SummerWorks returns to Toronto from August 9 to 19, 2018. Theatre, dance, music and live art–there is no shortage of incredible programming at Canada’s largest curated performance festival, and we’re stoked for ALL OF IT!

This year’s fest features an array of contemporary themes and important explorations of female friendship, love and loss, systemic racism, cultural displacement and more. There is seriously so much amazing stuff happening. If you can’t see it all, then check out the gems in our handy must-see list!

In fantasylover, choreographer Alyssa Martin combines romance, pop music icons, Canadian Olympics, Shakespeare, demons, and the millennial experience into one dreamy ride. Follow the performers in their quest for a feminist utopia. The Theatre Centre–Franco Boni Theatre (1115 Queen Street West). August 9, 10, 13, 16 and 17.

the aisha of is, created and performed by Aisha Sasha John. In this devotional practice, John bares her heart and soul, offering herself as medicine to patriarchal, racist violence. Experience this alchemical ritual as John reveals her sensitivity as a power. Welcome to is. The Theatre Centre–Franco Boni Theatre (1115 Queen Street West). August 11, 12, 16 and 18.

Performed by Valeria Planche and Makambe K. Simamba, Winners and Losers showcases two artists debating whether people, places and things are winners or losers. With a stellar all-female cast, Winners and Losers is an important exploration of sisterhood, friendships, female behaviour and systemic racism. 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. The Theatre Centre–Franco Boni Theatre (1115 Queen Street West). August 10, 12, 14, 15 and 17.

What happened last night on the dance floor? In Body So Fluorescent, co-created by Amanda Cordner and David di Giovanni, two friends attempt to retrace their steps from the previous evening to figure out how it all ended in an explosive fight. In their effort to figure out the facts, they are met with some stunning revelations. Experience this racy and outrageous solo show that asks difficult questions about Blackness, otherness and oppression. The Theatre Centre–Incubator (1115 Queen Street W). August 11, 12, 13, 18 and 19.

Created by the young women and non-binary youth artists of The AMY Project’s 2018 Theatre ProgramLion Womxn emphasizes important themes of empowerment, resilience, self and community care, as well as relationships with the mothers, grandmothers and lion women in our lives. The Theatre Centre–Franco Boni Theatre (1115 Queen Street West). August 10, 11 and 13.

Created and performed by Shira Leuchter and Michaela Washburn, Lost Together invites you to share a story about something you’ve lost. In this unique art project, Shira and Michaela work together to reimagine and recreate that lost thing for you. These objects will become part of their ever-evolving exhibition. Toronto Media Arts Centre–Gathering Space (32 Lisgar Street). August 9, 14, 18 and 19.

Created and performed by Molly Johnson and Meredith Thompson, B Side is two performers traversing a Queen West laneway. Using sound and movement, they’ll work together in a meditative examination of their surroundings, giving life to what is often unseen. B Side takes place in a secret location (the starting point will be sent to you by email after you purchase your ticket.) August 14, 16 and 19.

Written by Tanya Marquardt, Stray is the meta-memoir punk concert documenting Marquardt’s experience as a teen runaway, BDSM model, and New York transplant. Each song careens you through Marquardt’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. Co-created by Tim Carlson; directed by Mallory Catlett; performed by Tanya Marquardt and Tim Carlson. The Theatre Centre–Incubator (1115 Queen Street W). August 10 and 12.

Written and directed by Natasha Adiyana Morris, The Negroes Are Congregating looks at the psyche of generational internalized racism. Featuring a blend of spoken work, satire and soulful dialect, The Negroes Are Congregating is a personal and contemporary piece inviting audiences to enter a realm of private truths and explore themes of what it means to be Black, proud and ready. The Theatre Centre–Incubator (1115 Queen Street W). August 15, 16 and 18.

Directed by Aida Keykhaii, Swim Team is inspired by true events surrounding women’s sports in post-revolutionary Iran. When three women want to learn how to swim in a place devoid of water, their coach transforms her apartment into a training facility. The Theatre Centre–Franco Boni Theatre (1115 Queen Street West). August 12, 13 and 19.

Using an app built for iPhone, Overhear Toronto is a guided audio journey where you will encounter Torontonians with fascinating stories of migration and cultural displacement. Accompanied by outdoor performances, these stories invite you to re-imagine the city you live in every day. Artscape Youngplace–Two Penny Marketplace (180 Shaw St). August 11, 12 and 18.

Tickets and passes for SummerWorks are on sale now!