Summerworks Performance Festival!

If you happen to think that theatre is pricey, stuck-up, and only for arty types, I encourage you to go to a Summerworks Performance Festival show. These shows are inexpensive |(15.00 a ticket) and cover a wide range of performance styles and subject matter. There is something for everyone!

The Summerworks Performance Festival is happening right now! It actually started on the 7th of Aug and will go to the 17th (this Sunday). I am volunteering for the Festival this year (cause in case you didn’t know…I love theatre). 

So far I have gotten the chance to see two incredible shows (for free, because I volunteer)…

The first was called The Water Thief.

It is not a film, or a concert, or a play, or a dance performance, but rather a combination of all of these. 

A film was projected onto white fabric as the performers played live music and interacted with the film (I don’t want to give too much away, but the effect was incredible ) from behind the screen. Using lights, projections, and costumes, the actors actually became a part of the film. 

The film itself features the gorgeous scenery of the East Coast and the cinematography (including the use of colour) is incredible. 

Here is the official write-up:

Here is a review of the show:

The second show I saw was called “El Jinete: A Mariachi Opera.”

I have to say that I LOVED this show right from the opening moments when the credits were projected onto a fabric screen in very old type (a la silent film)…because, in case you didn’t know, I love film (especially old film).

Instead of having a traditional painted set or backdrop, there was a large wooden structure painted white that black and white still or moving images were projected onto. The set had a series of openings that could be used as windows and doors, and these were made good use of many times. In one scene, the main character is seen “riding” a horse…he was actually standing on a platform behind one of the openings, and the horse was projected below him. 

The performance itself was “a tale of love, romance, and the supernatural”, as a cursed mariachi seeks venegance for the kidnapping of his lovely bride. The whole thing was sung in Spanish accompanied by a live mariachi band (Mariachi Los Dorados).  All the lyrics had English subtitles (a la silent film and/or opera) projected above the set. The singing was INCREDIBLE, the musicianship was AMAZING, the actors were OUTSTANDING, and the visual effects were like none I had ever seen before. I am sure it is one of the best (if not the best) shows at this year’s Summerworks.

Here is the official write-up:

Here is a review:

P.S. This performance is playing again on Saturday for the last time at 5pm at Theatre Passe Muraille. If you are anywhere near Toronto….go and see it! I would recommend buying tickets to this one in advance…now that the word is getting out, it might be tricky getting tickets at the door.

Summerworks runs through this weekend with MANY more performances! Try to catch one if you can!

Stay tuned!


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