There's no happily ever after for the women in The Large Glass , a DNA production conceived by David Duclos , who also did set and lighting design. A dark meditation on marriage, the interactive piece was staged on the 24th floor of a downtown office building, an open space divided into playing areas by plastic sheets, blue lights and suspended drinking glasses.
None of the female characters seemed content with her lot. One nervous woman who ran from contact with anyone seemed about to be given away in an arranged marriage; another (the always splendid Viv Moore ) was behind a gauzy screen, dancing out her frustrations while cracking a bullwhip. A third hid behind her erotic paintings, while another ( Katherine Duncanson ), trapped within a cat's cradle of red string, played simple, untroubled melodies on a keyboard.
The show's meaning was open to each viewer's interpretation; wandering one at a time through the various rooms, we had no other audience members with whom to share the experience. I left analysis behind and focused on sensual and playful impressions, several of which I was encouraged to create myself.
Some of the strongest? Walking a maze created by pebbles in a room hung with windows on which text was written; playing in a flickering light designed to throw kaleidoscopic, reversed shadow images of my hands and body on a blank wall; seductive hands beckoning me through white curtains.
Not everything worked, but the evening - which also involved choreographer Hillar Liitoja , painter Natasha Doyon , playwright Sue Balint , sound designer Richard Windeyer and dancers Magdalena Vasko and Jasmine Ellis - left me with plenty of dreamlike images.
Fighting the Fringe tide
Call them brave or call them foolhardy, but a couple of companies are opening their shows during the Fringe. Over at the Theatre Centre, emergency.exit ( Kevin Rees-Cummings and Sean MacMahon ) invites audiences to observe the creation of in-flight movie . The writer/performers, whose work is always cutting-edge, are spending 72 hours in the space, devising a piece that combines an open house, a travel agency, a survey and a vacation. The final result will be on view at next year's FreeFall Festival.
A new troupe, thisisnotatheatreCompany , premieres with Hungry Woman's Breakfast , a piece that they hoped would land them a BYOV slot in the Fringe. No luck at the lottery draw, but the troupe's decided to go ahead with the show anyway.
Dealing with the growing relationship between two diner employees, the piece is set in an actual restaurant, with the audience eavesdropping on the women's conversation.
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Lab Cab presented its annual grant at the final cabaret of the season to dancer and actor Lucy Rupert . Rupert will use the grant to work on a dance piece inspired by the papers of Albert Einstein. The performer also frequently works with Theatre Rustical . She's performing in the company's latest piece, The Stronger... A Variation , which runs in this week's Fringe.
The funds for the grant come from the year's pwyc box office for the Lab Cab series of brief works in progress.
Presenting the award and hosting the evening was Alan Dilworth , co-artistic director of Belltower Theatre , recipient of last year's grant.
Dilworth's still racking up awards. The actor/playwright/director received this year's $10,000 Urjo Kareda Residency Grant for an emerging artist, which allows him to spend 20 weeks working at the Tarragon with staff and company artists.