SWOON!

NOW Magazine - Fringe - - News -

Re­mem­ber the thrill of fall­ing in love? And in some cases the heartache that came af­ter­wards?

That sce­nario in­spires Swoon!, a col­lec­tive piece fea­tur­ing the writ­ing of Jor­dan Tan­nahill, Ja­son Maghanoy, Ha­ley McGee, Ryan Grif­fith and Alisa Palmer.

“A group of friends got to­gether and wrote about their own ex­pe­ri­ences, all be­gin­ning with a joy­ous cel­e­bra­tion of de­sire,” re­calls Maghanoy, whose pre­vi­ous work in­cludes Gas and The Cor­ner, both pro­duced at The Next Stage, the Toronto Fringe’s win­ter se­ries.

“As di­rec­tor, my job is to dra­maturge, help or­ga­nize the ma­te­rial, fo­cus the stage images and have it all make sense. It’s been com­pli­cated, but it’s also fun to have a big group of per­form­ers to play with.

“They be­come ev­ery­thing from a pump­kin patch to crowds at a club and a wed­ding and res­i­dents of an apart­ment build­ing gath­ered out­doors dur­ing a fire alarm.”

The over­lap­ping sto­ries, with char­ac­ters from one scene pop­ping up in oth­ers, follow the arc of cou­ples meet­ing, fall­ing apart and then meet­ing again. The end­ing of some tales is more bit­ter­sweet than hap­pily-ever-after.

“We’ve fed off each other’s ideas to cre­ate the world of the play,” says Maghanoy, who be­comes play­wright-in-res­i­dence this fall at The­atre Passe Mu­raille, where he’ll work on a hip-hop mu­si­cal. “For in­stance, I wrote a scene in which a man throws rocks at a woman’s win­dow to get her at­ten­tion and de­clare his love, but then Ha­ley wrote a later mono­logue for the woman.”

Though the script’s been chang­ing, Maghanoy ap­pre­ci­ates that the writ­ing is “per­sonal and truth­ful. That el­e­ment of truth has al­ways been there, de­spite the trans­for­ma­tions in the nar­ra­tives.”

From to­day (Thurs­day, July 7) at Fac­tory Mainspace

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