SummerWorks Performance Festival | Toronto

Thank you to everyone who made SummerWorks Performance Festival 2018 possible. Re-imagine the possibilities of performance with 11 days of theatre, dance, music, and live art, next year August 8th-18th, 2019. Call for submissions for the 2019 Festival will take place at the beginning of October.

2018 Programming


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4inXchange

4inXchange


Created and Performed by xLq; Audience Facilitation by Katherine Walker-Jones

An interactive, site-specific game with four players and $1,000 cash - 4inXchange is a pop art business meeting that guides you through a series of dialogues, chances, competitions, and meditations. Use the cash on the table to get to know your fellow participants, while xLq ask provocative questions about value, intimacy, love, and truth. Returns and exchanges guaranteed.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
Four participants. One table. $1,000 in cash. Come play an intimate and interactive game of value, intimacy, and truth.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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A Girl Lives Alone

A Girl Lives Alone


Written by Jessica Moss

A Hitchcock-esque comedy and murder mystery mash-up about death, fear, and how well you really know your neighbours.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
An ensemble comedy and murder mystery mashup about death, fear, and how well you really know your neighbours.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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A Room to Perform

A Room to Perform


Choreographed and Performed by Katie Lyle and Shelby Wright

A choreographic work unfolds inside a custom-built structure where windows and cut outs frame the performers' movements. A Room to Perform offers a glimpse at a world of visual surprises, shapes, and spliced-together movements, that redefines the stage as a site of both intimacy and concealment.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
A glimpse at a world of visual surprises, shapes, and spliced-together movement.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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Adrenaline

Adrenaline


Written and Performed by Ahmad Meree; Directed by Majdi Bou-Matar

Adrenaline follows one man for one night, getting ready to celebrate his first New Years Eve in Canada after leaving his war-torn home in Syria. Using objects he has around the house, he unpacks memories of war, and tries to understand the price he has had to pay for his safety in Canada.

شاب سوري يحتفل لأول مرة بليلة رأس السنة آمناً في كندا. ما هو ثمن هذا الأمان؟


Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
A young Syrian man spends his first New Year’s Eve safe in Canada, but what is the price of his safety?

شاب سوري يحتفل لأول مرة بليلة رأس السنة آمناً في كندا. ما هو ثمن هذا الأمان؟


Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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the aisha of is

the aisha of is


Created and performed by Aisha Sasha John

Light pours out and into the eyes, throat, and spine of Aisha Sasha John in the ancient, original devotional practice that constitutes the aisha of is. In this alchemical ritual, John’s embodied listening reveals her sensitivity as a power. The freedom to move and speak as willed - and to will what is felt - is the discipline John offers herself as medicine to systemic violence. Welcome to is.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
Medicinal dance & speech as an ancient and original freedom practice.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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…And You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next

…And You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next


Written and Performed by Graham Isador; Directed by Jiv Parasram; Dramaturgy by Jiv Parasram and Tom Arthur Davis

After being rejected for a job at Buzzfeed an editor teaches Graham Isador how to tell an effective story. In ...And You’ll Never Believe What Happens Next, Isador uses personal anecdotes to question the way media shapes our point of view and why we like the things we like.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
Journalist and playwright Graham Isador offers an inside scoop on why we like the things we like, and why we clicked that link.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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The Artist’s Children

The Artist’s Children


Written by Liv Hussey; Directed by Aviva Armour-Ostroff

presented in partnership with The NTS Drama Festival - Ontario

In partnership with The NTS Drama Festival - Ontario, SummerWorks is pleased to showcase The Artist's Children by Liv Hussey.

From the playwright: "There are countless tales of the ones who cross over to some inexplicable place, but there comes a point that for some unknown reason the door closes and they can’t get back."

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
presented in partnership with The NTS Drama Festival - Ontario

Continuing our partnership with The NTS Drama Festival - Ontario, SummerWorks is pleased to showcase The Artist's Children by Liv Hussey. The Artist's Children will receive a play workshop reading with a professional director and actors.

