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Sunday, March 29, 2015

In the Haze of Illness, I forgot to reflect on this year's Skirts AFire Festival!

No, it's true.  I was hit with a horrible cold/flu (I never know which - I only know the suffering) in March and totally forgot to write about the Skirts AFire Festival! 

The illness was descending when I took in The Mothers in the days before the festival actually started. A one woman show by Nicole Moeller, starring Annette Loiselle and directed by Glenda Stirling, The Mothers explored how the mother of a child gone wrong deals with her guilt, confusion, sadness and anger over the actions of her child. The script raised a lot of interesting things about how little we know about how a dangerous child might be created. We think there must be a straight line from the baby to the teenager with clear indicators and inciting incidents and predictive behaviour, but the truth is a lot more complicated.  Loiselle has many fine moments in the piece which is as times an archaeological examination of the past and at other times an emotional exploration of her perceived failure as a parent.  I was challenged a bit by the arrangement of the script as the build was more up an down, and there were a lot of details about the mother-child relationship that seemed inconsistent.  I wondered if that was deliberate, though, in that a parent might look back and see both good and bad jumbled together and have trouble separating truth from guilt.

Then the illness struck and I was out for over half a week.  However, I dragged myself out of bed and medicated myself so that I could make it to Peep Show, where 4 new plays were given 10-15 minutes of exposure to a first audience.  Peep show is where The Easy Road started 2 years ago which led to the full reading and workshop last year at Skirts AFire 2014.  I was looking forward to hearing the 4 pieces on display this year. We heard scripts from Michele Vance Hehir, Leslea Kroll, Hayley Moorhouse and Anne Marie Szucs.  I enjoyed hearing these four new plays and the new female playwright voices.  So pleased that Skirts AFire has provided the opportunity for more new work development.

I'm looking forward to seeing what is on the docket for next season and hoping that I am not sick so that I can see even more!

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