SOULO Poster
5th Annual One-Person Show Festival May 25 to 28
A Syrian refugee in his first one-man show about his journey from Aleppo to Toronto.
A female boxer tells her story of breaking all the rules in a real boxing ring.
A TED-style talk about putting your soul on stage.
World premiere of ‘We The Women’ – a show about 54 Canadian women’s journey
to the Women’s March on Washington.
Celebrating its 5th anniversary with an amazing line up of shows, workshops and panels, Toronto’s Soulo Theatre Festival runs May 25-28 with all events except the Opening Night taking place at the RED Sandcastle Theatre in Leslieville.
Soulo Theatre Festival Artistic Director Tracey Erin Smith announced that the festival opens with a world premiere from Toronto legend Savoy Howe, founder of Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club. Howe brings 20 years of herstory of women’s boxing and mind-blowing stories of how she broke all barriers – and one nose -into Newsgirl, which she performs in a real boxing ring (!) at Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club (388 Carlaw Ave., #108).
Smith also announced the full schedule for the run of the festival as follows; each show only has one performance. All events take place at RED Sandcastle Theatre, 922 Queen Street East, except for Opening Night as noted above:
Thursday, May 25
Opening Night Gala (site-specific presentation at Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club – https://www.facebook.com/TorontoNewsgirlsBoxingClub/?hc_ref=PAGES_TIMELINE&fref=nf)


Written and performed by Savoy Howe

Directed by Tracey Erin Smith


Newsgirl is a personal herstory of the world-famous Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club by founder Savoy “Kapow!” Howe. Savoy Howe tells amazing, shocking and hilarious tales from her 25-year boxing journey that started at the Toronto Newsboys Boxing Club in ’92, including her close call with the Toronto underworld, to the 20-year anniversary of the Newsgirls Boxing Club, to how helping teach survivors of violence to box has changed hundreds of lives including her own. And the show is staged in the boxing ring at Newsgirls!


Savoy Howe is the head coach and owner of Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, Canada’s first female-owned and trans-positive boxing club featured in The New York Times  (https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/27/sports/in-everybodys-corner-a-boxing-gym-for-all.html?_r=0), and a McMaster University Theatre graduate who studied with Calgary’s famed One Yellow Rabbit.


Friday, May 26
Keynote Address from Soulo Festival Artistic Director Tracey Erin Smith

The Story You Tell About Your Life, Becomes Your Life

What’s the story you tell about your life? About yourself? These stories shape your identity. Exploring these personal narratives reveal how we’ve constructed our identity. Using Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, Narrative Therapy and the thousands of life stories and soulo shows she’s helped create, Tracey Erin Smith, the founder of Soulo Theatre and the Artistic Director of the Soulo Theatre Festival, shares real examples of how looking at your story with fresh and creative eyes will change your life.

Mamahood: Bursting Into Light
Written and performed by Nicolle Nattrass

Directed by TJ Dawe

Mamahood: Bursting Into Light is a witty and profoundly moving ode to motherhood. A mother, a playwright, and an actress, Jessie Richardson Award-nominated Nicolle Nattrass from Vancouver, shares her story with humour. She courageously shares her desire to be a “PERFECT Mom”, to her discovery of being an “Older Parent”, to confronting the endless choices of parenthood, the pain of sleep deprivation, along with the heartache and joy of her own post-partum experience.


There will be a talk-back after the performance with the actress and special guest Olivia Scobie, a parenting coach and doula who heads her own counselling practise. www.livwithchange.com


Warning: This show is not suitable for children. Adult Language, Mature Content.

Soulo Salon: Four Short Shows

Witch’s Sickness

Written and performed by Marina Gwynne

Magic, Blood, Trauma and AlcoholŠWhere does depression start? How does it originate? Where does it come from? Perhaps it has something to do with the music and the memories and the trauma that are swirling around your blood at this very moment. Perhaps not. Find out at Witch’s Sickness and help this young witch manifest her magic. Who knows? Maybe you’ll leave with a few extra powers you thought you’d never have.


Marina Maye Gwynne is an emerging theatre and film artist and writer and a recent graduate of the Fountain School of Performing Arts at Dalhousie University.


