pederson. snieckus. baram.
The place where a cornucopia of multidisciplinary artists collide to inspire and influence one another and to create a truly unique, organic, collaborative, improvised experience never to be recreated again where indeed, anything in the entire universe is possible, is Fiasco Playhouse, brought to the SummerWorks Festival’s first-ever Live Performance Bar by the National Theatre of the World. It is the best way to end a hectic day filled with SummerWorks fun and frivolity and it is happening every single night of the festival, beginning at 9pm on the Ground Floor of the Lower Ossington Theatre.
Each evening features a different line up of artists including comedians, performance artists, singers and musicians, visual artists, dancers and their presence and expertise immediately informs the theatrical work that is being improvised throughout the evening by the National Theatre of the World’s Artistic Directors, Matt Baram, Naomi Snieckus and Ron Pederson.
The result is the very best of organized chaos as the audience is able to witness the birth not only of comic moments, but of innovative intersections of art forms as well as the palpable danger of a stage filled of talented individuals throwing themselves into situations that they may not be entirely familiar or comfortable with, but doing so with gusto, commitment and the utmost in bravery. On Thursday evening the crowd was treated to the incredible song stylings of musical theatre indie rock star Allie Hughes and performance artist Zeesy Powers who both had their own sets inter-spliced throughout the evening, but then converged with Snieckus, Baram and Pederson and improvised with them for the Fourth (Fifth?!- I may have lost count) Act of their Improvised Play Reading Say Gingerale. On Friday night Maylee Todd played her gorgeous songs accompanying herself on the harp and Snieckus, Baram and Pederson improvised their scenes influenced by her music and their lyrics. On Saturday, Monica Dottor, from the incredible dance troupe Company Blonde, choreographed a number for Snieckus, Baram and Pederson to perform as part of their Improvised Dance Movie (performed in 3D). These collaborations are the backbone of Fiasco Playhouse and will continue to create something never seen before every single night of the Festival.
The National Theatre of the World, in all they do, but especially in Fiasco Playhouse, heartfully embraces theatre’s intrinsic celebration of play, the ideas of make believe and the exhilaration that lies inherent in endless possibility. Deflating pretension like a rogue soccer ball and thwarting and subverting solemnity behind every nook and cranny of confusion, the three ringmasters of this circus remind their audience every night of the joy of experimentation, the beauty of taking a risk and the magic that ignites a room the first time inspired, unrehearsed, mysterious ideas are hatched.
Everything happens here. Zeesy Powers brings audience members up onstage and tells them honestly what her first impressions of them are, which ignites the room with a fascinating tension and at times exposes a facet of vulnerability that is very rarely seen onstage. Dominique Rabideau creates incredibly poetic books and collages from cutting words, sentences and images out of old books and magazines. Company Blonde performs wildly hilarious, joyful and mesmerizing modern dance combined with theatrical and comic sensibility utterly infused with passion. Maylee Todd brings a poet’s heart and her harp. Ron Pederson turns into Christopher Plummer. Naomi Snieckus turns into Mel Gibson. Matt Baram dances! The three of them improvise a play reading with Shavian stage directions and a singing son named Monaco. Everything happens without a dull moment, like a living, breathing collage pulsating all around you, making your heart beat faster.
Everything happens here- come watch limitless possibility unfold tonight!
Fiasco Playhouse is every night of SummerWorks. 9pm. Lower Ossington Theatre Ground Floor (100A Ossington Avenue). Bring your ID and there is a cash bar!