What's the Buzz? | June 14 2022
Hello Theatre Lovers…or should I say Porch Lovers!
We could not be more excited about our upcoming Porchside Festival which is running throughout the month of July! We first created this festival last summer as a way of dealing with not being able to provide indoor shows. The response was so great that we decided to make this an annual event and to expand it. Beginning July 1st we will have 39 performances performed on 13 Collingwood porches throughout July! 25 performers are being employed and will bring you an incredible array of talent and styles. Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting these talented artists in this newsletter. PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS.
TREATS TO ENJOY DURING THE SHOWS

We also want to make sure you know that we have added something really fun to the festival this year. You can now order a Charcuterie Picnic Box to enjoy during the show! Just call our office at 705-445-2200 and place your orders. We can provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. These Charcuterie Picnic Boxes are from Holly Haire Event Planning. They are absolutely delicious, and just perfect for nibbling on during the shows. Each box also includes a beverage. At just $15 each they are a true bargain! Plus, Holly is donating $5 from each picnic box sale to Theatre Collingwood to help support the Porchside Festival!

Also at most shows we will have a visual artist displaying their talents, in addition to the show performer. Thank you to Jenn Keski Art for scheduling the artist for us. Please note that work will be for sale and we encourage you to support our region’s incredible talent!
FEATURED PORCHSIDE ARTISTS
You don’t want to miss these!

Quammie Williams is a mentor to youth, community businesses, organizations and individuals. He has been a mentor to me! I had the privilege of working with him in Barrie, and specifically on the build of the performance centre in downtown Barrie.

Drums: A People’s Journey is a musical and rhythmic storytelling that traces the path of his people from their West African origin to the Caribbean and South America, through to North America, and their present day existence in Clearview Township.

Quammie is one of those rare individuals that is not only highly educated and intellectual but also incredibly creative! He is a joy to listen to and very inspiring! He is a multi-disciplinary artist. Quammie has contributed his skills and knowledge of the percussive arts to the music of Joe Sealy, Judy Mowatt, The Parachute Club, Martha and the Muffins, Dr. John and many others.
He is a co-founder of Usafiri, Sankofa, and Baro Dununba, three ensembles dedicated to educating and entertaining through the presentation of African and African Diasporic Music and Dance.

Quammie’s African ancestors realized the ability of rhythm to unify the elements of mind, body and spirit and to be a cohesive and healing force in community.

Rhythm connects us to our ancestors and to our spirituality. The invention of the drum increased our ability to communicate rhythm more effectively, and ITS journey is OUR journey! Come and dance with us through this celebration of our journey, our rhythm, and our lives! ” Quammie Williams

Purchase tickets HERE or call 705-445-2200
In this unique show, Award-winning performer Andrew Prashad shares his experiences growing up in Canada, the calamity of trying to balance his culture and heritage with white suburbia, and how it all somehow lead him to study Forensic Science…..before switching into THEATRE!

Theatre Collingwood audiences may know Andrew from his show that we presented, One Step At A Time, in which he chronicled his family’s journey raising his son who was born with Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus. That show received rave reviews and then went on to be performed at the Stratford Festival last summer!

Andrew is an incredibly talented singer, actor, musician and Tap dancer. He is one of the leading Tap dance artists in Canada, teaching and choreographing around the world. Come see him in From Forensics to Theatre as he dances into your hearts on a Collingwood porch!

Andrew recently had his self-produced short film officially selected in 12 festivals around the world and winning 4 awards including BEST SHORT FILM. Andrew’s recent TV/Film credits include Disney’s film SPIN, the television series THE HOT ZONE: ANTHRAX, a principal recurring role on the new series LARRY and a fun jaunt in BLUES CLUES AND YOU with his son.

On stage he’s been a featured singer and dancer on the 20th Anniversary World Tour of RIVERDANCE, originated a role in Mira Nair’s MONSOON WEDDING musical at Berkeley Rep Theatre, played Cogsworth in Young People’s Theatre’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, Billy in ONCE at Theatre St John’s in Newfoundland, Boutons in Neptune Theatre’s CINDERELLA where he won a MERRITT AWARD for OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR, originated the role of Jonas in JUKEBOX HERO at the Ed Mirvish Theatre, and performed in HOLIDAY INN at the Shaw Festival!

As I write this, Andrew is playing the role of The Beadle Bamford in Talk Is Free Theatre’s production of SWEENEY TODD in Toronto, and he is amazing in this! He is a graduate of the University of Toronto at Mississauga with an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre and Performance as well as French Literature.

Bring all you senses to this one (and all your friends) because Andrew will tell stories, sing, Tap dance, and even answer your questions!

Purchase tickets HERE or call 705-445-2200
Hugs, the smell of old books, a hairdresser who listens to what you want. The colour yellow, roller coasters, ice cream.

In Every Brilliant Thing, as a mother battles chronic mental illness her child creates a list of every brilliant thing they can think of to remind them what makes life worth living. As the child grows, so does the list.

Looking back on a life of ups and downs, Michael Torontow takes the audience on an inspiring journey that celebrates finding joy in the mundane and being grateful for the simple pleasures hiding all around us.

This is a touching, funny, and uplifting performance that chronicles life’s small joys and reveals the lengths to which we will go for those we love.
While pursuing a double-degree program in Biochemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Ottawa, Michael Torontow began performing with local community theatre groups and realized he was headed down the wrong career path. He smartened up, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Arts Administration, and immediately moved to Toronto. After beginning his professional acting career on the US National Tour of Mamma Mia!, Michael returned to Canada to play Link Larkin in the original Canadian company of Hairspray and has been gracing stages from coast to coast ever since. He has now taken on the role of Artistic Director for Talk Is Free Theatre, AND currently playing the title role in SWEENEY TODD in Toronto and he is BRILLIANT!

Don’t miss this creative and beautiful piece of work performed by an incredible talent!

Purchase tickets HERE or call 705-445-2200
To view all our PORCHSIDE FESTIVAL show please visit our website at www.theatrecollingwood.ca. Thank you! I look forward to seeing you at the festival!

Erica

Erica Angus
Executive Director, Theatre Collingwood
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