From the playwright: There are countless tales of the ones who cross over to some inexplicable place, slay the dragon and embark on their grand adventure but in every tale there comes a point that for some unknown reason the door closes and they can’t get back. For Farren, her adventure is simple.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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b side

b side


Created and Performed by Molly Johnson and Meredith Thompson; Sound Design by Robbie Grunwald

Traversing a Queen West laneway, two performers and an audience work to colour outside the lines of their surroundings, highlighting our unseen sides. Using sound and movement, they engage in a meditative act of witnessing and wandering, giving life to what is hidden in plain sight.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
Uncover what is hidden in plain sight in an intimate encounter with a Queen West laneway.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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BODY SO FLUORESCENT

BODY SO FLUORESCENT


Co-Created by Amanda Cordner and David di Giovanni

What happened last night on the dance floor? Two friends retrace their steps from the night before to figure out how it all ended in an explosive fight. In their effort to figure out last night's facts, both friends shift from self to alter-ego, and along the way, are met with stunning revelations. BODY SO FLUORESCENT is an inviting, racy, and outrageous solo-show: asking difficult questions about Blackness, otherness, and oppression.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
Two friends retrace last night's events to figure out how it ended in an explosive fight.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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Box 4901

Box 4901


Written by Brian Francis; Directed by Rob Kempson

In 1992, novelist Brian Francis placed a personals ad in the newspaper. He received a number of responses but there were 13 letters he never responded to. Now, 26 years later, Brian has written replies to those letters. Featuring a cast of 13 queer actors, Box 4901 is a hilarious, strange, sweet and awkward look back at how gay men used to connect.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
Twenty-six years after placing a personals ad, novelist Brian Francis shares responses to the 13 men he never wrote back.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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CAFÉ SARAJEVO episode I

CAFÉ SARAJEVO episode I


collectively created by bluemouth inc.

Inspired by the 1971 televised debate between French theorist Michel Foucault and American linguist Noam Chomsky, CAFÉ SARAJEVO episode 1 is a live podcast experience exploring the borders that divide and unite us. Internationally-acclaimed performance makers Bluemouth Inc. use dance, text, music, and 360 video to create an immersive, site-specific performance that mediates the division between the live and the recorded experience.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
An immersive live podcast experience that mixes performance with 360 video to mediate space between live and recorded experiences.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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Canadian Theatre Review Magazine Launch

Canadian Theatre Review Magazine Launch



Alternative facts? Fake news? The latest issue of Canadian Theatre Review explores how theatre and performance in Canada are reckoning with renewed cultural interest in how we parse fact from fiction. Join us as we celebrate the launch of issue number 175 on “Post-Truth,” with free snacks and appearances from the contributors.

Part of the SummerWorks Exchange programming
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Canadian Theatre Review issue number 175 on “Post-Truth,” with free snacks and appearances from the contributors.
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Closing Night Party

Closing Night Party



Say goodbye to another year of the Festival. Come for the drinks and celebration, and stay for the announcement of the SummerWorks Awards.


Say goodbye to another year of the Festival. Come for the drinks and celebration, and stay for the announcement of the SummerWorks Awards.

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Community Meal & Porch Sitting

Community Meal & Porch Sitting



Converge at an outdoor community meal. An opportunity to reflect on learning, identify lingering questions, and make plans for future connection.

Part of the SummerWorks Exchange programming

Converge at an outdoor community meal. An opportunity to reflect on learning, identify lingering questions, and make plans for future connection.
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The Extinction of Hong Kongers

The Extinction of Hong Kongers


Created by Carmen Lee, Chun Shing Roland Au, Santayana Li

It is 2017, 20 years after the UK handed Hong Kong sovereignty over to China. Theatre du Poulet re-creates the historical city of Hong Kong in miniature, using puppets made of recycled materials to show you how Hong Kong will be threatened, destroyed, and finally, extinct.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
Witness the extinction of the citizens of Hong Kong in unique and unexpected ways, played out on a miniature recreation of the historic city.

