TORONTO – This July, CaribbeanTales in association with Leda Serene Films will stage the world premiere of award-winning director Frances-Anne Solomon’s new theatrical production Lockdown, brought to audiences for the first time ever at the 2009 Toronto Fringe Festival (July 1st to 12th).
Lockdown’s explosive fictional story traces the fortunes of a diverse group of young people held hostage during a high school lockdown. The play’s high octane script picks apart the violence that threatens to undermine their dreams. It stars Jamaican film and theatre icon Leonie Forbes (What My Mother Told Me, Lord Have Mercy, A Winter Tale) and rising Toronto star Michael Miller (A Winter Tale, Get Rich or Die Trying), alongside a talented ensemble of young actors selected from city-wide auditions held across the GTA. The script was developed over the past year, through a collaborative improvisational process with the entire team.
Lockdown deals with the all too familiar issue of school violence, by focusing on eight students in their final year of high school. The story begins with an emergency lockdown: students trapped in their classes, while parents scared and helpless wait outside, and police officers swarm the school property.
Produced with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and the Toronto Police Services Board, Lockdown’s Fringe theatre performances will take place at the George Ignatieff Theatre, Trinity College, University of Toronto, 15 Devonshire Place (check Fringe schedule for times).
A special Launch event hosted by CaribbeanTales will take place at the TOTA Lounge (592 Queen Street West) on Thursday, June 25th, 2009 at 7:00 pm. Guests will be treated to a sneak preview selected scenes from the play; and will have the opportunity to personally meet and talk with the actors afterwards.
As the city’s largest theatre event, the annual Toronto Fringe Festival embraces more than 100 theatre companies from Ontario, across Canada and around the world. With over 12 days of stage performances, the festival offers full accessibility to all members of the community, while enabling emerging and established artists to present their ideas regardless of content, form and style.
Lockdown follows the success of Frances-Anne Solomon’s highly acclaimed feature film A Winter Tale – an emotional story about a Black Men’s Support Group that comes together in a local Toronto Caribbean take-out restaurant in the wake of gun violence that takes the life of a young child. Among many prestigious, international awards, most recently at FESPACO 2009 (Africa’s Oscars held biannually in Burkina Faso, West Africa), A Winter Tale was nominated for and won Special Mention in the Paul Robeson Diaspora Award category.
As Founder and Artistic Director of CaribbeanTales, Frances-Anne Solomon is an accomplished filmmaker, writer, director and producer whose recent projects include The CaribbeanTales Annual Film Festival (now in its fourth year), A Winter Tale (for Telefilm Canada/CHUM Television); Heart Beat – a documentary series profiling Caribbean-Canadian musical creators; Literature Alive, a many facetted multimedia project profiling Caribbean authors; and the Gemini-nominated Lord Have Mercy!, Canada’s landmark multicultural sitcom, for Vision TV, Toronto1, APTN and Showcase.
CaribbeanTales is Canada’s premier multimedia company that creates, markets and distributes educational films, videos, radio programs, audio books, theatre plays, web sites and events showcasing the rich heritage of Caribbean-Canadian and Caribbean-Diasporic culture worldwide. Their mandate is to foster and encourage intercultural understanding and citizen participation through the medium of film, contributing to an inclusive Canadian society.
Show Times (@ the George Ignatieff Theatre):
Wednesday, July 1: 6:30pm to 8pm
Thursday, July 2: 8:15pm to 9:45pm
Friday, July 3: 1:15pm to 2:45pm
Monday, July 6: 10:45pm to 12:15am
Tuesday, July 7: 1pm to 2:30pm
Friday, July 10: 4pm to 5:30pm
Sunday, July 12: 8:30pm to 12pm