Saturday evening I had the privilege of attending the penultimate performance of the play Stitch at the Aki Studio Theatre, in the Regent Park, Toronto. Written by Cliff Cardinal, Stitch is the powerful story of internet porn actress, Kylie Grandview, played by Georgina Beaty in this production.
Props were limited to two chairs, a hair elastic and a costume consisting of a black bra, white shirt, black leggings and black ankle boots. Beaty used these scant accessories to convincingly create twelve characters including Kylie, her daughter, mother, porn agent, potential movie producer, female police officer, female lawyer, various porn partners, and her persistent vaginal infection. The transformation from one character to another was seamlessly amazing.
Superlative writing and impeccable acting made this production a pleasure to watch — even when the material startled or created situations that were uncomfortable to sit through. The self-destruction of this beautiful young woman was a draining experience that left me emotionally and physically exhausted.
The audience was invited to stay for a question and answer period with Ms. Beaty. The questions were run-of-the-mill until a gentleman asked the actress how her family felt about her being in this play. Ms. Beaty answered matter-of-factly that her family all live in Alberta. So ended question period.
With such depth of writing and energetic versatility of acting why does it always come back to the personal for women? Why do women’s major life decisions need to be sanctioned by family?
Women have been working to achieve self-determination for a very, very long time. Yet, even when we’ve achieved independence and chosen a successful path in life we’re confronted by detractors who want to know what our family, community, faith, or society think of these decisions.
The fact that this actress successfully portrayed a dozen very dissimilar personalities during a non-stop seventy minute play without missing a beat, stumbling over a line, or forgetting which character she was in at the moment was a feat in itself. The play worked because one woman convincingly played all the parts.
Regrettably, I missed my chance to ask the gentleman from the audience what his family thought of him coming to see Stitch — and in Regent Park no less.
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