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 proves laughter the best medicine | InsideToronto.com

Did you hear the one about the young guy with cancer?

How about the punchline about the middle-aged man battling Crohn’s disease for the last three decades?

Obviously, there is nothing funny about being diagnosed with a life-threatening or debilitating illness.

But people often encounter humour as they navigate their health care journeys, including sharing a camaraderie among other patients. And research has shown laughter really can be the best medicine.

Now, North York resident Zal Press is giving a voice to sick people through his new entertainment company called Patient Commando.

“Patient Commando uses public speaking, humour therapy workshops and live theatre to present compelling stories from the patient perspective,” a statement about the company said.

“It is the first initiative of its kind in Canada, producing ‘patient storytelling entertainment’ to create an environment of understanding – most often through the use of humour.”

Live performances, which raise money for charities, are one-man shows featuring patients using a combination of comedy and the real-life heartbreak of facing a serious illness to tell their stories.

Patient Commando’s inaugural production was held Thursday, May 12 at Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio.

It featured Bloor West Village comedian, actor and cancer survivor Daniel Stolfi performing Cancer Can’t Dance Like This. The performance [...] continue the story