一個移居加拿大的香港人,借用木偶、食物和日常生活的物料,以小見大地呈現一個屬於香港人的歷史故事。

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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fantasylover

fantasylover


Choreographed by Alyssa Martin

Experience a feverish ride on the dream cloud of modern romance that invokes icons of pop music, Canadian Olympics, obscure Shakespeare, and the millennial experience. Follow them into a dreamy, comedic world where they grapple with demons large and small in search of their feminist utopia.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
A reclamation of classic Hollywood storytelling that sets four icons on a search for their own feminist utopia.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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Hot Cuts

Hot Cuts


Written and Directed by Aurora Stewart de Peña

1983: A salon in a mall in a dying city is the hub of an isolated sub-culture obsessed with consumerist "new age" spirituality. A stylist, inspired by Wham!, European flare, and a VHS copy of Ali McGraw's "yoga: mind & body", inspires trainees and clients alike to explore and express their true selves.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
A stylist in a small town mall inspires his trainees and clients to express their true selves in search of an aspirational subculture.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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Info Fair

Info Fair



An opportunity to meet with and ask questions of funders before the next grant deadline as well as learn more about resources and initiatives impacting the community including ArtsVote and ArtistProducerResource.com. Coffee and snacks will be provided.

Part of the SummerWorks Exchange programming

An opportunity to meet with and ask questions of funders before the next grant deadline as well as learn more about resources and initiatives impacting the community.
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Intimate Karaoke, Live at Uterine Concert Hall

Intimate Karaoke, Live at Uterine Concert Hall


Conceived and Performed by Dayna McLeod

curated and co-presented by FADO Performance Art Centre

Sing your favourite karaoke song for Dayna McLeod’s uterus, live at Uterine Concert Hall.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
curated and co-presented by FADO Performance Art Centre

Sing your favourite karaoke song for Dayna McLeod’s uterus, live at Uterine Concert Hall.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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KATIMAJUIT

KATIMAJUIT


Directed by Maziar Ghaderi, Performed by Malaya Bishop & Jenna Broomfield; Software Design & Visuals by Sahar Homami

co-presented with Why Not Theatre

New media artist Maziar Ghaderi works together with Inuit throat singers, The Sila Singers, to bring you an interdisciplinary experimental encounter; voices collide in real-time with audio sensor technology to produce projected sonic visualizations of a hyperreal digital tundra dreamworld.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
co-presented with Why Not Theatre

A live new media experiment featuring the visualization of Inuit throat singing.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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Lion Womxn

Lion Womxn


Created and Performed by the participants of the 2018 AMY Theatre Program

presented in partnership with The AMY Project

Created by the young women and non-binary youth artists of The AMY Project’s 2018 Theatre Program, this show explores themes of empowerment, resilience, self and community care, and the relationships with the mothers, grandmothers, and lion women in our lives.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
presented in partnership with The AMY Project

Stories of empowerment resilience, self and community care, and the relationships with the mothers, grandmothers, and lion women in our lives.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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Lost Together

Lost Together


Conceived by Shira Leuchter; Created and Performed by Shira Leuchter and Michaela Washburn

You are invited you to share a story about something you’ve lost. Throughout the conversation, Shira and Michaela will work together to reimagine and recreate that lost thing for you. The objects they create will become part of an ever-evolving exhibition, reminding us that loss doesn’t have to be a solitary reckoning.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
In conversation with you, Shira and Michaela recreate something you’ve lost.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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The Negroes Are Congregating

The Negroes Are Congregating


Written and Directed by Natasha Adiyana Morris; Performed by Angaer Arop, David Delisca, and Dennis W. Langley

The Negroes Are Congregating is a personal and contemporary piece delving into the psyche of generational internalized racism. Delivered through a fusion of spoken word, satire, and soulful dialect, audiences will enter a realm of private truths and leave with an understanding of what it means to be Black, proud, and ready.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
Delving into the North American Black experience from a mental, physical, and spiritual perspective.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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one for five

one for five


Created by Kristen-Innes Stambolic

presented in partnership with The School of Toronto Dance Theatre

One drawing for five dancers: an exploration of movement written by bodies onto air. one for five is an investigation of the relationship between time/space and the moving body. Projecting animations of drawings, the work changes and morphs along with the dancers, creating fleeting moments in time, and piercing the space around us.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
presented in partnership with The School of Toronto Dance Theatre

A robust contemporary dance quintet, with integrated media.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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Opening Night Party

Opening Night Party



SummerWorks kicks off the Festival with a big party. Join us for a wild night of music, dancing, performance, and all around revelry.


