SPITE, written and performed by Jean Yoon, Bruce Beaton and Michael Achtman. Presented by Bitter, Mean & Nasty at the Factory Studio. Aug 5 and 10 at 9:30 pm, Aug 6 at 3:30 pm, Aug 7 at 11 pm, Aug 9 at 8 pm, Aug 11 at 6:30 pm.
Aug 11 at 6:30 pm.
Please, whatever you do, don't cut off Michael Achtman if he's cycling in traffic.
For that matter, be careful if you're breaking up with Jean Yoon. (By the way, don't you have any taste?) And don't you dare evict Bruce Beaton and force him to look for an apartment in Mel Lastman's de-rent-controlled housing market.
You never know. They might just get together and write a play about you.
In fact, that's exactly what the multi-talented theatre artists have done in Spite, a look at urban aggression.
"The three of us were at a house party, swapping stories about how bitter, mean and nasty we were getting, and how the world seemed to be getting that way too," says Achtman, whose former SummerWorks entry nazi/queer/jew was an international hit.
"We were wondering whether the political climate was making people more nasty, or whether the political choices were a reflection of people's anger. We started thinking about Mike Harris, images of poisoned water and themes of revenge, and then tried to find a way to focus all the spite we were feeling."
At the same time, the artists wanted to do their own writing and performing. Yoon had just come off writing and co-directing her massive Yoko Ono Project, and was eager to get back onstage. Beaton, who was in the cast of Yoko and the Paul Thompson collective The Rediscovery Of Sex, wanted to create his own work.
The result is Spite, which despite its name is turning out to be very funny.
"We have to laugh, or we'd all be sobbing messes," says Achtman.
Achtman's contribution consists of three shorter pieces. The first is a clown-based work about addiction and simulated experiences. In the second he dons drag to play Janet Harris, who is trying to get a divorce settlement from husband Mike. And the third finds him playing Terry O, an ailing province lying in bed waiting for social services to come.
He employs drag and clown to be as outrageous as possible.
"With the legitimizing of the anti-feminist, anti-gay agenda of the Alliance and Stockwell Day, it feels necessary to be transgressive, especially in the area of sexuality and gender. That's what is most threatening to the right. All our pieces are very proudly sexual."