Twenty Years of Mad Pride in Toronto
In 1993, a group of psychiatric survivors, friends, and allies gathered in Parkdale to protest their marginalization and mistreatment at the hands of the medical establishment, the government, and the police. The event was called Psychiatric Survivor Pride Day.
Twenty years later, what’s now known as Mad Pride is a week-long event that mixes activism, skill sharing, and celebration of both survival and what Mad Pride organizing committee member Alisa Triest calls “mad culture.” She says that many psychiatric survivors, as well as other people who have been diagnosed with medical illnesses, have decided to reclaim the term “mad,” much like how other marginalized groups have reclaimed words that were once used as slurs against them. She says that using the word “mad” also serves several other purposes.
At this month’s edition of Trampoline Hall, curated by Mark Reale, Zemina Meghji lectures on human-robot relations, Colin Gribbons about bringing golf into the street, and Adil Dhalla on the ramifications of sleeping at the office (alone, we presume). As always, the night is hosted by Misha Glouberman. Advance tickets will be available at Soundscapes (and sell out), and a few rush tickets will go on sale at 6:30 p.m., well before the strict 8 p.m. start.
Drunk Theatre History
Inspired in part by Slings & Arrows (and this comedy series), there are going to be four nights of Canadian theatre veterans spinning ribald yarns about backstage antics. Hosted by Diane D’Aquila, the first night of Drunk Theatre History will cover the Stratford Festival exclusively, followed by nights focusing on the sordid tales of Canadian theatre in the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, with guests like playwright Brad Fraser, Governor-General Award winner Paul Thompson, and director Peter Hinton. Tickets can be reserved by calling The Downstage at 416-997-7018, or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Calgary Stamp-AID Fundraiser
There are a lot of comedians and performers in Toronto who hail from Calgary, especially performers who started out improvising at the Loose Moose Theatre. (The theatre is on dry ground, but cancelled a string of shows due to road conditions during the recent flooding.) Many of those alumni are banding together for The Calgary Stamp-Aid Fundraiser, to raise funds for the Red Cross Alberta Relief Fund. Hosted by The Rumoli Bros, the bill includes Canadian comedy heavyweights like Ron James, Gavin Crawford, and Ryan Belleville; the star-studded cast of Fringe show The Soaps; and musical guests like Terra Hazelton and Jay McCarrol. It’s PWYC, though the comics hope you’ll throw in a $20 for the Red Cross—and bid on a wide variety of auction items between sets.
The Royal Ontario Museum Takes a Modern Approach to the Cradle of Civilization
The name “Mesopotamia” derives from a Greek term meaning “land between the rivers.” The Royal Ontario Museum’s latest major exhibit, which opens on June 22, takes this literally, as visitors flow between painted representations of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers on the floor.
Presented by the British Museum and rounded out with pieces from institutions in Chicago, Detroit, and Philadelphia, “Mesopotamia: Inventing Our World” covers 3,000 years of human development in the cradle of urban civilization. Most of the 170 artifacts on display have never been shown in Canada.
Toronto Fringe Festival 2013: Plays We Love So Far
We should have known that the 25th-annual Toronto Fringe Festival would be one for the books. Now, after almost one week of theatre-going, beer-tenting, and underground dancing, the Torontoist team has put the fest to the test, to see which plays shone like diamonds in the rough. We were pleasantly surprised with the results. Below, we’ve got some reviews of our favourite shows so far.
Christina Wollesen: “To Be Near You”
“To Be Near You” is a new art exhibition that explores the relationship of colours and experiences to our existence. These uniquely abstract pieces of art come to you via artist Christina Wollesen. The opening reception is on July 4 at 7 p.m. While you’re at Hashtag, you also have the chance to check out their “Send-A-Postcard Wall”, which lets you send art to anyone in the world so they can enjoy the show too.
Dancing in the Town Square
Like something out of a movie (except, you know, Footloose), you can spend your summer nights dancing in the open air of the Town Square. Join Dexter and Janice of DjDance as they lead Latin Salsa classes twice a week, all summer.
Entertaining Mr. Sloane
Soulpepper Theatre collaborates on a Joe Orton play, Entertaining Mr. Sloane, with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s artistic producer Brendan Healey. Guest director Healey has coached some Soulpepper theatre stalwarts—Stuart Hughes, Fiona Reid, Michael Simpson, and David Beazley—for this dark comedy about a charming lodger who incites illicit passions among his other housemates.