The Pansy Craze: A New Musical in the Toronto Fringe Festival @ Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, Toronto [from 6 to 15 July]

The Pansy Craze: A New Musical in the Toronto Fringe Festival

6 - 15
17:15 - 18:15

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Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts
736 Bathurst St, Toronto, Ontario
The Pansy Craze: A New Musical
Book, Music & Lyrics by Avery Jean Brennan
Presented by Next Stop Productions in the Toronto Fringe Festival

July 6th @ 5:15PM
July 8th @ 7:00PM
July 10th @ 10:30PM
July 11th @ 1:45PM
July 13th @ 3:30PM
July 14th @ 9:15PM
July 15th @ 5:15PM

Randolph Theatre (736 Bathurst Street, TORONTO, ON)
Tickets: $13.00 —

In the twilight years of prohibition, upper-class speakeasies turn to openly queer artists for something even more risqué. These performers hob-knobbed with the elites for years, forming close friendships and feelings of societal acceptance. Their acts were just as boundary pushing as many drag acts of today, speaking of pride, sexual indulgence, and the laughable construct of gender. When prohibition ended, the speakeasies became legal, but the acts on their stages did not.
The story is told from the perspective of Charlie, a newly-wed speakeasy bartender forced to partner with a loud, lewd, and witty female impersonator named Jeanie, who uses her art as a means to live her true identity as a transgender woman.

The Pansy Craze is a piece of historical fiction set in the 1930s. This new musical features 12 original compositions in the style of famed songwriters such as Kander & Ebb, Jule Styne, and Gene Malin. The show boasts a cast and crew made up entirely of queer and otherwise othered artists, including multiple trans/non-binary performers, frustrated by their lack of representation in media. A cast of seven explores the ideas of sexuality and gender identity at a time where words like “transgender” did not yet exist, and the importance of having your voice heard, no matter what.
Though this story is set in the 1930s, the characters and themes align with many of today’s issues. Transgender rights are still being fought for across North America and the world, and as a society we still have a long way to go. Considering the current political climate, representing marginalized voices is more important than ever.

Shaquille Pottinger
Devin Herbert
Stephanie Hood
Teddy Moynihan
Kira Renee
Sansom Marchand
Peter Mundell

Dustin George (Director)
Avery Brennan (Music Director)
Nida Haroon (Stage Manager)
Susan Waycik (Producer)
Christopher Weddell (Dramaturge)


Avery Jean Brennan, the show’s writer and MD, is a non-binary trans woman, and emerging playwright, lyricist, and composer. Frustrated by the lack of representation for trans/non-binary people in musical theatre, her mandate is to include trans/non-binary voices in every work she creates. She hopes to use her writing to create a platform for artists who feel their identity has been a barrier to getting work in the performing arts for any reason, including (but not limited to) gender expression/identity, ethnicity, physical ability, size, or sexual orientation.
The Pansy Craze is Brennan’s personal response to the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting. The shooting made many in the queer community hyper aware of how important it is for people who feel othered or marginalized to have a form of sanctuary, a space where they can comfortably be themselves with likeminded people. That sense of belonging was taken away and replaced with fear and uncertainty, which was exacerbated by the societal response to ignore the identities of the victims and, in certain public figures' cases, to slander them and declare their deaths deserved. The Pansy Craze is a celebration of survivors, sanctuary, community, and being heard when others try to drown us out.

Next Stop Productions was founded by Dustin George as a place where artists can come together and create new theatre. Be it devised, improvised, or just two people with a silly idea, Next Stop aims to foster those silly ideas and make them come to life.

For media inquiries, contact Susan Waycik
[email protected] OR (343) 264 7777
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