SummerWorks kicks off the Festival with a big party. Join us for a wild night of music, dancing, performance, and all around revelry.

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Overhear Toronto

Overhear Toronto


Apuka Theatre & It's Not a Box Theatre

Using an app built for iPhone, Overhear Toronto invites you on a guided outdoor journey where you will encounter Torontonians with intimate stories of migration and cultural displacement. Accompanied by performances that subtly blend into their surroundings, these stories invite you to re-imagine the city you live in every day.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
Take a guided solo journey through a Toronto neighbourhood as it reveals personal stories of migration and cultural displacement in unexpected ways.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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The Private Life of the Master Race

The Private Life of the Master Race


Directed by Esther Jun; Adapted and Translated by ted witzel & Susanna Fournier; Produced by Rouvan Silogix; Music Direction and Performed by Jason Collett

Join us for a night at Das Kabarett as we explore a new adaptation of a Brecht classic. Delve into the deepest secrets and naughty desires of a numb population.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
Explore the deepest secrets and naughtiest desires of a numb population at Das Kabarett!

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming

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The Reckoning

The Reckoning


Concept and Choreography by Eroca Nicols; Performed by Eroca Nicols, and Gregory Holt

They did not get better. The shadow side of celebration of life holds the sediment of loss: the fury, the grief, the fury. It will never be the same. We cannot go back. We are broken open. And-now-what? In the aftermath of feminine rage, divine and disgusting, overflowing like fluid lava beneath the surface of the social; What do we do now? In the gap, in the wound, in the space of healing- The Reckoning. The final two shows in a series of works from Lady Janitor, including Truthteller.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
What do we do now after the flood of divine feminine rage? One of two performances from Lady Janitor (a.k.a. Eroca Nicols) collapse the space between ritual and spectacle.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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The Red Horse is Leaving

The Red Horse is Leaving


Written, Co-Directed, and Performed by Erika Batdorf; Choreogrphed and Co-Directed by Kate Digby; Digital Technology and Costume Design by Mark-David Hosale

Erika Batdorf creates a portrait of her mother, Thaya Whitten, a painter who toured Canada in the 60’s doing controversial performance art. Through the use of biosensors, this interactive theatrical two-hander explores the meeting point of madness and creativity.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
An interactive theatrical duet exploring madness and creativity integrating biosensors.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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Stray

Stray


Written by Tanya Marquardt; Co-Created by: Tim Carlson; Directed by Mallory Catlett; Performed by Tanya Marquardt and Tim Carlson

Stray is the meta-memoir punk concert documenting Tanya Marquardt’s experience as a teen runaway, BDSM model, and New York transplant. Each song careens you through Tanya’s first attraction to a girl, witnessing her self-cutting, being underage in a BDSM bar, the time a teacher saved her from suicide, and how writing sustained her throughout.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
A punk rock performance about a girl who runs away and finds herself.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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SummerWorks Exchange Day 1

SummerWorks Exchange Day 1


presented in partnership with Ad Hoc Assembly, Artscape Launchpad, and Generator

A day of professional development and learning including an Industry Lunch and an afternoon of Workshop Sessions.

A day of professional development and learning including an Industry Lunch and an afternoon of Workshop Sessions.
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SummerWorks Exchange Day 2

SummerWorks Exchange Day 2


presented in partnership with Buddies in Bad Times and Dancemakers

Day 2 of the SummerWorks Exchange opens up the creative process with our Open Studio showing from six local artists.

Day 2 of the SummerWorks Exchange opens up the creative process with Open Studio showing from six local artists.
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SummerWorks Exchange Day 3

SummerWorks Exchange Day 3


presented in partnership with Canadian Theatre Review, Generator and Why Not Theatre

The final day of the SummerWorks Exchange focuses on systems change and ends with a Community Meal.

