Other Words I Don’t Understand Like Love at Edmonton Fringe Festival

Other Words I Don’t Understand Like Love
Westbury Theatre  (10330 – 104 avenue) August 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 24
More information: toygunstheatre.com

An interview with Jake Hastey.

Describe your show in five words.

Pillow Sex, Obituaries, Corn Pops

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

Do you remember breakfast cereal before we read labels? Do you remember love before you experienced loss? This show explores loss – loss of love, loss of illusions, loss of inhibitions. But this is not an angsty and depressing piece of theatre, it is an attempt to find joy in the worst week of your life. Join us on an adventure involving 300 pillows and a bowl of cereal unlike anything you have ever seen at the Fringe (but in a good way).

This show seems quite opposite from your other Fringe show, Red Wine, French Toast and the Best Sex You’ve Ever Had. Why present Other Words I Don’t Understand Like Love in tandem (or at least at the same time) as Toy Gun Theatre’s other show?

Honestly I’m pretty sure it’s cause we are insane! This summer we have been operating with no support from any arts funding body which  means that every artist involved is working with us based on belief in the work or belief in my ability to assist them as dancers (we offer full time training for all of our artists that involves up to 8 ballet classes a week mixed with Contemporary, Modern, and Jazz dance technique). We must have done something right because we have ended up with an insanely talented cast for this show that includes students and/or graduates from UAlberta BFA Acting, National Theatre School, Toronto Dance Theatre, Simon Frasier/SCA Dance Program, Sheridan College, Canadian College of Performing Arts, Grant Mac Theatre Arts, Shelley’s Dance Company, Sandra Gray School of Dance, and The Ailey School (NY), on top of amazing professional artists doing some guest work in the piece. Of course many of these artists will be returning to their training programs in September which meant that we had 4 months to work with them and we had to make the most of it. We have premiered 3 new works, self produced a profitable public art performance piece, performed in Feats Festival of Dance, Toured Winnipeg and Calgary Fringes, incorporated the company, had our first pay day!!!! And now we get to finish the summer at home with our most ambitious work Propylene Glycol, Maltodextrin, Retinol Palmitate, and Other Words I Don’t Understand Like Love.

Other Words I Don’t Understand Like Love is set in a dreamscape – why choose that particular setting to present these themes in?

I think the dreamscape was created out of the desire to bring two polar opposite energies to one show, which meant we had to create a theatrical reality that could encompass this vast spectrum. Also I knew very early on that this show involved 300 pillows, and that they would be integral to almost every scene of the show, which offered many challenges as well as immense opportunities.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

I know a parent isn’t supposed to have a favorite child but there is something special about this show for me. It lives on a different planet from most of what I’ve done in my life and it feels like a huge step in a direction I wish to travel in. When we premiered a work in progress version in July someone in the audience told me, “Everyone needs to see this show.” and I thought that was possibly the most beautiful reaction a person can have to a piece of art.

Bonus question: Any names you want to drop who have been involved in your show (Edmonton arts people or otherwise)?

We are incredibly lucky to have two featured artists in this show. Elizabeth Raycroft -Dramatic Soprano (B.Mus, M.Mus) and currently teaches at King’s University College, and Christine Lesiak – Small Matter’s Productions, a popular and successful local clown and physical performer (Fool’s For Love).

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets attickets.fringetheatre.ca

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