Queer Acts Theatre Festival
The Bus Stop Theatre 2203 Gottingen Street
Queer Acts' line-up is culturally and creatively diverse, making for a wide-ranging, multiple format look at queerness small and large, personal and universal, across the festival's four days. Highlights include:
The multi-disciplinary artist Jade Byard Peek, who curated February's We are the Griots exhibition of Black Nova Scotian art at the Anna Leonowens, has been named the festival's local emerging queer artist, an annual tradition. Paired up with new Queer Acts co-artistic director Raven Davis, fried is a performance piece exploring "the labour, pain, and struggle of maintaining and straightening Afro-textured hair, while balancing culture, work, and personal pressures and expectations."
Toronto's Izad Etemadi, who calls himself "the Persian Paul Giamatti," offers up Kooni (a Persian pejorative for a gay man), which imagines what his life would be like if his parents had stayed in Iran instead of moving to Canada three decades ago. Kooni recently played at Buddies in Bad Times' annual Rhubarb Festival; Etemadi was last in town in 2015 with his Fringe comedy Love with Leila.
The playwright and performer Aisha Zaman presents a staged reading of No Treats, a piece based on her own life. After her parents discover her secret, she begins "a winner-take-all fight against herself for her right to live her seemingly ironic life by challenging the notion that there is no room for sexual diversity in Islam."