Reviews from Summerworks: Lion Womxn and Adrenaline

by Lynn on August 12, 2018

in The Passionate Playgoer

At the Theatre Centre, 1115 Queen St. W.,  Toronto, Ont.

Lion Womxn

Created and performed by: nevada-Jane arlow, Clara Carreon, Olivia Costes, Gabi M Fay, Carvela Lee, Megan Legesse, Laya Mendizabal, MORGAN, Whitney-Nicole Peterkin, Rofiat Olusanya, Aaliya Wooter, Flo Yang.

Directed by Julia Hune-Brown and Nikki Shaffeeullah

Lighting by Senjuti Sarker

Costumes by Chris Faris

Choreography by Jasmine Shaffeeullah

Projections designed by Nicole Eun-Ju Bell

Presented by the AMY Project.

I love the AMY Project’s work. It’s brave, true, heartfelt and moving. As stated in the program: “The AMY Project is a free performing arts training program serving young women and non-binary youth. AMY breaks down barriers to participation by providing meals and transportation; accessible, queer and trans inclusion and anti-racist environments; and more. With the mentorship of professional artists, AMY participants learn to tell their stories with honesty, integrity and artistic rigour.”

For this endeavor we hear stories of teens coping with issues of identity, body image, horrific memories of their home countries before they came to Canada, a sense of guilt they couldn’t do more to help family members, coping with harsh home lives and how they deal with it all with grace, resolve and confidence.

The stories are rich in poetry, imagery, vivid description and are beautifully rendered with economy and style. The stories of these young artists will pierce the heart and compel you to listen and hear them.

Their last show is Mon. Aug. 13 at 6:30 pm




Written and performed by Ahmad Meree

Directed by Majdi Bou-Matar

Set by Majdi Bou-Matar

Sound by Colin Labadie

Original music by Colin Labadie.

Done in Arabic with English surtitles.

Jaber is a young Syrian man spending his first New Year’s Eve in Canada. He’s cold.  He thinks back to the previous year’s New Year’s in Syria where he was with his family, mindful of the possibility of bombs dropping or soldiers invading their home at any moment.

In the safety of Canada he sits down to a meal of pizza and coke and talks to his parents and his young brother. They are cleverly depicted: his mother is a stand-up fan with a large scarf around the curve of the fan and wrapped around the neck of the fan. His father is a jacket neatly hanging on a coat tree and his brother is a round gas tank with a red hockey sweater over it.

Jaber talks to his parents and brother in turn with tenderness, humour and a loving wistfulness. The firecrackers that go off to bring in the New Year here have a chilling resonance for Jaber as they also sound like bombs in his native Syria.

We see a family that loves each other and how Jaber tries to maintain that love and connection. Then the reality of the situation sinks in. We cannot hear these stories  enough of survival, determination and the horrors that refugees and immigrants have endured.

This piece of work is stunning in every single way—from the gripping writing to the inventive direction of Majdi Bou-Matar to the arresting acting of Ahmed Meree (who also wrote it). I would travel anywhere to see theatre this good. Fortunately the Theatre Centre is closer.


Sunday August 12th 7:30pm – 8:05pm

Saturday August 18th 2:30pm – 3:05pm

Sunday August 19th 2:15pm – 2:50pm

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