May 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 2007



People gathered in the rotunda of our city hall.  They all believed they were all part of the audience.


They wait.  Unsure.




 This process of street theatre really exposes the people with control issues.  They like to be abreast of things. 


They ask:  When does it start?  Where do we stand?  How will we know it’s starting?  Where does it go from here?  How many plays?  How long will it take?  Where will we end up? 


Me:  Soon.  There.  You’ll know.  Where they lead you.  Enough.  Until it’s over.  Somewhere nice.



Things happen at once.  They are supposed to.  I am also the box office/house person.  I’m taking tickets.  Smiling nicely.  Not really answering any of their questions…which is better to do if you are smiling nicely.  And all the while, I’m looking around, then looking at my empty arm in a bit of a frazzle.  Maybe as I am writing this, I’ll remember to wear a watch tonight. (I didn’t)  I look around for someone I know pretty well.  Sometimes it’s someone connected with the show…Gary or Kathleen (directors) or someone who I know is a good sport. 



I say.  “Something’s…well…something….I have…oh, never mind.  Could you watch the box office (a table and chair couple of charts and a cash box)…but don’t sell any tickets.  I steal two fives from the cash box and take off up the staircase in the City Hall after two funky looking street people, Cosmo and Gigi.  While I’m bribing them with two fives, a ruckus starts in the line-up.  People wanting to butt-in, a perfect victim gonna save the world girl offers the people whose lives are more important an opportunity to exercise their unalienable right to be first. 

BAD FEET – City Hall

Written by Kathleen Kramer (Ithica NY)

Directed by Matthew White

With Roger Sumner, Tracey Kenyon, Douglas Morton et al.


After showing Cosmo and Gigi where to take the group of people (assuming whoever was supposed to do that did not show up), they join the group, asking them to line up in groups of fives…no threes…no, fives and threes.  They launch into the first scene of Cosmo and Gigi.



Hey.  Know what?


No. Don’t start on the god thing.  Don’t


And in a couple of lines, their relationship as existential lovers is established.


Note:  Cosmo and Gigi, written by Isabella Russell-Ides of Texas, is actually a short, one-act play.  She was wonderfully creative and easy enough to allow me to keep it exactly in tact, with six scenes.  Thanks, Isabel…it worked perfectly.  This is one of the pieces I directed.


*COSMO & GIG (in six acts)  - Various locations

Written by Isabella Russell-Ides (Texas)

Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Cosmo– Bruce Wolff

Gigi – Katharine Mills


Thus begins the show.  “Are you ready?”  Gigi says.  “Let’s go!”  And the audience follows where they lead. Although one night, I heard a woman say,  “Do you think it’s safe to go with them?”  I smiled. 




Cosmo & Gigi (right behind Cosmo is Jenni Munday, our director from Australia).



Out the front doors of the city hall, to the fountain, which has been turned off for us.





A guy and a stone bench and a chessboard.  Cosmo leaves the group to play a quick game.  BLITZ is this play, written by the actors (Bruce Wolff and Brendan Schaefer – honed by director/playwright Gary Kirkham).  Blitz is a play of word games, contrived to throw Cosmo off his game. 



BLITZ written and performed by Bruce Wolfe & Brendan Schaefer




When the timer goes off, interestingly, from Brendan’s pocket.  The game is over, and the audience turns to head to the next location. 


«BLITZ– By the City Hall Fountain

Written and performed by Brendan Schaefer & Bruce Wolff

Directed by Gary Kirkham






On the upper balcony of the City Hall, a couple is deep…really deep…into a kiss.  I’m sure the audience doesn’t know whether it’s part of the show or not…well, until the fountains…all five of them, start up again…right in the middle of the kiss.  Hmmm.


JUAN THE KISSER – Everywhere

Performed by Kristopher Bowman

…and a lot of girls





                Cosmo & Gigi                        


                 Bruce Wolff                                                                                          Katharine Mills


Cosmo and Gigi lead the audience, like a surreal bohemian parade, to 156 King St., was once the Mayfair Hotel.  The walls speak volumes.  The audience is lead into a narrow, long room, decked out to be an art gallery, and they take their seats.  Cosmo and Gigi never really seem to know exactly what’s going on…I mean, they were recruited at the very last minute.  They perform scene II of Cosmo and Gigi, waiting for something to happen.  Gigi thinks, although she may not be smarter than God, “Not that I could figure out how to make a world…” she is probably nicer than God. 


