On Valentines Day, 2017, The 160 Bartley building officially closed its doors. It was sold to another proprietor. This means the Frolick Studio Theatre is no longer. We had several "closing events" including drums circles, all weekend parties, great band evenings, and flow jams right up until the very end. Frolick would like to thank all the people who came out to see this amazing location although it was far outside the downtown core. The 35000 sq feet of space gave us plenty of room for dinner theatre. The permaculture garden out front was full of raspberries, mint, seabuckthorn, fruit and nut trees, kale, and jerusalem artichokes. It provided a natural sanctuary just outside the theatre doors. Bavia Arts Studio's 1200 sq ft sprung oak floor has been saved and moved to a secure location. Paul Zulauf and Daniel Martin's mural from the stage managers booth has been saved as well. It was a wonderul location full of interesting people who were all involved in the art of saving the world by saving themselves. Frolick would like to thank Joe Tortolo for the opportunity to grow and expand there over the years. Looking forward to the next incarnation of Frolick Theatre.
You may have heard, the City is planning on de-commisioning the Lagoon Theatre as a theatre, and instead using it as a place for summer camps. (See the letter below)
Over the 15 years I have been involved with the Lagoon Theatre, we have hosted City of Toronto and other summer camps at the Lagoon Theatre for free. Back in 1999-2008 there used to be a reciprocal arrangement with the summer camps coming to shows for free in return for free ferry passes for Shrimp Magnet Theatre. Since Frolick started performing there in 2012 we have just hosted the camps for free and paid out the nose for ferry tickets and passes. Now, post renovations, they have kicked Frolick out to use "the space" (not a theatre anymore) for the expanding summer camps I don't think they will be doing theatre there.
If this seems like a travesty or an injustice to you, please feel free to write a letter, about how you have been connected to Frolick or the Lagoon Theatre and whether you enjoyed our programming and want to see more. The Lagoon Theatre has been a theatre on Toronto Island since the 1960's. I think it should stay a theatre. Please share.
Letters can be addressed to: Warren Hoselton, <email@example.com>, Pam McConnell <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Joyce Graylish <email@example.com>, Ann Ulusoy <firstname.lastname@example.org>, James Dann <email@example.com>, Ryan Glenn <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Rob Uddenberg <email@example.com>, Susan Bartleman <SBartlem@toronto.ca>, Catherine Porter <CPorter@thestar.ca>
In the photo beside, Winsor McCay on stilts climbs his way to meet King Morpheus of Slumberland on the Little Stone Bridge between Centre and Olympic Island: Toronto Islands. Any day this summer, if you were one of the thousands of visitors to Toronto Island, you might have seen some amazing characters in your midst. We performed a series of dream-plays based on Winsor McCay's work four times a day at the Lagoon Theatre.
Daily we would ask the question. "Who here has heard of Winsor McCay? Who know's Little Nemo in Slumberland?" And from the thousands of visitors we had, I think maybe a 1/2 dozen had heard of the beloved comics. Google changed all that overnight. Now all the closet Winsor McCay fans are online in droves, and every single one of our friends and extended family who came and saw the shows this summer are messaging us.
I can only hope this bodes well for the future development of these dream projects. Frolick put an awful lot of work into creating the two shows we played this summer, and plans are in the works to continue to develop more shows based on Little Nemo. So please, everyone, take a look around our site, join us on our Facebook group, and check back in with this blog as we continue to bring Little Nemo and the work of Winsor McCay to people LIVE, with puppets, stilts masks and music.
Frolick's Adventures in Slumberland has wrapped its premiere season at The Legendary Lagoon Theatre on Toronto Islands. There are so many people to thank. From the start we have been blessed to work with tremendous artists, positive and helpful volunteers and a wealth of community support. Special Thanks to Ted at 91B for letting us use his tremendous studio space and truck for our build. Miranda, Marko, Rok, Seba and Loki (Altera-Arts) for graciously sharing their space with us and helping with the canopies. Doug and Coco Krist for the sound system and shelving. Zack, Shannon, Cacao Monkey and Ashley for their food services. Dian Carlo for the metal pieces that held up the canopies - small but crucial pieces of our puzzle. Lindsay Millard and Iress for the company picnic, the Toronto Firefighters Association for including us in their Family BBQ. Also, Amira Emma Routledge, Rebekah Lynne, Bevy Love, Rob Lindley, Mihela Felicia, Joe Law, Pat Mahaney, Mark Segal, Julia Chemij, Elena Gloriacheva, Dejan Radic and Marie for their tireless art support. Abby Fry (and Sadie) for loading up her short bus for the trip on the good ferry Ongiara to the Lagoon at the beginning of the year. Irena Huljak, Teodora Porumb, Josh Lesk, Kadri Hansen, Emily Kulasa, Derek Birch and many others for helping with Front of House and last but certainly not least, Maria Wodzinska, Mark Segal, Joe Law, Irena Huljak, Caitlin Morris-Cornfield, Tijiki Morris, Sean Michael, Amira Emma Routledge, Matthew Krist, Elizabeth Anacleto and Kevin Forster for their unique and inspiring performances as the characters of "Adventures in Slumberland". Frolick also wants to thank the gracious staff of Toronto Parks, and all of the audience members who came, and supported and took pictures and sent them to us and the theatre reviewers who came and wrote about our little puppet dream plays this summer.
