Tent Talk: Healing Through Theatre

Today at 5:00 PM we will present our Toronto Fringe Festival Tent Talk: Healing Through Theatre. All are welcome to attend.

Our Executive Director Zal Press, will be joined by speakers Daniel Stolfi, of the Award Winning Theatre Production, Cancer Can’t Dance Like This, and Dr. Jeremy Rezmovits, from Toronto’s Sunnybrook Hospital.  Brian G. Smith, Creative Director for Patient Commando and The Second-City Alumni will facilitate this humorous one-hour event.

During a kick-off event at the CBC’s Glenn Gould Theatre last year, Brian orchestrated a brilliant performance that demonstrated the power of theatre and humour. While today’s event will be a slightly different program it will undoubtably build upon the efficacy of performance.  Join us.

If you can’t make it we’ll be on Twitter the entire time tweeting #FringeTT

The Fringe Festival Pushes Patient Story Into the Fray

The Toronto Fringe Festival is arguably the city’s largest theatre event.  This summer from July 4-15, over 150 performances will be presented to an expected audience of 100,000. That’s a whopping 4% of Toronto’s population.

What makes the Fringe exciting is the process in how acts are selected for the festival.  Each year hundreds of creative applicants send in their ballot to have a show slotted for a Fringe playbill. With no judge or jury, the shows are picked at random, making for a wildly organic and impressive lineup.

Fringe audiences are accustomed to alternative theatre.  Which is why it’s the perfect environment to showcase the new, truthful, gritty, and sometimes slightly less glamourous stories.  In our minds The Fringe is also the ideal arena for patient storytelling.

Last year proved this with the highly acclaimed performance of Daniel Stolfi’s “Cancer Can’t Dance Like This”. Daniel’s show has since gone on to win the Canadian Comedy Award for Best One Person Show, and garner national attention.

This year will be no different. In fact this year’s program offers at least two patient story events for public consumption. Details of these shows below. Healing Through Theatre Host: Brian G. Smith (Second City Alumni) Panel: Zal Press (Patient Commando),  Dr. Jeremy [...] continue the story

Patient Commando’s debut play hits close to home for Zal Press | National Post

When Zal Press was 29 years old, he went to the hospital with a pain in his gut that felt like he had “a cat trapped in [his] stomach trying to claw its way out.

“A doctor came up to me as I was lying in the hospital and he says to me, ‘Mr. Press, you have a serious illness. You have Crohn’s disease,’ ” Press recalls. “I couldn’t even spell Crohn’s, I had never heard of it. All I wanted was a pill so I could get on with my life.”

Thirty years later, Press has moved on with his life, but he certainly hasn’t forgotten about Crohn’s. About two years ago, he set off on a journey to try and get involved in changing the Canadian health-care system and the way patients perceive chronic illness.

“I became attracted to patient advocacy and patient empowerment and this whole new movement of this educated, informed, Internet-aware patient who’s engaged in their own health care,” he says.

Last year, after giving up a successful art business, Press started Patient Commando, a theatre production company that uses storytelling and humour to empower patients. The company’s debut production is a performance of Cancer Can’t Dance Like This, [...] continue the story