The final day of the SummerWorks Exchange focuses on systems change and ends with a Community Meal.
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Swim Team

Swim Team


Directed by Aida Keykhaii; Written by Jaber Ramezani; Dramaturged by Mohammad Yaghoubi; Performed by: Banafsheh Taherian

Inspired by real stories from the world of women's sports in post-revolutionary Iran, Swim Team follows three women who are determined to learn to swim in a place devoid of water. When their coach transforms her small apartment into a training facility, they discover that it can still be tricky to achieve your dreams, even when they’re just in your imagination.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
Inspired by real events, the story of three women who dream of learning to swim in a place devoid of water.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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THIRD WORLD

THIRD WORLD


Choreographed by Diana Reyes (FLY LADY DI); Projection Design by Maylee Todd

FLY LADY DI mixes Voguing, Waacking, Hip-Hop, B-Girling, and House Dance with Filipino folk dance to explore isolation, loneliness, and identity in a sonically and emotionally charged performance.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
Voguing, Waacking, Hip-Hop, B-Girling, and House Dance combine with Filipino folk dance to explore isolation, loneliness, and identity.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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Truthteller

Truthteller


Concept and Choreography by Eroca Nicols

A solo, not solo work by Lady Janitor featuring: feats of fear facing and concentration, questions and answers, femme-tastic one-on-one time, calling on and calling out the past, present and future, conversation, acquatechnics, live lifelong lasting body alteration, dancing, sweating, movement, and yes:

Are we seeing or being seen? What are we saying yes to and are we allowed to say no? The final two shows in a series of works from Lady Janitor, including The Reckoning.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
Calling on and calling out the pasts, presents and futures of ritual, performance, and community care. One of two performances from Lady Janitor (a.k.a. Eroca Nicols) collapse the space between ritual and spectacle.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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The Waves

The Waves


Written by Laura Quigley; Directed by Clea Minaker; Performed by Laura Quigley with Arianna Markle; Sonic Direction and Performance Coaching by Noah Drew

The story of one woman through the birth of her first and second babies and in to the benign and beautiful detail of one day in her life as a mother of two, contrasted by the dark underbelly of her postpartum depression. The Waves explores birth and early motherhood through text, movement, and a unique sonic experience that stretches the boundaries of vocal expression on stage.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
Grunts and growls. Broken clicks and howls. An aria. A solo play about birth, motherhood, and whales.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming

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Winners and Losers

Winners and Losers


Based on the original script by Marcus Youssef and James Long; Co-created by Valerie Planche, Jenna Rodgers and Makambe K. Simamba; Directed by Jenna Rodgers; Performed by Valeria Planche and Makambe K. Simamba

A game in which two artists, and friends, debate whether people, places, and things are winners or losers. An all-female cast reinterpret Marcus Youssef and James Long’s original text to offer a contemporary exploration of sisterhood that circles around friendships, female patterns of behaviour, and systemic racism.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
Two friends debate whether people, places, and things are winners or losers.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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YES

YES


Created and Performed by Linnea Swan

A Manifesto for the post-cynical, YES is an irreverent romp through the turbulent history of modern dance. Known for her fearless approach to controversial issues, Performer/Creator Linnea Swan rigorously integrates theatre, dance, and bouffon to address Yvonne Rainer’s 1965 No Manifesto and its legacy on the current state of contemporary performance.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
A Manifesto for the post-cynical, YES is an irreverent romp through the turbulent history of modern dance.

Part of the SummerWorks Presentations programming
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ZAYO

ZAYO


Created, Directed & Choreographed by Esie Mensah

When Ouhna arrives in the world of Nxi he has one directive: get to his destiny. Through a series of tests that will measure his mental, physical, and emotional strength, he must find what it takes to complete his quest, or the journey will consume him. Choreographer Esie Mensah creates an ethereal future world in this bold new dance-theatre work about self-discovery, destiny, and personal strength.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
An original dance/theatre story about a young man trying to fulfill his destiny.

Part of the SummerWorks Lab programming
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