Hope you’ve had time to rest up after Fringe, because the 23rd annual SummerWorks Festival is just around the corner! The 10 day festival features curated work from three international companies, four national productions, and alot of local artists. Audiences can choose from SummerWorks’ Theatre, Live Art, or Music series—soooo many of which sound fantastic! We’ve also got our eye on the Festival’s Performance Bar, which promises to be a rollicking good time. Yep. We said it. We said “rollicking good time,” and when you read what they’ve got planned you’ll be saying it, too.

We’ll be providing you with show reviews over the course of the Festival, but in the meantime we’ve made a list of plays, musical acts, and performers that intrigue us. To be honest, it was tough! This festival is jam packed with talent. Take a look at the SummerWorks program and you’ll see what we mean!



“Oh you can buy them cheap, authentic Native Dreamcatchers… made in Indonesia. But as one single mother discovers while searching for her cultural identity, the spirit of the Dreamcatcher is awakened with prayer and once awakened, the ancestors you meet in the world of dreams may not be what you expected.”

Venue A: Factory Theatre Mainspace, 60 Minutes

Thursday August 8, 3:00 pm; Friday August 9, 5:30 pm; Sunday August 11, 3:00 pm; Wednesday August 14, 12:30 pm; Thursday August 15, 5:30 pm; Friday August 16, 8:00 pm; Saturday August 17, 12:30 pm


“‘Infinitely generous and disarming’(Der  Standard, Vienna Austria), 7 Important Things is a touching and idiosyncratic work that “swivels with casual elegance between narration, enactment and improvised discussion” (The Age, Melbourne, Australia). STO Union’s latest entry on the international scene continues its pursuit of a dramaturgy that is “so simple it could hardly be more complex” (Stuttgarter Zeitung).”

Venue B: Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace, 60 Minutes

Friday August 9, 6:30 pm; Saturday August 10, 9:00 pm; Monday August 12, 6:30 pm; Tuesday August 13, 4:00 pm; Wednesday August 14, 1:30 pm; Friday August 16,1:30 pm; Saturday August 17 9:00 pm


“Two weeks after a wealthy Yorkville couple met an open-minded couple at a sex club, they invite them to their condo to see if lightning strikes twice. The emotional brouhaha that follows will leave both couples wondering if marriage is all it’s cracked up to be.”

Venue E: Lower Ossington Theatre, 90 Minutes

Thursday August 8, 10:00 pm; Friday August 9, 2:30 pm; Sunday August 11, 7:30 pm; Tuesday August 13, 2:30 pm; Wednesday August 14, 7:30 pm; Friday August 16, 12:00 pm; Saturday August 17, 5:00 pm


“SummerWorks co-presents a remount production of this remarkable work by one of Toronto’s premiere performance makers Allison Cummings. Inspired by Arvo Pärt’s piano composition, Für Alina, and part Grimm’s fairytale, Final Savage Land is a choreographed duet that delves into the the beauty and horrors of co-dependency and the savagery of survival. “You know when you go to a show that you enjoy so much that it leaves you speechless? If you don’t then you might want to check out Final Savage Land” –Mooney on Theatre.”

Venue M: Theatre Centre Pop-Up, 57 Minutes

Thursday August 8, 9:00 pm; Friday August 9, 9:00 pm; Saturday August 10, 9:00 pm; Sunday August 11, 9:00 pm; Tuesday August 13, 9:00 pm; Wednesday August 14, 9:00 pm; Thursday August 15, 9:00 pm; Friday August 16, 9:00 pm; Saturday August 17, 9:00 pm; Sunday August 18 9:00 pm


“A Multimedia Dream created and performed by Sook-Yin Lee and Benjamin Kamino with Adam Litovitz HOW CAN I FORGET? explores the tension between remembering and forgetting: what we forget that we ought to remember, and what we remember that we want to forget. It is the study of memory through fraught relationships. From prose to movement, surrealism to documentary, it is a poetic collision unfolding in a dream logic, and a “duet” embodying aspects of the same person: naked embryonic twins navigating a primordial womb in a new creation myth.”

