiz’n the sun ensemble
Directed by Joan M. Kivanda
Featuring Sedina Fiati, Jajube Mandiela, Tanya Pillay, Maxine Marcellin, Navneet Rai, Malube Uhindu-gingala, Deidre Walton, Meghan Swaby, Marika Schwandt, Amanda Nicholls
Venue: Factory Studio Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street
Remaining shows: August 10th 8:00pm, August 11th 10:00pm, August 14th 4:00pm, August 15th 8:00pm
Maxine Marcellin is no festival freshman. This year at bcurrent’s rock.paper.sistahs festival Maxine performed a spellbinding one woman odyssey into the perils of perfect-bra-hunting, and her play The Assembly Line of Love, was presented in Fringe 2003. Not one to let her pen rest, Ms Marcellin is at it again with her new play, Keen, at Summerworks 2009 which she wrote and performs alongside an intriguing cast of newcomers. The play takes us to Trinidad where six women are putting one of their own to rest, and handling it in with varying degrees of success. Despite the funereal backdrop, Marcellin manages to make me laugh at her characters’ isms even as I identify keenly with them. Keen isn’t Maxine’s only offering this year. The young dynamo also joins bcurrent’s rAiz’n the sun ensemble in The Centre as an actor.
MGM Theatre Co. and Amanda Nicholls present
Keenby Maxine G. Marcellin
Directed by Mumbi Tindyebwa
Featuring Denise Pinnock, Maxine Marcellin, Tanisha Taitt, Malube Uhindu-Gingala, Shobha Hatte, Puja Uppal
More Summerworks shows and artists not to be missed:
Project Humanity’s The Middle Place, featuring a standout performance by Akosua Amo-Adem alongside the always charming Antonio Cayonne, is a verbatim play constructed from interviews conducted at a Rexdale youth shelter. The words onstage are raw documentary of young homeless living in Toronto.
Lisa Karen Cox bends, twists and astonishes in Erin Shields’ The Epic of Gilgamesh at Theatre Passe Muraille courtesy of Groundwater Productions. Cox was recently seen in a Nightwood Theatre workshop of Marika Schwant’s Mulatto Nation and the National Arts Centre’s production of Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.
We encountered Tawiah M’Carthy’s work last year when he brought Kente Cloth to Summerworks as playwright and performer. This year he gives a distinguished performance in Jordan Tannahill’s The Art of Catching Pigeons by Torchlight, an offsite production presented by Suburban Beast which also features the captivating Marika Schwandt (also a member of the raizn ensemble, and performer in The Centre).
Chy Ryan Spain, a familiar face at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, takes a fine line and stretches it in Ecce Homo’s production of The Ecstasy of Mother Teresa or Agnes Bojaxhui Superstar by Alistair Newton. Spain recently earned his Tyra Banks impersonation stripes in the company’s previous production, The Pastor Phelps Project.
d’bi young’s newest play, Benu, looks at a 30 year old womban contemplating life and death following the birth of her youngest child. Natasha Mytwoych’s direction is sure to amplify the consistently strong performance we’ve come to expect from d’bi. In keeping with the multi-tasking of her peers, d’bi also climbs into the director’s chair to helm sketchin toronto, a collective work by youth at sketch working arts.
For a full festival schedule visit http://www.summerworks.ca/
See you out there!