A hospital-room drama, a play in the Trinity Bellwoods greenhouse and three other immersive shows to see at SummerWorks
The most intriguing shows at SummerWorks this year ditch the stage for more adventurous locales. Here, five can’t-miss performances that take audiences out of the theatre and put them in the action
The medical drama
In Reassembled, Slightly Askew, Belfast playwright Shannon Yee invites audiences to lie down in a hospital bed and share her experiences battling a rare brain infection. Don headphones and listen to Yee’s thoughts and sensations as she lapses into a coma and recovers from the illness. Friday, August 4 to Tuesday, August 8. Pia Bouman Dance Studio.
The floral performance
Drama is abuzz inside the Bellwoods greenhouse, where Vancouver playwright-actor Laena Brown has cultivated a clash between Mother Nature and human nature. Catacomb, a site-specific play performed by Brown and Vincent Leblanc-Beaudoin amid the plants and the peat moss, tells the story of an addict seeking redemption through that imperilled insect, the honeybee. Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6. Trinity Bellwoods greenhouse.
The two-city tour
Creators Dustin Harvey and Adrienne Wong describe Landline as “part radio play, part walking tour.” Each participant in Toronto is paired with another in Hamilton, given an audio guide and sent into the streets, where they share their experiences with their partner via text message. At the end of the walk, the participants meet over video chat. Friday, August 11 to Sunday, August 13. Pia Bouman Dance Studio.
The multimedia maze
Indigenous dance artist Aria Evans and Indigenous performer Jesse Wabegijig have turned an artist’s studio into a labyrinth of video, sound and movement. In Paths, audience members enter the environmental maze in groups of six for a surprise-filled, 25-minute journey inspired by the ancient concept of the four elements. Friday, August 4 to Sunday, August 6. Artscape Youngplace, Studio 109.
The splash zone
The Trinity Bellwoods pool becomes a performance venue in Bodies of Water, an aquatic experiment that combines live music, video projections and synchronized swimming. Folk-jazz ensemble Zuze, known for fusing traditional Iranian melodies with Afro-funk, lend their songs to this dive into themes of pursuit and alienation. Thursday, August 10 to Saturday, August 12. Trinity Community Recreation Centre.