A couple, behind a painting - only their legs are visible…are doing God knows what behind the painting…panting, breathing hard….hard…it’s moving. 





Meny Beriro’s SHOCK.  It’s a short piece.  The couple emerge from behind the painting, in tact, wearing all their clothes…ah…it was the art they were reacting to... 



SHOCK – Inside the Mayfair Hotel

Written by Meny Beriro (NYC)

Directed by Paddy Gillard-Bentley

A – Tanya Williams

B – Thomas Parent




Tanya Williams and Thomas Parent continue looking at the art, and quietly take seats with the audience as Nicholas Cumming enters, auspiciously critiquing the pieces with a keen eye and palpable body language.  He gasps at the pile of Styrofoam boxes – meant to be a sculpture. 





Enter Gloria (Shelagh Ranalli), a little gruff, a little outspoken.  She looks at the ‘sculpture and rolls her eyes, sighing.”


“My daughter could have done that…and she’s five!”


MY NAME IS ART by Peter Snoad was probably the funniest piece in the show.  After arguing the finer, and not so finer points dealing with the value of art, which reaches a frenzied pitch with the Architect trying to convince the plumber…

“And the boxes, they have a uniform size and shape—we’re reproducing the same stupidity over and over and over again, intellectual pygmies that we are. And yet—and yet—if we re-arrange the boxes in different configurations, we convince ourselves, we create the grand self-perpetuating illusion, that we’re actually being creative. Which is, of course, the devastating irony of the whole piece.”

(Insert huge laughter from the audience here)

Ah.  It seems as if she finally gets it just as Art walks in (Douglas Morton).




Art, written across his chest.  Art, not short for Arthur…

“No, just Art. My parents thought of me as a work of art. Hence the name.”




Now this is Art she can sink her teeth into…so to speak. 




A little difficult convincing the architect. 








MY NAME IS ART – Inside The Mayfair Hotel

Written by Peter Snoad – Boston MA.

Directed by Matthew White

Gloria – Shelagh Ranalli

Anthony – Nicholas Cumming

Art – Douglas Morton


On to the next space.  The audience turns the corner, and on the fourth floor of a well lit stairway to a parking garage, a couple are deep…oh, so deep into a kiss.  Damn…it’s the same guy that was kissing earlier…different girl though. – the wacky one from the first play…that was a play…wasn’t it?



Cosmo and Gigi argue about disappointment and tea.  She almost leaves.  People hold their breath….she’s on her way up the hill, but like a magnet, Cosmo’s presence pulls her back.  “Are you disappointed?”  She says, smiling…and nudging him.  “Nah.”  It was a lovely moment.


We cross the street to beside what used to be the Legion.  Lovely old building owned by the city.  There is a huge dumpster at the end of the lot.  Starting to get dark.  The crowd follow Cosmo and Gigi toward the dumpster.  The sound of people running….loud, out of breath around the corner, back against the wall….manly scream as she rounds the corner brandishing a….curling iron!  (The city got their pants in a twist when they heard this piece had been choreographed with a meat cleaver, hence the curling iron.)


DOUBLE EDGE WORD is wonderful.  Tanya Williams, who teaches contact improve, dance, movement choreographed this piece as well as acted in it with Kristopher Bowman (who is also the kisser – tough job).  This was directed by Jenni Munday. 


The first two minutes is an incredible fight scene, with the two of them fighting over the curling iron, lots of grunting and manic laughter. 





He ends up with her over his shoulder, grabbing the wrist brandishing the iron, and seeming to slam her into a rough brick wall, pinning the wrist to the wall.  Both of them, breathing hard, out of breath… 




HE:  What?


SHE:  What?


HE:  What?


SHE:  What what?


HE:  Nevermind.


And on it goes - one minute and twenty seconds of really funny, ambiguous dialogue written by Melissa Major of Toronto.






Cosmo and Gigi watching Double Edged Word.


DOUBLE – EDGED WORDS – Behind the Legion

Written by Melissa Majors (Toronto)

Directed by Jenni Munday

He – Kristopher Bowman

She – Tanya Williams (also Choreographed by)



The crowd mills.  Cosmo and Gigi never really look sure about what they are doing. 




