AWAKE by Chris Tolley and Laura Mullin. Factory Mainpace.See listing
Times: January 5 at 7:15 pm, January 6 at 9:15 pm, January 7 at 8:45 pm, January 8 at 6:45 pm, January 10 at 7 pm, January 11 at 7:30 pm, January 12 at 9:15 pm, January 13 at 4:45 pm. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
Like The Laramie Project and last year's Seeds, Awake is another powerful example of verbatim theatre where every line is taken directly from an actual interview with a real person.
The subject here, the culture surrounding gun violence in Toronto's at-risk neighbourhoods, is arguably more pertinent now than when the play debuted at the 2011 Fringe. Set around the funeral of a shooting victim, the play features a chorus of characters representing various types of people in the community. A preacher, a police officer, a drug dealer, a single mother, a reformed father and a student speak honestly from their respective standpoints on the social and political causes behind the violence.
Through quick sketch-like scenes, songs and dances, various views are brought to life. While not quite as powerful as the first site-specific Fringe production, which was performed in Walmer Baptist Church, Awake remains a poignant piece about Toronto's fatal flaws.