The Toronto Fringe Festival, part of the “Fringe movement” – a worldwide network of indie theatre festivals where anyone can put on any shows, will take place in Toronto from July 2 to 13.This year’s festival features 148 shows in 35 venues.
A cry for help from Dreams of Summer’s End and The Dying Picture Productions
Rivé said the play is inspired by Chris Brown’s admission of losing his virginity at the age of 8 to a 16 year old girl. What was fascinating about this was “that there were a lot of articles coming out particularly in feminist websites about how there are culturally raped boys that we are forgetting about. Statistics show that boys who are raped, or girls who are raped, at a younger age become much more violent and much more like those who raped them. We expanded on the idea of our relationships with our sexuality and how those relationships affect our lives and the people around us,” Rivé explained.
The Art Nouveau poster by Keegan Thomas Youngfor
This piece deals with four people in two groups and the struggles with their sexuality. From family, to marriage, to children; sexuality is the force that dictates how they live their lives. One group of characters examines sexuality in sexual relationships that society deems “abnormal”. It explores how a boy’s experience of being raped drives him to rape a girl and explores their struggles. A second group of characters examines how sexuality in sexual relationships that society deems “normal” leads to the loss of the personal identity and purpose in life. Rivé based the name of the play on Shakespeare‘s A Midsummer Night’s Dream drawing from its sense of fate and turmoil.
Daniel Cristofori (left) Karina Lynn (right)
Rivé has been working on bring this piece to life on the stage since last August. All shows at the Fringe are chosen at random by lottery and he won Toronto and Hamilton Fringe. “That is exciting because Toronto is the hardest and the best one to get into,” he said.
He posted auditions on social media websites and sent invitations to people he knew. “The response was crazy with how many people came to the audition and everyone was really, really, good. There were some really tough decisions.”
They have spent three months in rehearsals. Rivé said he most difficult part of rehearsing is “not having actual space for doing the play available for rehearsals with sets.” To raise the funds, they have a FundWhatYouCan website and get to keep the box office receipts.”
Rivé explained, “I definitely wanted to explore issues that I think people don’t talk about. I thought this piece was really dealing with sex in an honest way. It was not all about over-positive messages and at the same time not simple negative messages about sex. I was trying to make it a real exploration about sexuality. I wanted to just talk about the domination in our lives.”
From the audience’s perspective, Rivé hopes “everyone sees themselves in these characters. I hope everyone comes across seeing what they do with their sexuality and how they deal with their relationships. Maybe we can move forward and talk openly and honestly about sex and these issues,” Rivé said.
Karina Lynn (left) Tristan Rivé (right)
Acting and writing has been a part of Rivé’s life since he was five or six years old. “It was always things I wanted to do and my parents wanted me to do. I just love story telling and different emotions, so being able to play in different characters, feel different emotions and talk about different emotions in writing is really something I just love to do.”
The cast members
Rivé advises emerging theatre directors and actors to “get into as many as possible. There are a lot of people out there trying to break in. Just connect with them and do things together.”
Dreams of Summer’s End is performed at the Robert Gill Theatre from July 2 to 11 and at the Hamilton Theatre Inc from July 18 to 27. To purchase tickets, please visit the Fringe website: the Toronto Fringe, the Hamilton Fringe.
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