Every July, the Regina International Fringe Theatre Festival hosts five days of drama, dance, comedy, magic and theatre. This event brings in performers from around the world, and every show is vastly different from the next. This form of abstract thought is something that is so diverse – so orthodoxly perverse – that there are no limits to what it might create.
This is what Devon More's performance Hits Like A Girl intends to explore. Abstract thought is the very essence of creativity, but what happens if you lose the ability to use it? Without the boundaries of normalcy, there is no fringe; and without fringe, there is no normalcy.
Hits Like a Girl is an autobiographical performance that follows More's true story on how she found out she had a brain injury – and what that means to her as a creative individual. Having any kind of injury can be transformative, but one that controls how you think, how you process information, and how you experience the world around you, is life-changing.
"I'm very fortunate that now, years later, I can approach this journey as a rich source of creative fascination. But there is also something universal here: everyone must navigate the gulf between what goes on inside our own heads and what the outside world perceives," More explains.
More began her journey into music and theatre when she was a young child growing up in Kamloops, but as she got older, she realized she needed a way to express this creativity for her own mental wellbeing. She started off with a guitar, but now plays a loop pedal, which allows her to play any instrument she wants.
Hits Like a Girl strives to "stimulate both hemispheres of the brain", all the while asking the audience to contemplate "consciousness, concussions, and cottonwood trees". Although it might be difficult to understand exactly what that means, that's probably the point – after all, it is abstract thought.
More's performance has a lot of moving parts, and she has been working on it for over a year. From walking through the performance, to rewriting, preview reading, editing and composing, there is a lot of work needed to put on a show like this – especially by yourself! Hits Like A Girl is a one-woman show, and More isn't afraid to pull any punches to show it. Although this is her fourth solo show, it is her first time at the Regina International Fringe Theatre Festival, and she'll be performing five shows in five days. Each one, she promises, will be growing and expanding on the last.
When More isn't performing solo, she's the guitarist and main frontwoman for Hang Lucy, a Vancouver-based "punk pop indie rock power trio". She also plays in Flute Loops, a CBC Critics Pick at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival in 2018. She was also named one of 2018's "People who made an impact in the arts in New Westminster" for her work as the founder and Creative Producer of Way Off-Broadway Wednesday.
Back home in Vancouver, More cycles, surfs, spends time with her nieces and nephews, and does her never-ending boring, but necessary, administrative work.
It's a lot of work being your own manager and agent, but More loves it. For her, the best part is the connection between audience and artist. She says she will cross paths with audience members later in the festival, meet in a tent for a beer a few days later, and discuss the different shows and performances. Meeting new people, sharing stories, entertaining and making music is all the things she loves the most.
More will be performing Hits Like a Girl at the Unitarian Fellowship Church on 2700 College Avenue on July 10 at 5:15PM, July 11 at 7PM, July 12 at 6:30PM, July 13 at 6:45PM and July 14 at 1:30PM.
Other performances at RIFF include Adventures While Black In Great Britain, David G Grade 3: The Hell Of Growing Up Catholic In Regina, How I Murdered My Mother and Slow Dancing With Mediocre Boys. You can also come to the Preview Night on July 9 where you can see a snippet of all the performances to come for $10. You can see more on the RIFF website.
Will you be attending the Regina International Fringe Theatre Festival? Will you be going to Devon More'sHits Like A Girl? Tell me about it in the comments below.
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And, as always, a big thank you to my sweetheart Jessica Nuttall for proof reading a countless number of my articles. I couldn't do any of this without you. I love you.
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About a year and a half ago I visited Kyiv, Ukraine. As I walked down the millennium old streets and gawked at the towering cathedrals, I saw the beginnings of a new country, one that was slowly rebuilding from a much darker time. The process of what I was seeing had a name. It was called decommunization.
Decommunization includes renaming architecture, changing laws and protocols, and even tearing down monuments. People's Friendship Arch in Kyiv, for example, which symbolised the friendship between the Communist East and the Capitalist West, was torn down. Some statues, like war memorials, are exempt, but there is still talk of making modifications to them. Anywhere you go throughout the former Soviet Union, the hammer and sickle are being removed – not from history, but from modern society.
They say hope was the last thing to die in Auschwitz.
It's been just over 70 years since the Allies liberated the death camp and the horrors of the "Final Solution" were revealed to the world. Prior to their arrival, Auschwitz was the most effective death camp ever created, having taken the lives of over 1.1 million Jews.
Block 4 of Auschwitz holds the museum, explaining the best it can about what happened seven decades past. The museum explains what Auschwitz was originally built for – a camp for Polish prisoners of war – and how it became key to the Nazi's "Final Solution". The museum goes over the construction of Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II (Birkenau) and Auschwitz III (Monowitz), the increased sizes and effectiveness of gas chambers and the factories of death that stood and smoked over the camp during its operation.
I have been told my entire life that Winnipeg was just like Regina, but slightly larger. This gave the impression that there wasn't much to see in Winnipeg and that it, along with Regina, were more-or-less "fly over destinations". Since starting my blog, I've learned Regina is an absolutely incredible city so I imagined Winnipeg was the same. I then proceeded to contact Tourism Winnipeg and Travel Manitoba to find out the true Winnipeg, and ended up going on a multi-day excursion of their city.
Since a lot of my readers are from Regina and they almost all know somebody heading there for the Banjo Bowl in a couple of days, I thought I'd put this list together. There's a lot more to see there than just Investors Group Field, and the city's history is incredibly fascinating, so I hope you enjoy this list of 100 things about "Canada's Gateway to the West".
Several of these facts are taken from Frank Albo's tour of the Manitoba Legislative Building, but there are many I didn't mention. If you enjoyed them, I encourage buying his book: "The Hermetic Code"