Sonder at Edmonton Fringe Festival


King Edward School (8530 – 101 street) August 14, 17, 18, 20, 21, 23

More information:

An interview with Director Jake Tkaczyk.

Sonder at Edmonton Fringe Festival. Photo credit: Alexander Boldt

Sonder at Edmonton Fringe Festival. Photo credit: Alexander Boldt

Describe your show in five words. 

Observing the unknown in passers-by.

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

Sonder is not about one story or one singular person. It provides glimpses into the fleeting reality that is life. Sonder explores some of the small important moments that almost everyone can relate to in one way or another. We pose the question: are individuals insignificant? and challenge the audience to see the significance of the true life, the one and only one we all live.

In your media release you say “sonder” is a term a blogger came up with to describe “the realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own”. Why did this term speak so strongly to you and Sonder‘s other co-creators?

As creators, we discussed how the majority of individuals (including ourselves) neglect the fact that other people have their own stories, their own issues and their own victories. Through our creative process, we wish to feature positive and negative moments that everyone can relate to. Sometimes I catch myself going through my day “glazed over” and unaware of all of the people around me. We hope to encourage other people to really listen to the people we pass every day.

This piece was co-created with the performers – can you tell us a bit about that process? This show has a cast of 7 – were all involved in the creation process?

I [Jake] acted as the facilitator of Sonder and asked six different actors from Red Deer College to collaborate on the piece. Starting in November, we decided on creating based on a word, and the word was “sonder”. This term was coined by John Koenig and described something that we all related to and wanted to explore. As a facilitator, we would work based off images, music, sonnets, props, etc. which led to writing or movement, which then led to improvising scenes. When creation and improvising was taking place, I would write down points, or lines of dialogue that we would expand upon. When finished, we would have scenes which we then linked together. One of the actors was unable to make a few of the show dates so we also cast one more person after most of the creation was done. Or so we thought. This show is a living piece that changes every time we perform it. Much like life – it can be very unexpected.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

If the show leaves you questioning about why there wasn’t more, what happened to this character, are these characters linked? If it’s made you beg any of those questions; then we’ve already succeeded. You’re no longer being passive. This show can be challenging to view, so instead of viewing, we invite you to experience.

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

The producer of Sonder is Louise Mallory, who is a passionate theatre volunteer and blogger on the local scene (as Ephemeral Pleasures). None of this experience would have been possible without her.

The 33rd Edmonton International Fringe is August 14 – 24. Get your tickets at

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