Daily Reports on Summer Works Festival
Day 1: Especial Performance of Tomorrow’s Child
Toronto – Canada
Titre Mag’s Star: 3.5 (Out 0f 5)
Watching a theatrical play blindfolded, is as strange as attending an orchestral performance while wearing a noise canceling headphone. In such situations, of course you are faced with obvious obstacles so to digest or enjoy the performance. But this is only one side of the story.
Despite enforced limitations. A new chapter is being introduced to you, and it encourage you to confront the aforementioned restrictions. Therefore, you have no choice but to unleash your imagination and that’s where the magic starts to fulfill your desires.
In Tomorrow’s Child performance at Summer Works Festival, viewers are enforced to cover their eyes with (provided) black masks prior to entering the salon. Then with the guidance of the performers, they will walk through an unknown journey and finally arrive at their designated seats. Upon making themselves comfortable they will be allowed to freely turn around all 360o and experience the performance from multiple vantage points
The Storyline lunches with a playground ambiance (Noise) as the spectators are slowly swept into the narrative. During the 75 minutes’ performance, tension rises through the Struggle of a family during the pregnancy period, the point of delivery, and the raising a complicated child. Finally, almost at the end of the show audiences have an opportunity to reveal their eyes and confront themselves with the setup of the room, exploration of others situations and at last but not the least, the gesture of the one persona of the story.
In this particular performance the eye “mask” contributes significantly to the intensify that the audience experiences, and illuminates a less traveled road to visitors. The “mask” itself becomes the antagonist and helps the participant to easily relate them self with the loneliness and frustration of each of the narrative personas. With a little help from imagination, they can be a child in a mother’s womb, frustrated Father or a frighten Mother. The director intended to utilize darkness and nothingness to nourish the imagination of the spectators. He’s created an endless black canvas around each participant, and invites them to be involved in process of creation by illustrating their own scenery and character image with the brush of creativity.
Having said that, yet there are few passageways to improvement. For such performances, as Vahid Rahbani; an Iranian-Canadian artistic director experienced it in 2013. Rahbani, – National Theater School (NTS) Graduate –applies same fundament in his experimental plays, Nightmare Letters. In contrast of Tomorrow’s Child performance, Rahbani locates his performers between their spectators and instead of only broadcasting a radio play, they are the ones who whisper, scream, touch and propel the story.
In Tomorrow’s Child, narrative carries the whole weight of the performance and it’s only been distributed through the speakers, while on Nightmare Letters, improvisation and presence of the performer take the play to the higher level.
Nevertheless, Tomorrow’s Child performance would be a great choice to experience a distinctively new approach to theatrical play. Ghost River Theatre pushed the boundaries with such performance and emphasizes on plurality and diversity of the Summer Works Festival.
301 Adelaide Street West
Hot off of their sold out run at The High Performance Rodeo, Ghost River Theatre brings their award winning adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s sci-fi short story Tomorrows Child to SummerWorks as a one-of-kind audio-only theatre experience. Audience members are blindfolded and then guided into the theatre to a swivel chair and experience a story that surrounds them through a thrilling sonic landscape created by GRT Artistic Director Eric Rose and Associate Artist Matthew Waddell. Bradbury’s classic short story presents two new parents in the imagined retro-future of 1988 confronting the realities of their newborn baby… who has been born into another dimension. Will they accept the divide between parent and child? Or find another solution?
Ghost River Theatre
Based on the short story by Ray Bradbury; Adapted from the story by Eric Rose, Matthew Waddell and David van Belle; Directed and Sound Design by Eric Rose and Matthew Waddell; Dramaturgy and Additional Writing by David van Belle; Original Music by Jesse Osborne-Lanthier (Noir) and Sarah Albu; Sculpture by Emily Promise-Allison; Assistant Directed by Evan Medd; Produced by Ayla Stephen and Ava Jane Markus; Performed by Anna Cummer*, Tyrell Crews* and David van Belle*; Photo by Timothy Archibald.
*Appear Courtesy of Canadian Actors Equity Association
Based on the short story “Tomorrow Child” by Ray Bradbury, originally published as “The Shape of Things” © 1947; renewed 1975 by Ray Bradbury. Performed by permission of Don Congdon Associates, Inc.
Presented in partnership with Dual Audio, Koffler Centre of the Arts and Norton Rose Fulbright
“After bringing their gorgeous production, “One”, to SummerWorks in 2011, Ghost River Theatre return to present a work that is disorientedly adventurous and extremely clever. Eric Rose is one of my favourite theatrical brains in Canada, and its thrilling to have him return to Toronto again.” – Michael Rubenfeld