Venue E: Lower Ossington Theatre, 60 Minutes

Friday August 9, 7:30 pm; Saturday August 10, 10:00 pm; Sunday August 11, 2:30 pm; Thursday August 15, 10:00 pm


“A cross-dressing kidnapper falls in love with his latest victim, a drug addicted housewife cracks under the pressure of the holidays, and an office worker is spurned by the object of his affection. The company behind the SummerWorks hits Terminus (’12) and Mr. Marmalade (’11) presents this world premiere.”

Venue E: Lower Ossington Theatre, 90 Minutes
Warning: mature and violent themes, nudity

Thursday August 8, 5:00 pm; Saturday August 10, 2:30 pm; Monday August 12, 7:30 pm; Tuesday August 13, 10:00 pm;Wednesday August 14, 5:00 pm; Friday August 16, 2:30 pm; Saturday August 17, 12:00 pm


“nanny: maroon warrior queen is a 75 minute biomyth monodrama in dub that recounts the life of jamaica’s first and only national shero, queen nanny of the maroons. the play follows nanny’s life as the great spiritual, military, political, and maternal head figure of the maroons and gives an in depth treatment of the system of the transatlantic slave trade that existed in jamaica. mirroring this journey is the story of efua’s coming of age as she negotiates her ultimate purpose in life in modern-day jamaica. the yoruba goddess oya is present now and in the 18th century, serving as a guide to both womben on their journeys of r/evolution, self-recovery and liberation.”

Venue F: Lower Ossington Theatre Studio, 75 Minutes

Friday August 9, 5:00 pm; Saturday August 10, 7:30 pm; Sunday August 11, 12:00 pm; Monday August 12, 5:00 pm; Thursday August 15, 7:30 pm; Friday August 16, 5:00 pm; Saturday August 17, 2:30 pm


“A performance trilogy on the body and the weapon. What is the identity of a nation, and at what cost should that identity be preserved? The word “Schützen” in German has an etymological double meaning. On one hand it means someone who shoots. On the other, it means to shield, protect or prevent.In Schützen, Danish performance artist, Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt, examines modern-day war practices based on her own physical research done with American drone pilots in Nevada, Israeli Army troops in Tel Aviv and on a shooting range in Berlin. Schützen investigates the human ability to kill and to ask others to kill, exploring how these practices affect the body, and their physical and psychological consequences.”

Venue K: Scotiabank Studio Theatre, 60 Minutes

Wednesday August 14, 7:00 pm; Thursday August 15, 7:00 pm; Friday August 16, 7:00 pm; Saturday August 17, 2:00 pm


“Philip Ridley’s internationally acclaimed smash-hit makes its Canadian debut. In this hyper-kinetic, heart-stopping exploration of love in the face of tragedy, Man and Woman navigate a fantastical deluge of sea monsters, monkey soldiers, flying saucers, shattered dreams, and fragile hopes. “Fierce, transfixing, and ultimately very moving” – The New York Times.”

Venue C: Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace, 75 Minutes

Thursday August 8, 6:00 pm; Friday August 9, 8:30 pm; Saturday August 10, 1:00 pm; Sunday August 11, 3:30 pm; Tuesday August 13, 6:00 pm; Thursday August 15, 3:30 pm; Friday August 16, 8:30 pm; Saturday August 17, 1:00 pm


“Prison doesn’t end when you leave jail. This Wide Night is a ‘raw and riveting’ two-hander that explores a delicate relationship struggling to exist. This Wide Night is presented in association with Elizabeth Fry Toronto, the city’s only agency to provide services for women in conflict with the law.”

