The Next Stage Theatre Festival, the winter showcase of the Fringe of Toronto, is on now through the 14th of January. There are eight plays and of the four I’m seeing, two have connections to Reel Asian.
I just got back from seeing The Grace Project: SICK! It’s an amazing ensemble piece about people living with a range of life challenges. Issues of race, dis/ability, sexuality, and ethnicity are all explored through monologue, song, and performance. The show is moving without ever being maudlin, and neatly sidesteps stock “Up With People” clichés. Written & directed by Judith Thompson, the show is expertly run by Scott Seetoo, who stage-managed our opening and closing festival galas last year.
On Saturday, I’m looking forward to seeing Eating with Lola, written & performed by Catherine Hernandez. The solo-with-puppet performance was adapted from a feature-length production developed by the Kapisanan Centre for Philippine Arts & Culture, who have been community partners of Reel Asian. Another of our community partners, fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company, helped workshop the show.
All Next Stage shows take place at the Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst St @ Adelaide St W) and there’s heated tent sponsored by McAuslan Brewery. Tonight’s snowstorm was made much better by a steaming hot toddy after the show!