By Wayne Doyle
Supporting the arts across York Region can take on many faces.
You could buy a ticket to a local performance or show. You could buy a book by a local author. You could become part of a local theatre troupe or community orchestra.
You could own a business that sponsors an event or partners with a local artistic venture that engages your staff and your customers.
Or, you could really think outside of the box, and have your business become part of a production.
That’s what the folks at the Cardinal Press Espresso Bar in Newmarket did.
According to Rachel Klotz, manager of the Main Street java outlet, the venue was committed to being a part of the Stories of the Alphabet Community production by Shadowpath Theatre the moment she heard about it.
“When we heard that a part of the production that was being done was focused on a dinner party, we thought it was the perfect place,” Rachel said. “The room is intimate and unique – just like Shadowpath Theatre.”
Stories of the Alphabet Community is a totally unique production. On June 11, you’ll stroll down Main St Newmarket and experience multidisciplinary stores reflecting the barriers and beauty of queerness.
The show kicks off at 2pm at the Newmarket Public Library with The Collaborative Canvas. Discover storytelling through soundscapes and visuals as you pick up a paintbrush (optional) and co-create art inspired by your surroundings. Share your own story through colourful expression with an ending integration into a short play by Dante Amo.
At 2:20, there’s a presentation of The Prince of Grey Island, written by 17-year-old, emerging playwright Dante Amo. The work is inspired by the song “A Gay Disney Prince” because as we know there are not any gay Disney Prince’s yet. (CONTENT WARNING: Please be advised, this play contains scenes that some may find triggering including instances of homophobia, homophobic violence, strained parental relationships, violence that results in death, premeditated harm and two jump scares. Audience discretion is advised.)
At 3pm, the scene moves to the Cardinal Press Espresso Bar
Singlejoy: Join Karina Milech in a local café for challah bread and wine, (aka grape juice) as she guides you through a Jewish Sabbath Dinner. Be prepared to participate in the rituals as Milech shares her experience of being single in a Jewish family. Audiences will be invited to share phrases that have been said to them about their own identity through anonymous creative writing prompts. Some statements will end up in the show!
At 3:45pm, the show moves to a parking lot – final location TBA
Home Again – Mosey over to a parking lot as actors perform in and around a car. A woman reunites with her high school bestie after they’ve both gone through intense experiences and find themselves reminiscing on a road trip to the dessert. This play deals with strong themes, ages 14+ recommended.
The day wraps up with a show at 4:30pm at the Cachet Supper Club
I Wish I Were A Penguin – In this interactive playreading, a gay couple visits an aquarium and notices two male penguins taking care of their young. A woman screams at them for holding hands, but she quickly gets called out on her homophobia. We learn that humans are not only gay, but animals are as well.
Main photo: Shadowpath Theatre’s Artistic Director Alex Karolyi