I’ve been to Toronto before, but that time I turned around and went home. The fact that I’m going further away from home is the scariest feeling in the world. I was almost bested by Union Station while trying to get the Via gate since the station alone is bigger than the town I grew up in. Wow, I don’t think this out of my element feeling is going away anytime soon.
So first trip on Via Rail Canada, and it is amazing. The food is awesome, the company is great, my bed was actually comfortable, and the extensive quantity of Canada you get to see is mind-boggling. If you want to just get to your destination, take the plane but if you actually want to enjoy your journey, take the train. And it is only fitting that my music is Canadian.
Bottome’s Dream: From the direction of Charlie Peters, who is getting to be a big name here in Saskatoon, and the talented acting of Cheryl Jack, Kate Herriot, Matt Josdal, Donovan Scheirer, Elizabeth Nepjuk, Chris Donlevy and Emma Thorpe comes Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream without the stupid love square in the middle. Surrounding the story of Bottome’s adventures into the fairy world, Peters and Co. brings out the power and passion behind one of Shakespeares most well known plays. The hard work of everyone was evident in how in-sync they were with each other as they seamlessly moved from the ridiculous world of Bottome to the wonderfully fantastical world of Titania and Oberon. With everything that Peters and Co. put into this play, the audience was rewarded with a fantastic show.
Here Lies Henry: Slow moving at first, Murray Farnell discusses what happens to a man is left to analyze his life. Henry is left to talk to the audience of the futility of his life and he tries to make his life more exciting than it actually was by constantly lying to the audience. The audience slowly comes to the realize where Henry truly is and where he must go, but during the time all the audience is left with is Henry. He has a sparkling personality but his demons aren’t as entertaining as they could be but it is the ending that made the play somewhat good.
Dumb Waiter: Jordan Svenkeson and Jesse Fulcher Gagno don British accents to tell the story of hit-men feeling the strain of their jobs as they wait for their next assignment. Slow moving as the tension builds, Svenkeson and Gagno are manipulated by a invisible boss and cryptic messages from above as they wait and wait and wait. Since I doubt Svenkeson and Gagno have actually killed anyone, the tension they create makes you think that they actually have.
Outside Joke Let’s you be the Captain: For a group that claims to be an improv group, they go so far beyond improv that they could be called extreme improv or Über improv. Every night is a different show as they take a single suggestion from the audience and create a whole world around that object. Leif Ingebrigtsen, Chadd Henderson, Toby Hughes, Robyn Slade and Jane Testar combine music, story telling and improv to form a new and magical world each and every time. What makes this beyond improv is how vivid and detailed a picture they create by just getting one suggestion from the audience. Absolutely delightful, touching and hilarious, it was well worth the time to go.
Hatter: From the mind of Andrew Wade comes the look at the plague of sanity on the Mad-Hatter as he tries to return to the wonderful oblivion that is Wonderland. Forced to confront his sanity in order to return home, the deep secrets of the Hatter comes out in a dizzyingly hilarious yet heartbreaking story of the toll life can take on a man, what he is driven to in order to cope and what he loses in the process. Wade seamlessly changes from madly crazy to just plain mad until the he cannot escape the pain of reality anymore and takes a different trip down the rabbit hole on a path to accept where his life has lead him. His passion alone is reason enough to go and see The Hatter.
Grim and Fischer: Kate Braidwood and Andrew Phoenix face-off in the battle of the summer as Granny faces off with death himself. Framed around the complications of growing older yet the joys of still feeling young, Granny’s life is an endless circle of tormenting the orderly, long walks, TV watching, remembering her long passed husband and avoiding the letters of summons that Death keeps sending her. Don’t let her age fool you, Granny is willing to fight to keep on living. A beautifully performed story, the perils of age are sometimes heartbreaking to watch but too beautiful to look away. In the end, the surprising relationship between Granny and Death becomes the most beautiful thing of all.
Jesus Loves a Crazy Horny Feminist: Jennifer Hayward’s romp through spirituality in the world of feminism and mental health combines the funny and dark elements into an honest look at how to truly love yourself. In the end, that is all anyone needs in life is love, yet that becomes difficult when you have Borderline Personality Disorder. For someone like Jen, sometimes all you need is some divine intervention. An honest, emotionally daunting trip through finding self love after thoroughly despising yourself, if you are going to go to just ONE show this Fringe season, make it this one.
So I went to some amazing shows at the Fringe in Saskatoon lately and one of these was called Bull’s Heart with Veenesh Dubois. Dubois plays a female Middle Eastern Canadian career woman dealing with work, family and her past. She admits to the audience that she made partner of her accounting firm by sleeping with her boss and that she understood that it was the only way she was going to make it in a male dominated profession.
This makes me curious on how the world sees professionals in the work place, which can mean anyone in these positions, especially people who are in CEOs and higher ups but in all reality, this problem is mostly affiliated with women. The more I think about it, the more I come to understand that it does not have to be just females relationships with their staff, but also senior staffs relationships with junior level staff.
In this article: http://www.businessinsider.com/sex-is-killing-the-workplace-2010-8, the percentages are rather low but that does not break up women by positions within the work place. Is it assumed that if you are female in a high position within a mostly male profession that the only way you could have gotten there is by sex? Even if you worked your ass off to get there are people quick to assume that since you are a woman, sex is the only way you got there?
Besides the obvious problems with this, the main one becomes how was sex is used? Senior staff can use the promise of promotions and pay raises to manipulate juniors into giving sex while the opposite could happen to, where junior staff can promise sex if the seniors will reward them. There is no possible way to knowing which happened first, so how can the behaviour be corrected or punished? I hope I never have to make that decision in my life but I also hope that my performance in a workplace is not measured by whether I put out or not.