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Sunday, February 04, 2018

Minosis Gathers Hope and Her Mark...

I actually started my day taking media photos for The Women at Walterdale Theatre, but scurried quickly next door to Fringe Theatre Adventures to catch Minosis Gathers Hope as part of the Rubaboo Festival. It was a TYA (Theatre for Young Audiences) production about a young girl, Minosis, who has to spend the summer with her grandparents. She's lonely, and fearful about meeting new friends, and begins to explore the backyard. She travels to the four directions of the Medicine Wheel (forgive me if I get details incorrect, I am not an authority, merely interpreting what I saw) and finds ribbons at each corner. The journey helps her reconnect and learn more about her culture and religion and also helps her adjust to where she is. Told with narration from 5 dancers who symbolize the four directions of the Medicine Wheel and Mother Nature, it is the dance that keeps the piece dynamic and magical. There were no programs so I sadly cannot identify all the actors, but the actress playing Minosis was quite passionate and lovely to watch onstage. There were only a few public performances so I don't think you can catch it anymore, but the Rubaboo Festival is an annual event so keep it in mind next year.

In the evening I headed back to Old Strathcona to catch Her Mark presented by Whizgiggling Productions at Orange Hall. I saw this show in 2014 at the Fringe and quite enjoyed it, but I like this new iteration even better. Perhaps it's the staging and new location, as it seems very suited for Orange Hall - the creaky floors adding realism and texture to the soundscape, and the candlelit atmosphere is dreamlike and haunting. As well, the action takes place both in front of and among the audience so you feel truly engaged. It's an adaptation of Michael Crummy stories about a family in Newfoundland in the early part of the 20th century. A mother (Linda Grass), her 3 daughters (Cheryl Jameson, Lora Brovold & Jayce MacKenzie) and son (Matthew Lindholm), tell stories in monologue about their lives and the patchwork creates a quilt of this family's history. The stories are interspersed with songs and often underscored by violin (played by Astrid Sparks). Director Trevor Schmidt has created a lovely atmospheric work. The seating for this show is extremely limited as the space is quite small and intimate, so I would recommend getting tickets in advance. It's a warm, touching show about loss and hardship but above-all the fierceness of a people who live in hard circumstances.

Her Mark runs to February 10th.
Click here for tickets.

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