Summerworks independent theatre festival is back again, and this year there are even more queer-themed productions. Here’s a snapshot look at what you should be seeing.

 

GHOSTS

Created and Performed by Asaf Aharonson and Ruairí Donovan

Presented in partnership with The Ireland Park Foundation and Tiger Dublin Fringe.

 

From the confidential to the indecent, GHOSTS takes us on journey from the erotic to the pornographic and back again to friendship. Veiling and unveiling the potential of a complex intimacy between two lovers, this object-oriented dance explodes the queer performativity of Nature. Drawing on the work of theorist Michael Hardt, GHOSTS tries to understand how love can be the central, constitutive mode and motor of politics.

 

Mr. Shi and his lover     

Text by Wong Teng Chi; Music and Musical direction by Njo Kong Kie; Directed by Johnny Tam

 

An enigmatic real-life affair between an opera singing spy and his diplomat lover inspired Summerworks’ first-ever Chinese language production – a contemporary music theatre in Mandarin created by Macau and Toronto artists (Amsterdam Études, Infinity, knotty together, La Señorita Mundo). The emotionally rich score draws inspiration from opera, musicals and vintage pop from both East and West.  Praised by the Taiwanese press as “gentle and elegant, yet possesses a determination that dares to dream”, this evocative production makes its North American premiere with an international cast.  English subtitles.

 

Imaginary Anthropologies

Written, Composed and Performed by Gabriel Dharmoo

 

Winner of the Best International Production at the 2015 Amsterdam Fringe Festival, Imaginary Anthropologies is a solo performance about the virtuosity, versatility, and strangeness of the human voice. Interacting with a video of so-called experts, the performer invents vocal traditions woven together with imaginary folklore and experimental voice techniques. The result is an aural landscape that questions concepts of normality. A humorous exploration of post-colonialism, post-exoticism, cultural extinction, globalization, normalized racism, and cultural appropriation.

 

SExT      

Directed and Created by Shira Taylor

 

You’ve seen the protests. Adults have a lot to say about the new sex ed curriculum, but now it’s time to let teens give us The Talk. Beginning as research by doctoral candidate Shira Taylor, SExT has evolved into an entertaining and powerful performance created by young people from Flemingdon/Thorncliffe Park about growing up in communities where sexuality is taboo in the age of sexting, cyberbullying, and rape culture. SExT will leave you reconsidering your preconceptions of young people, diversity, stereotypes, and sexuality. Who knows, you might learn a few things!

 

This is the August           

Directed by Megan Piercey Monafu; Written by Hillary Rexe

 

Edie is a YouTube star who has just gone viral. Bea is her girlfriend, and also her professor. She wants Edie to stop vlogging about her sex life and focus on more important work. But everything changes when Edie meets Sam – a multimedia artist who defies definition.

 

Fame Prayer / EATING

Performed and Created by Andrew Tay, Francois Lalumiere and Katrzyna Szugajew

 

Elevating celebrity tabloids, pop songs, and social media actions into mystical objects, dances and rituals – Fame Prayer / EATING examines and confuses ideas of modern spirituality through the process of consumption and invites you to consider the complications that arise when consumer culture absorbs spiritual practices. A rigorously undisciplined performance created by dance artist Andrew Tay, visual and performance artist Francois Lalumiere, and photographer and performance artist Katrzyna Szugajew, Fame Prayer / EATING will be a queer space of worship, a critique of healing culture, and a transgressive and disorientating performance for the audience to engage with.

 

queer slow dance with radical thought: The (Ir)reverence Edition           

Conceived by Heather Hermant

 

How do those vital thinkers who are no longer with us live on and how do we find the ones whose names we do not know? queer slow dance with radical thought: The (Ir)reverence Edition offers one-on-one experiences to participants who sign up to “read” materials of radical thought, performed by live bodies in the form of a slow dance or other intimate encounter. For us, queerness is more than gender and sexuality. To those who shake the boat, subtly or forcefully, who make utopian worlds in the flesh, we invite you to challenge and expand this thing called queerness.

 

Quiet Revolution            

Written and Performed by Anastasiya Bobovyk, Jenn Boulay, Li Chen, Mikaela Cordero, Zeynab Egbeyemi, Jamie Kasiama, Whitney Kyera, Whitney-Nicole Peterin, Fitz Switzer, and Chana Weiss

The AMY Project’s latest collective creation showcases the monologues, songs, movement, and brave hearts by young womxn and gender non-binary folx. A barrier-free arts education program that builds the leadership, confidence, and unique voice of young women and non-binary youth in Toronto, The AMY Project provides performance training, connections to artistic mentors, and support towards the early growth of artistic careers.

 

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.