Venue A: Factory Theatre Mainspace, 75 Minutes
Warning: Mature language

Friday August 9, 3:00pm; Saturday August 10, 8:00pm; Sunday August 11, 12:30pm; Monday August 12, 8:00pm; Tuesday August 13, 12:30pm; Thursday August 15, 3:00pm; Saturday August 17, 5:30pm

Performance Bar

Over the course of the festival free evening fun can be had at the Performance Bar! Fresh off their latest show, Feint of Hart, the Fabergé Fruits will be transforming the Bar in to Henri Fabergé’s Art Court, where judgement (and entertainment) await!

Other Performance Bar acts that caught our eyes:

Saturday, August 10 TONY HO Tuesday, August 13 BRIDGET MOSER
Saturday, August 17 SARA HENNESSEY and PETRA GLYNT

The Performance Bar is located at Venue G, Lower Ossington Theatre, Cabaret Space, ground level studio, and all shows are FREE (Cash Bar from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am) Doors at 8:00 pm, performances start at 9:00 pm.

Music Series


“A History of Summer, a new original musical, surveys the last century of summers in America’s earliest established gay communities—Cherry Grove and the Fire Island Pines—and explores the residents’ lives and loves, hopes and heartbreaks.”

Venue H: The Great Hall
Saturday, August 10 at 7:30PM


“Welcome to the bunker. Audience members will be treated to a top secret presentation of the latest in security enforcement technology. A power-point presentation by Professor Southworth will be followed by the launch of two “drones” so advanced, they give new meaning to the term “unmanned.” Their calculations and computations can analyze minute details in a nanosecond, and should explosive devices require deployment, targets can be obliterated before the remote control pilot even presses the button. The devices will be christened with great fanfare, in a ceremony that you will not be permitted to describe to your friends and family. The score will consist of entirely new music by the Bicycles, composed especially for the occasion.”

Venue I: Black Box Theatre
Thursday August 15, Doors 9:00PM, Show 10:00PM


“Rigidly Defined Areas of Doubt and Uncertainty. Haunt the back alleys of Toronto as audience and performer come together to create a concert experience that is literally designed to move you. The Wooden Skyhave joined forces with Theatre veterans Jennifer Brewin and Michael Rubenfeld to take a new look at the conventional concert. Playing on themes of traveling carnivals and inspired by their own ‘Bedrooms and Backstreets’ tour this Traveling Adventure Show will cast the neighbourhood surrounding the Lower Ossington Theatre as it’s stage and offer a uniquely intimate experience with The Wooden Sky’s music.”

Venue E: The Lower Ossington Theatre
Friday, August 16, Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM


“Bring your own beach blanket and sit under the virtual stars as the soul-stirring Maylee Todd transforms the Great Hall into her own personal summer dreamscape. An intimate, synthesized version of her hit LP Escapology like you have never heard it before. The Planetarium is guided by director Steven McCarthy and features a kaleidoscope of visuals and live projection design made live by award winning filmmaker Tess Girard. So bring a pillow and get cozy, close and cuddle with a old or new friend because this show is on the ceiling.”

Venue E: The Lower Ossington Theatre
Saturday August 17, Doors 7:00PM, Show 8:00PM

Phew! That’s just a taste of what will be happening at SummerWorks this year! The festival will also be hosting Live Art shows and Shop Talks all week long. Definitely read through the program and check out the SummerWorks schedule, because this is one festival you won’t want to miss!

Speaking of which, mark your calendars for the opening night reception! SummerWorks is hosting a wild night of music, interactive theatre, and dance at The Great Hall (1087 Queen St. W.), with catering by The Lakeview! And did we mention it’s free? It’s on Thursday, August 8 at 8:00pm. Be there or suffer from a lot of FOMO.

For ticket information you can go to the SummerWorks website or call the SummerWorks Performance Festival at 416-628-8216 until August 6 (10:00am to 5:00pm), and the Lower Ossington Box Office at 416-915-6747 after August 6 (10:00am to 5:00pm).