With Glowing Hearts at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

With Glowing Hearts. Photo credit: Dave DeGagne and Brad Gibbons of dbphotographics.ca

With Glowing Hearts. Photo credit: Dave DeGagne and Brad Gibbons of dbphotographics.ca

With Glowing Hearts by Send in the Girls Burlesque
August 19 – 21, 23, 25 – 27 at Venue #22: Garneau Theatre

An interview with Ellen Chorley. 

Describe your show in one sentence.

Celebrating the local history and the untold story of Canadian feminists, heroines, and trail blazers, With Glowing HeartsH is a Burlesque revue extravaganza celebrating Canadian women throughout history.

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

“With Glowing Hearts” is a burlesque tribute to the heroic lives of Canadian women from Laura Second to Lucy Maud Montgomery, from the Famous Five to the Edmonton Grads, Klondike Kate to Roberta Bondar- with many, many true stories in between.

“With Glowing Hearts” is also Send in the Girls Burlesque’s second full revue show.  In our more theatrical shows such as “Tudor Queens: A Burlesque,”  “A Bronte Burlesque” or “Bust ‘Em Up Burlesque” we focused on a specific group of women and brought a burlesque take to their lives to create a play with a plot- each project had a beginning, middle and end.  I would describe our revue shows like playful essays.  In last year’s “Shakespeare’s Sirens: A Burlesque Revue” or this summer’s “With Glowing Hearts” we get to examine a topic and use many historical examples.  Last year, our topic was how Shakespeare wrote women characters, and this year “With Glowing Hearts” is about how Canadian women blazed a trail in their communities to change our country for the better.  Doing a revue style show also allows for us to embrace the burlesque medium fully.  We get to jam-pack our shows with great choreography, sparkling costumes, witty jokes, and great personalities on stage.  Instead of an overarching plot, each number has a beginning, middle and end and each number stays within the theme of the show.  It allows us to play with the audience and create an entertaining and memorable evening at the theatre.

With Glowing Hearts: A Canadian Burlesque Revue was commissioned by the Jasper Pride Festival this past March as part of Canada 150 celebrations. How did you choose which Canadian moments to include in the show?

We really got to collaborate on this show with all of the seven artists involved. All of the creators picked their own woman to focus on- so it really was a very personal choice on who we featured in the show.  For Delia Barnett (my co-artistic director) who plays Laura Secord in the show, it was about choosing someone local to her own story. Delia grew up in southern Ontario right in the area that Laura Secord made her heroic trek.  As a teenager, I was very interested in the Person’s Case so playing Nellie McClung was a huge honour for me.  I think for each creator, their own personal histories influenced the decision.

Burlesque is such a great storytelling form, but can you delve more into why the form was such a great fit for celebrating Canadian history?

For me, burlesque can be so many different types of performance.  It can be satirical, empowering and an all-out celebration.  “With Glowing Hearts” allows burlesque to be a tribute and joyful jubilation- especially on Canada’s 150th birthday.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

We are so thrilled to be in a brand, new venue this year- the Garneau Theatre.   We can’t wait to share this show with our audiences!

The 36th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 17 – 27. Get your tickets at tickets.fringetheatre.ca .

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