If, like us, you’re mourning the passing of this summer’s fantastic indie theatre festivals (Toronto Fringe, SummerWorks) and the novel, experimental shows that go with them, you’ll be pleased to know No More Masterpieces theatre company is holding a very Fringe-esque production called The Girl Who Married a Ghost at the InterAccess Gallery at Queen and Ossington. This complex play bravely steps into the landmine of North American Aboriginal history and subtly comments on the work of prominent artists of various disciplines (photography, theatre, visual art) who did the same in their day.
The show begins with a riveting and mysterious ghost story–like narrative, accompanied by beautiful shadow dancing by Joanna Caplan, which is followed by several segments that reenact and reimagine the making of famous art by North Americans who used Aboriginals as their subjects. They included a photo session with photographer Edward Curtis in 1910, a rehearsal of the George Ryga play The Ecstasy of Rita Joe in 1967, and the installation of the Remix show at the Art Gallery of Ontario just this year. By imagining the artists’ thought processes behind the creation of these works, Caplan and Co-Artistic Director Zack Russell address the ambiguity of depicting Aboriginal people from an outsider’s perspective.
You may understand the performance more if you bone up on the referenced artists and their work beforehand, but even if you don’t, you’ll enjoy both of these performers. Caplan is magnificent with unlimited stores of potential energy that threaten to surface at any moment, and Russell is a quiet, swift-moving presence who complements her perfectly.
The last Toronto performance of The Girl Who Married a Ghost is tonight at 8 p.m. at the InterAccess Gallery at 9 Ossington Avenue.