SummerWorks ’17: Karen’s Top 5

3 August 2017 / by Karen Young
Featured Image for SummerWorks '17: Karen's Top 5 courtesy of Jennifer Laiwint  | CJRU

It’s August, which means it’s time to get ready for SummerWorks! If you didn’t know already, it’s Canada’s largest curated performance festival consisting of dance, theatre, music and live art.  This year it takes place from August 3 to 14, with 52 projects along with artist workshops, performance experiments in the SummerWorks Lab and much more! You’re bound to find something that will spark your interest, but if you need some help, here’s Karen’s top picks!

these violent delights

these violent delights is a play inspired the forgotten final scene of Romeo and Juliet. The play asks some important questions like, “Why do we think a memorial can represent history and loss?” and “What, if anything, is sacred?” The play is produced by Guilt by Association, which is a group of theatre producers based in Vancouver, Canada. Some of their other projects include, Moderato Cantabile, Ain’t Gonna Make it and Anne Carson’s Antigonick.

Antigonick may sound familiar to some, as it was a part of the 2014 SummerWorks lineup, in which director Cole Lewis won the Theatre Centre Emerging Artist Award. Be one of the first to see Lewis’s new project! Saturday, August 5th at 6:15pm will be the first performance at the Factory Theatre Mainspace.


Landline is a unique performance that will take place in both Toronto and Hamilton and it involves you, your phone and the city you’re in!  Landline pairs you with a participant in Hamilton (as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival) in where you talk with the other person through text messaging and an audio-guided experiential walking tour. The audio-guide will prompt you to share stories, memories and secrets as you walk through your city – all of this happens in real-time! This project will allow you to reflect what it’s like to feel alone, but with another person in another city.  

Are you interested in Landline? The first experience will begin on August 11 from 1-2pm at Pia Bouman Studio B. Make sure your phone is charged!

Dolphin  / How to Relax

Dolphin follows characters from Gossip Girl as they try to find themselves through dream ballet, crystal cocktails, mystery, and romantic scandal. This dance performance is choreographed by Alyssa Martin, a graduate of Ryerson University’s Dance Program. The show was commissioned by Dance Ontario  and is produced by Martin’s dance theatre company, Rock Bottom Movement.

Dolphin is double-billed with How to Relax!

How to Relax is a performance piece that combines dance, experimental performance art and self-help. The goal of this show is to question what it means to go through a personal transformation with other people. How to Relax uses a vague self-help book from the 1980s and follows its seemingly easy instructions (also known as “psychotechniques”). These instructions help create a performance that is inspired by the transformations promised by the author of the self-help book.

You can see these performances starting on August 3 from 8:30pm-9:45pm at the Theatre Centre BMO Incubator.

Someone Between

Someone Between is a one-person show that begins with the story of, playwright and performer, Chantria Tram’s parents escape from Cambodia and their journey to Canada. Tram shares her personal struggles of balancing her Khmer parent’s values with her own. Tram started this project 8 years ago in Concordia University’s Theatre Development course, where it began as a 5 minute piece. This show was also part of this year’s Hamilton Fringe Festival.

Be a part of Someone Between’s Toronto premiere on August 3 on 4:30pm at the Factory Theatre Studio.

Crush on Humans 

This next show has 8 episodes, but can be enjoyed as separate pieces or as a series! Crush on Humans follows Alphabot, a robot boy with a human heart, as he tries to save humans from robot oppressors. Alphabot was built and sent by robots to gather information on humans before they grew impatient and attacked. Join Alphabot on his journey!

In the 8 episodes, he is joined by a variety of musicians from Toronto. Here is the breakdown of the episodes!

Episodes #1-2: August 8 with special guests Zoo Owl & The Ghost of Michael Louis Johnson (hologram)

Episodes #3-4: August 10 with special guests Glitter Jesus & Dave Kleiser

Episodes #5-6: August 12 with a video by Wax Mannequin, Alex J Squire & Mervival

Episodes #7-8: August 13 with special guests Laura Barrett & Maddie Alexander

Catch the first of this series on August 8 at Pia Bouman Studio B!