That’s it then.






I don’t know.

For a minute

I had it.




Gigi throws a green plastic tiny doll she’d found into the dumpster.  It immediately flies back out again.  And then more things come flying out…      



Come on...crap...

                                         (he tosses out some garbage)



                                         (more garbage flies out)

...and cr—ah, wait a minute. What do we have here? Come to papa, my little beauty.




CAN CAN’T – by Michael Burgan.  I love the fact that Tom lies to his wife…saying he’s going out for smokes, to actually go out and dumpster dive.  It’s a sickness, and Tom’s wife is intent on curing him.


There is a large house that’s been made into a bar…Whiskey Jacks, I believe.  The deck looks out over the parking lot, and every night we collected quite an audience from the bar, hooting and applauding at the end of the play.


CAN CAN’T – Behind the Legion.

Written by Michael Burgan - Chicago

Directed by Kathleen Sheehy

Tom – Brendan Schaefer

Marie – Shelagh Ranalli


The audience follows Cosmo and Gigi.  A block over is a lovely green space.  The audience is lead around the corner and into a park like setting, where a table has been set, a bit surreally, with a white cloth, a pitcher of water and one glass.  A lost couple wanders into the space, on the heels of Cosmo and Gigi scene V. 


ADAM:       I mean, I figured it was safe to-


ARIEL:        Shut up.


ADAM:       - to close my eyes for five minutes.


ARIEL:        Shut…up!


ADAM:       The sun was behind you, for God’s sake.

That was a big hint you were heading east.


ARIEL:        Like you never make a mistake.


There are park benches, and retaining walls for the audience to sit on.  The couple argues over whether or not to drink the water.  It’s a beautiful play by Kitchener’s Lea Daniel…water… a metaphor for so many things.



Written by Lea Daniel (Kitchener)

Directed by Gary Kirkham

Ariel – Tanya Williams

Adam – Kristopher Bowman



The audience is lead away by Cosmo & Gigi.





Always in character.




Around the next corner, the Cenotaph




The Cenotaph


(here is where the photographer stopped shooting as the light was gone, and he kindly, wouldn’t use a flash)


A clean white shirt on the walkway, and we are now watching ALLEN FUNT IS DEAD by Kathleen Kramer – who incidentally came to see the show from New York, and we were thrilled to have her there.  A conversation between two strangers about why the shirt is there, and why it may not be a good idea to take it.



Written by Kathleen Kramer (Ithica NY)

Directed by David Antscherl

Pete – Douglas Morton

Elaine - Tracey Kenyon


Looking up from that piece…another kiss…this time, on the stairway to an overpass…talk about an over pass.  He kisses her…and kisses her, and kisses her…and then…then…he wife arrives.  After a bit of a scene…’she’ leaves and Kris ends up kissing his ‘wife’.  Just fun shtick.



Cosmo and Gigi move the audience to the corner, and cross the street.  Milling around a phone booth, some poor woman just about to leave the phone and up comes the SENTINEL, by Andrew Lakin.  Consumed with the danger of germs and ‘jobbies’ on the phone, she rants to a surprised woman, and the audience, until she races off yelling at someone to “GET OFF THAT BENCH!” One night, an elderly gentleman believed she was created a lot of fuss, and hit her on the bum with his cane, and walked away.  She was really proud.


«THE SENTINEL – Speakers Corners

Written by Andrew Lakin (Kitchener)

Directed by Kathleen Sheehy

Sentinel – Arlene Thomas



The final scene of Cosmo and Gigi is performed, with Gigi walking away after giving Cosmo a precious mitten.  She gently calls over her shoulder…I know. 


The audience is then lead to the Delta Inn’s lounge.  Lovely and civilized, especially when we’ve just taken the audience through some of the more seedier areas of downtown.  Cosmo is at the door, collecting lanyards, and encouraging the audience to order a drink, or use the washroom….but not at the same time.


This is the intermission, although it’s more like three quarters way through.


CHARLENE MEETS LUKE IN A REALLY NICE BAR by Christopher Lockheardt shouldn’t be performed in a bar…but it was.  They were, however, sitting in the bar in their lounge clothes, her in curlers…him slippers reading the paper.  Whenever we get into the bar, guests of the hotel are there, thinking to have a quiet drink, so there’s always some interesting reactions.  They sit there, reading the paper, her fussing with her nails through about five minutes of the intermission, and then she looks at him, frustrated.




