by Lynn on May 20, 2024

in The Passionate Playgoer

Live and in person at Harbourfront Centre, as part of the JUNIOR FESTIVAL—A festival of theatre, music, dance, art installations, story-telling from May 18-May 20, 2024. Toronto, Ont.

I saw the following productions as part of the Junior Festival over the long weekend: May 18 – May 20, 2024.

Robot Song

From Bendigo-Dja Dja Country, Australia

Arena Theatre Company.

Writer/director: Jolyon James

Cast: Ashley Pyke

Phillip McInnes

Bridget A’Beckett

Inspired by the true story of a parent navigating life with a child on the Autism Spectrum.

Juniper May is 11 years old and she tries to fit in. She hates school because she is bullied. She misses most days and sees a doctor I assume is a psychiatrist once a month. Her parents are loving and very supportive. Her school mates send her a letter saying they want her to leave the school. And they all sign it. One wonders where is the teacher or the students’ parents?

Juniper May finds a robot in pieces in the dumpster and apparently puts it together. The Robot is impressive, although it appears late in the show.

I found it confusing. The synopsis here is clearer than the actual show. The performances were earnest and sweet.

Yassama and the Beaded Calabash

From Ontario

Cast: Lua Shayenne

Cécé Haba

It’s the story of a young girl in Africa who, with the help of the wise Baobab tree, saves her village from drought and starvation. A story of faith, hope and respecting Mother Earth.

It’s rooted in African oral tradition. Through dance and story telling and song, Lua Shayenne weaves the story with joy.

The show was commissioned and developed through the WeeFestival of Arts and Culture and Théâtre Français de Toronto.

One wonders why the WeeFestival and the Junior Festival don’t collaborate on their two festivals, since they overlap and are performed at the same time.

Make Me Dance

From Norway

Panta Rei Danseteater

Choreography: Anne Holck Ekenes, Pia Holden

Dancers: Nora Martine Svenning

Ian Yves Ancheta

Jon Filip Fahlstram

An immersive fast-paced live dance show that encourages the audience to make noise and dance.

Three dancers backed by a musician dance, tumble, jump and glide across the stage with enthusiasm. Each dancer/musician tells their story of how they had to dance or make music.


Leave a Comment

Respectful comments are accepted on this site as long as they are accompanied by a verifiable name and a verifiable e-mail address. Posts that are slanderous, libelous or personally derogatory will not be approved.