Pan Am Games To Also Feature Mixed Bag Of Cultural Programming

Many projects are boasting a specific sports connection.

Jennifer Coxby Jennifer Cox

The Pan Am Games, taking place in Toronto from July 10-26 (and the Parapan Am Games will run August 7-15), will include great music as well as stage events, and this year, some of these projects are centred around athletics.

The Theatre Centre is presenting a remount of their basketball hit Monday Nights (July 10-26). The show is an “interactive basketball experience” where the audience gets to cheer for their favourite team, learn about the game and even jump onto the court and shoot a few hoops if they want. It’s been called a kind of Medieval Times for basketball – but more than that, throughout the show we learn about five guys that formed a special bond because of a sport.

Necessary Angel and bluemouth inc. is challenging audiences sense of adventure, with a new immersive work called It Comes In Waves (July 13-24). This show was scheduled as part of PANAMANIA and takes place on Toronto Island. Audiences meet at Harbourfront Canoe and Kayak Center where they board large warrior canoes and paddle to the seclusion of the island. Once there, they’re guided on a walk through field and forest and their hike is interrupted by a variety of performances and interactions. It’s a unique hybrid of immersive theatre, dance, music, installation, and there are some really fun interactive aspects (a game of strip poker, a big bonfire, and more). The night ends with everyone helping to throw a surprise party for a man they don’t know, with more music, food and drinks!

Tangled Art + Disability is the only company presenting work during the Parapan Am Games in August. Also programmed as part of Pan Am’s PANAMANIA, their production, PUSH! (August 11-14), traces the history of Paralympic competition from 1944 to present day, weaving together six athletes’ individual journeys to paint an exceptionally diverse picture of what it is to be a world-class athlete. The production is performed by real Parasport athletes and is co-written by internationally acclaimed theatre artist Ping Chong as part of his Undesirable Elements project.

Photo: Jeremy Mimnagh