They Have To Have Teeth

Written and performed by Dorothy Rusoff

At 74, Dorothy is wondering if she should look for love again. She has one requirement this time around: they have to have teeth!

Dorothy Rusoff is a 74-year-old retired world traveler and photographer.

Confused at a Funeral

Written and performed by Magdelana Borkowski

Dealing with the interesting times we are living in these days, how do you ‘even’ when you have to ‘just even’ when you ‘just can’t even’? Stop the world, Magdalena wants to get off!

Magdalena Borkowski is a Toronto-based comedian/ writer who defected from Eastern Europe at a very early age. Magdelana has written and performed works in the 2015 Hamilton Fringe Festival (Death and Dating) and the 2016 Toronto Fringe Festival (Game 7).

From Aleppo to Ontario

Written and performed by Amir Fattal

This is a true, first-person account of a powerful and sometimes funny journey from Aleppo, Syria to Turkey to being on stage in Toronto.

Since seeking refugee status in Toronto last fall, Amir volunteers for the Red Cross and has opened his own traditional Syrian cuisine catering service and supper club with his wife called Beroea Kitchen.www.beroeakitchen.com

Saturday, May 27


Marketing and Touring Your Show PANEL  

Speakers: Derrick Chua, Christel Bartelse  & Sue Edworthy

Learn tips from the best in the city about promoting and touring your solo show in Toronto and around the world.


Everything You Wanted To Know About Self-Producing – WORKSHOP

Speaker: Nicolle Nattrass

Find out where and how to develop your solo show, resources and festivals, what to look for in a dramaturge/director and the magic balance to manage it all!


Two Kittens & A Kid  (A Gay Man Raising His Inner Diva)

Written and performed by Christopher Wilson

Directed by Ryan Kelly

In this deeply personal and autobiographical story, a gay, white, suburban man suddenly becomes ‘Mr Mom’ to an adolescent, black, urban girl. White-knuckled on a roller coaster of teenage angst, this new parent falls off the precipice into the mystery of black hair, menstruation and boyz, as well as more serious dilemmas. Often comedic but always honest, this one-man musical cabaret is a poignant and sometimes heartbreaking story of love, cultural understanding, and desperately trying to find your way!

Following a critically-acclaimed run at the 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Christopher Wilson’s one-man musical cabaret has played sold-out performances at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre’s Cabaret, the Toronto Centre for the Arts’ Studio Theatre, the Social Capital Theatre, Don’t Tell Mama in New York City and The Registry Theatre in Kitchener. Wilson is a professional performer, arts educator and independent producer whose credits include both national and international appearances. His Beyond Boundaries is a professional, project-based theatre company.


Double Bill: Two 30-minute Shows


Written and performed by Sage Tyrtle

The bullies of her childhood had no idea they were creating a small but determined superhero.

Rebel Without a Pause

Written and performed by Martha Chavez

Fighting the power is exhausting and you need a lot of carbs.

Sunday, May 28
Soulo Festival Master Class Student Show

Students from all walks of life share what they have created over the festival under the guidance of artistic director Tracey Erin Smith.

Telling Compelling Stories – WORKSHOP

Speaker: Sage Tyrtle

Learn how to choose a strong story and connect with your audience from popular storyteller Sage Tyrtle.

Your Life On Stage – WORKSHOP

Speaker: Tracey Erin Smith

Discover tricks and techniques to turn material from your real life and imagination into a hit solo show or powerful personal story to tell on stage with Tracey Erin Smith, the founder of Soulo Theatre and Artistic Director of the Soulo Theatre Festival. Everyone has a story. What’s yours?

We The Women  –  A WORLD PREMIERE!

Created by and starring: Precious Chong, Marina Maye Gwynne, Lois Hayes, Savoy Howe, Sarah Murphy-Dyson, Jodi Pape, Tonjha Richardson, Janice Turner. 

Directed by Tracey Erin Smith 

On January 20, 54 women boarded a bus from Union Station to the Women’s March on Washington with Soulo Artistic Director Tracey Erin Smith at the helm. This is the show they’ve created about that magical day and the powerful stories behind the women who made the journey. This brand new piece of Toronto theatre includes interruptive ballet, boxing, sexual firsts and a grandmother on the ukulele.

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