(After staring at him for a long thoughtful moment)

We’re strangers.



(Turns the page of his paper.)

Yeah, yeah, yeah.



No. Pretend.






Pretend! We’re strangers. We don’t know each other.



We don’t?





This piece got so many laughs as the two of them make believe right into the realization that they don’t know each other at all.  She imagines she is a rare jewel appraiser who has Brad Pitt in the palm of her hand, and he is a Nascar Racer….



Yeah, I mean, what can I do? Not only am I rich, but I’m good looking and funny! How can they resist? I try to push them off, because racing is a dangerous game, and I swore when I chose this life that I’d do it alone so I wouldn’t break a good woman’s heart with my tragic, fiery death.



How many women are there?



I like to think of it as one woman with a thousand faces.




Written by Christopher Lockheardt

Directed by David Antcherl

Performed by Katharine Mills, Thomas Parent & Arlene Thomas



After it ended, the waitress (Arlene Thomas), who has been a re-occurring character throughout - playing the neurotic woman in Bad Feet, and the neurotic obsessive compulsive woman in The Sentinel, approaches the table brusquely, pours water, and leaves.  Ah, the guy sitting alone with the bowtie is supposed to look weird.  His date, Laurie, comes back from the washroom…shoeless.  He’s horrified to realize she has taken her shoes off under the table and now is missing one shoe.  This guy could give Felix Unger a run for his money.  FOR WANT OF A SHOE was written by Kristine McGovern.  The waitress and Paul might be a match made in hell, and for Paul and Lauren, the shoe is the breaker.



Oh? So is this the deal-breaker, Paul? Is this it? Will it spell the end of our beautiful and burgeoning relationship if I go under this table to retrieve my shoe?



Laurie, if you go under that table with all those, those germs and where other people’s smelly, dirty feet have been… I just don’t think I could ever touch you again.



Really! I would be so contaminated, so unclean, that you could never touch me again. Imagine. Me, an untouchable. Nonetheless, I want that shoe. (With that, LAURIE disappears under the table.)



I could never do that in a million years.



Good for you. That’s to your credit.


I would say Laurie leaves in a huff, but as none is available, she limps awkwardly out…never did find the other shoe, and returns, plunking the shoe on the table – a parting gift.  Of course the waitress and Paul are going to hook up…



Wait! Don’t go yet. (WAITRESS stops.) It’s so strange, but … I feel like I know you now. Like we’ve shared some, some terrible experience and survived and now I know you. Does that make any sense? At all?



Yes, I know what you mean. I feel like I know you, too. (SHE and PAUL gaze at each other.)



Written by Kristine McGovern (Colorado)

Directed by Jenni Munday

Laurie – Katharine Mills

Paul – Thomas Parent

Waitress – Arlene Thomas


And so we come to the end.  I stand and announce this to the audience, and the unsuspecting victims in the bar.  I stop.  Glance out the window overlooking the indoor pool.  Sigh.  Shake my head and walk toward the window.  There are California shutters on the windows, so the audience has to stand up to see what I’m looking at.  On the far side of the pool is Laurie…the shoe girl, kissing…you guessed, Kris.  I knock hard on the window, and am dismissed with a wave.  I knock again…and wave them in to take a bow with the rest of the cast and crew.  One night….smile…I talked and talked and talked, make them kiss for what must have seemed like hours.  People swimming in the pool were a little shocked…hiding children’s eyes.  Very funny.  Didn’t actually get any complaints though.


This is the bar after the plays.




«World Premier of plays


To all the Playwrights, Actors, Directors, Stage Managers, City of Kitchener, Jump Logistics, Delta Inn, Verdexus

and most especially the audience, without whom, there would be no show……………thank you.     ~Paddy





Theatre like you never have!  Is that woman beside you part of the show or just strange?

Are those policemen actors who are arresting the young man?   Nope.

Fifteen plays from 45 seconds to 13 minutes long, in places you'd never expect.

In our past events, some plays have been performed in store windows, garbage dumpsters, back alleys and

thirty feet below street level through a grate in the sidewalk. The line between reality and imagination becomes blurred when you aren't sure what is a play, and what is the usual natural theatre of downtown Kitchener.


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Who wrote the show

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