It’s that time of the year again, when it’s sweltering outside and you forget that taking the Broadway Bridge home means you will be sitting in traffic for practically an eternity. Luckily, the Fringe Festival is here to lift your mood! This year has lots to see, including street performances, food trucks and of course, the Fringe’s main attractions. The festival showcases theatre and performance art from both all over the world and our own backyard. Here are five plays involving members of your very own University of Saskatchewan community.
Displaced (Ages 13+)
Displaced, co-written by Sue Mythen and U of S associate drama professor Natasha Martina, covers three parallel stories of immigrant women from three different places in three centuries. Mary comes to Canada to escape the Irish Potato Famine in 1847, Sofia to escape Second World War Germany in 1947 and Dara to escape war-torn Afghanistan in 2007. This story spans across centuries to show that although these three women come from diverse eras and backgrounds, their immigrant experiences include the same challenges of getting accustomed to an unfamiliar society. Equal parts uplifting and humbling, Displaced is a play with substance.
Mumbling at the Universe: A Love Letter to Carl Sagan
Mumbling at the Universe is attractive for its unique subject matter alone — it’s not every day a play based on factoids about the famous Carl Sagan passes through town, and one involving U of S students and alumni to boot. The story revolves around 10-year-old genius Carla, whose ambition is to be Earth’s first ever intergalactic ambassador and discover alien life. When two men break into her home, she believes that she has done just that. It’s an unusual plotline that tackles interesting subject matter and the acting is top-notch. Certainly, it will leave the audience with food for thought.
The Loveseat (Mature audiences — sexual content)
The Loveseat is a tale that is relatable for many couples. Its description in the Fringe program begins with the quote, “Why would you cross a street that you knew you only had a 50 per cent chance of surviving?”, which is something that many people have thought about getting married. Exploring the end of marriage between U of S drama students David (Kyle Kuchirka) and Anna (Kelly McTaggart), The Loveseat is a story everyone in the audience can enjoy no matter their relationship status, and see qualities of themselves reflected on stage. If nothing else, it will reassure you that, yes, everyone fights over really dumb things.
Look//See (Ages 13+)
Written by U of S alumni Nathan Howe and Morgan Murray, Look//See is a psychological thriller in a one-act format. The story is based around four friends, portrayed by a mix of U of S drama students and alumni, and their experience with a ritual referred to as “The Three Kings,” which is basically an amateur spirit summoning. Don’t expect a ouija board, though — this is several levels of freaky higher. You don’t see many horror genre plays on the stage because they are hard to pull off, but Look//See is a hair-raising stand-out, utilizing special effects that blow the standard minimalist format for one-acts out of the water.
Love Sounds Bad: A Four-Part Musical Comedy (Ages 13+)
Love Sounds Bad is exactly what it seems like in the title. Written and performed by Connor Brousseau and U of S acting veteran Jenna Berenbaum, the play is four short stories that are loosely based on the relationships that the creators have experienced in their lives. It’s unique blend of the comedy and sadness that permeates the end of a relationship makes this play the perfect bittersweet experience that shows off the creative talent that is thriving in Saskatoon.
The Fringe central box office is located in Victoria School on 11th Street East. For more information on venues and events, visit 25thstreettheatre.org
Photo: Caitlin Taylor/Photo Editor
Image: Stephanie Mah/Production Manager