Review: Summerworks closing weekend in Toronto Special

Posted Aug 16, 2012 by Bryen Dunn
As Summerworks 2012 moves into its closing weekend of performances, here's a brief recap of a few recommendations you shouldn’t miss.
Ajax (por nobody)
Ajax (por nobody)
Ajax (por nobody)
1. Ajax (por nobody) – directed by Zack Russell, this stark production seems all over the place without structure, but this was to somewhat be expected with this stage production that many stated could not be done. Based on the writings of Alice Tuan, it’s a combination of sexual pursuits, lost souls, and twisted thoughts. While the subject matter makes the audience somewhat uncomfortable, often opting for the opportunity to giggle nervously when not quite inintended, the final scene suddenly brings a hush throughout.
2. Breathe For Me – written by Jesse Stong and directed by Edward Roy, this is a deep and compelling story of two aging women who must come to the realization that their relationship maybe more than the friendship they took it for. While one cares wholly for the other who is confined to a wheelchair and prone to real and fake epileptic seizures, the pair bicker and banter like a old married couple. The story delves into the past lives of each, leading up to where they both are today living as house mates. In the end reality sets in and they both realize what they have is something special.
3. Breathe In Between – directed by Brendan Healy, Artistic Director of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, this production is not recommended for the squeamish or taboo-phobes. When an ad is placed online seeking individuals who are willing to be killed, the author of the post is quite surprised when two people reply. The “killer” invites his victims over to chat and get comfortable before bringing them to his basement to fulfill his promise. A further sub-plot unravels within as an admirer of the “killer” vies for his attention, and will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Beware the voices inside your head.
4. A Thousand Words – the story follows the investigation of two Canadian soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan, and the undiscovered truth of their real mission is only revealed via photographs after their death. Deep and disturbing tale with great character development touching on a dark yet poignant topic from our not to recent past. Star performances by Byron Abolos and Clinton Walker make this a worthwhile journey.
5. 40 Days + 40 Nights: Working Towards A Spiritual Experience – this is a one woman installation by the incomparable Nina Arsenault. Set in a pop-up boudoir/art gallery/workout room, Nina invites participants into her life, giving full disclosure to her most intimate self. Various forms of art adorn the walls, multi-media devices rumble, and budgies tweet. The doors are open late into the night and early morning, going as late as 5am, and access is guarded and limited to about half a dozen people at a time. Definitely one of the most inspiring pieces this year.
Check the Summerworks website for show times of these and other productions, along with an amazing line up of musical performances and art installations continuing right through until Sunday August 19th.