Sometimes a single image can change the world
November 3-18, 2017
Mainspace, Theatre Passe Muraille
Toronto’s acclaimed Theatre Gargantua (TG) presents the world premiere of its newest production Reflector, conceived and directed by Jacquie P.A. Thomas, written by Michael Spence and developed with an award-winning cast and creative team. Reflector opens as the highlight of Theatre Gargantua’s 25th Anniversary Season on Friday November 3 (with a preview on November 2) and runs to Saturday November 18 in the Mainspace at Theatre Passe Muraille. Reflector explores how a single photograph can blaze humanity into acts of courage, generosity and understanding, and why certain images stand out in a world of 2.5 billion cameras.
Reflector is an image-rich, highly physical piece that follows four individuals as they process a soul-shattering photograph. Loosely inspired by the global reaction to the photo of Alan Kurdi, the drowned Syrian boy whose photo was on the cover of news publications worldwide, the piece explores the power of image as a communicator and activator.
Reflector‘s ensemble includes veteran TG artists and Dora Award winners Michelle Polak (Shakespeare in the Ruff‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dora Award for Outstanding Performance for Aluna Theatre’s For Sale) and Michael Spence (seen in all of TG’s main productions, and Dora nominee for his The Exit Room script, and two-time Dora winner for Outstanding Set Design) along with newcomers Abraham Asto (The Amorous Servant for Odyssey Theatre, The Kite Runner for Citadel/Theatre Calgary) and Louisa Zhu (fu-GEN’s Sex Tape Project, Solar Stage’s Treasure Island which earned a Dora nomination for Outstanding Ensemble).
Reflector delves into the aftermath of a conflict photo gone viral. A photographer (Spence) captures the moment, never expecting the personal and global impact it will have. The consequences of the devastating image lead him to a neurological specialist and psychiatrist (Asto) and two of his other clients: a woman who cannot forget (Polak) and an internet genius (Zhu) convinced she has experienced singularity with the world wide web.
With large-scale projections, live vocal scores and dynamic choreography, Reflector explores an evolution in human communication – the use of modern technology to share images instantly and globally. Reflector uses Theatre Gargantua’s trademark highly physical style and multi-disciplinary approach. The design features lighting and projection by Laird Macdonald, set design by Michael Spence and Macdonald, sound design by Thomas Ryder Payne and costumes by Melanie McNeill. The team creates a playing space of interactive images, large-scale projections, and evocative sound design that conjure the contemporary, flashy, ephemeral world of social media and the shared image. The stage manager is Daniel Oulton. The Producer is Yolanda Ferrato.
Pioneers in devised theatre incorporating movement, live music, interactive design, and media work, Theatre Gargantua is a leading multi-disciplinary theatre company. It is an artist-driven company that produces ground-breaking works in two-year cycles. Jacquie P.A. Thomas, one of Canada’s longest-serving female Artistic Directors, founded Theatre Gargantua in 1992. The company’s socially probing productions explore compelling subjects through daring physicality, striking design, rich vocal layers and an innovative use of emerging technologies that begets an ever-evolving, provocative style all its own. Thomas, a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to Canadian Culture, has been nominated for 10 Dora Mavor Moore Awards for her work with the company while the theatre itself has garnered over 30 Dora nominations and awards. Past works directed by Thomas for Theatre Gargantua include Avaricious, The Sacrifice Zone, IMPRINTS, e-DENTITY (which went on to be produced at the Royal Alexandra Theatre in Toronto), fIBBER, Raging Dreams, (nod), Phantom Limb and THE EXIT ROOM.
Theatre Gargantua presents the world premiere of Reflector
Conceived and Directed by Jacquie P.A. Thomas
Written by Michael Spence
Starring Abraham Asto, Michelle Polak, Michael Spence and Louisa Zhu
Lighting and Projection Design: Laird Macdonald;
Set Design: Michael Spence and Laird Macdonald;
Sound Design: Thomas Ryder Payne; Costume Design: Melanie McNeill;
Producer: Yolanda Ferrato; Stage Manager: Daniel Oulton; Production Manager Natalie Gisele
Previews November 2, Opens Friday November 3 and runs to Saturday November 18, 2017
Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30pm (Student matinee details available on the company website)
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 16 Ryerson Ave
Ticket Prices: Preview $20; Regular $24-$28 ($20-$25 for students, seniors and arts workers)
Purchase Tickets: Theatre Passe Muraille’s Arts Box Office: 416.504.7529 OR online at www.theatregargantua.ca