This summer marked a special moment in Frolick Theatre's existence as a self sustaining theatre company. Without grants, advertisement or other monetary support (other than that of its founding members), our entertainment was appreciated enough by diverse audiences to cover all expenses (including insurance, travel, food, costumes, props, technical equipment and permits). It certainly goes to show that when a group of dedicated individuals come together to work in a positive spirit of artistic creation that it creates abundance. We are very grateful for the opportunity to make a living and provide jobs to artists by presenting these stories to youngsters, and hope that we can forge a lasting relationship with young audiences and foster a love of theatre in today's youth.
Frolick will continue to develop puppet, stilt and masque plays for presentation and will take a brief pause from the hectic summer schedule to re-think, re-tool, and re-design our shows for touring. Watch for Frolick at the upcoming Fedora Upside Down Festival (FU2) on October 6th, as well as an appearance at the Far Enough Farm Fundraiser on September 22nd. Much love and Frolick for the end of summer!
Frolick's Sophmore Effort, "Adventures in Slumberland" is ready to wake up The Lagoon Theatre on Toronto Island this summer
Frolick has been up to amazing things in preparation of opening day at Toronto Island. Here is a sneak preview pic from backstage, featuring some of the mesmerizing puppets and masques we will be using. Artwork by Rebekah Reuser, Amira Emma Routledge, Matthew Krist, Elena Goriacheva, Irena Huljak, Mihaela Grigore, Joe Law, Dejan Radic, Julia Chemij, Rob Lindley, Mark Segal, and others. Please feel free to drop by the theatre and get your painting fix, call and email us before to set up your ferry passes. Winsor McCay's beautiful work is inspiring and delightful to lose yourself in for a while. The shady Lagoon theatre is proving to be both functional and homey. Great music, great vibes, lots of painting and paper mache to do still. We will be performing in the Clam Puppet Slam at The Gibraltar Artscape/Whippersnapper Gallery event, New Traditions Island Music and Art Festival, this Saturday, June 30th. Opening day, July 1 at 11:00am. Happy Canada Day everyone! We then start Wed-Sun runs of four shows a day, 11, 12, 1 and 2 o'clock until August 26th. Stilt and Puppet Shows, and comedy for the whole family to enjoy. Come Frolick with us. Get your tickets now. Book with us and we can host a BBQ for your group, $30 per head for BBQ and show(s).
“This year’s Frolick production is definitely more ambitious, mature, and finer-crafted as a result of last year’s freshman presentation: A Midsummer Nights (Psychedelic) Dream,” comments Bevy Law, Frolick’s costume designer, who worked alongside Rebekah (production designer) and Matthew Krist (director) last year. “I am excited to work again with Frolick and the additional flare and direction that is Amira Routledge!”
Bevy is a local designer, native to the city of Toronto, in various trades and multi-dimensional facets (visit ohmybevy.com for further details). With a solid background in dancewear and custom tailored costumes, Bevy is ecstatic to take her love, passion, and skills for costumes deeper into the fantastical realm of circus performing clown-like Slumberland caricatures. Using her studies with colour theory and semiotics again, Bevy will be exploring the use of primary colours with patterns to fabricate hypnotic slumber-inspired visual effects. Bevy is excited about maintaining continuity with the original imagery, working with Winsor McCay’s inspiring comic illustrations directly influencing silhouettes, colour palettes, and print fabric choices. Bevy is conscious of balancing the function and aesthetic of the costumes in regards to meeting the needs of the performing actors (movement oriented, puppets, stilting), climate and seasonal weather conditions (extreme heat, island winds), and mimicking original comic artwork (exaggerated silhouettes, fictitious prints and patterns), on top of a lower scale production budget to conjure the ingredients for such a manifestation. Luckily, Bevy loves working with a playful challenge and is proud to be a part of magic that Frolick presents.
In the meantime before showtime, check out some of Bevy’s pre-production costume illustrations. “I hope the audience enjoys the visual experience like the sprinkles on a delicious sundae of interactive performance” at Toronto Island’s secluded spot, the Lagoon Theatre.
The Slumberland Blog is a place for info, discussions, reviews, and interactivity. Let's hear about your funny dreams, stories, things that happened while building props, sets stuff, costumes, setting up the theatre and rehearsing your parts. Dream on!