2018 Fringe Preview – The Session

The-SessionThe Session is a play, a monologue, a one-woman tale about Mental Illness, told through the story of Leslie, a young woman accused of murdering her lover in a violent rage. She claims not to remember how she did it and is ordered to undergo a psychiatric assessment to find out if she is fit to stand trial. It performs at the Windsor-Walkerville Fringe Festival in 2018.

Sitting in the Psychiatrist office, she reluctantly tells her story. A story of mental and physical abuse from her mother that she suffered until the night she fought back and is forced to leave home and move to a shelter in the city. She stays there until she meets another young woman, who she hated at first, but became someone she could rely on. She talks about her stint as a street prostitute, or as she puts it. “A hooker, it is more empowering, reeling them in.”

She talks about a very violent incident with her abusive pimp, and then her meeting with a man who made her believe that he loved her and would make things better for her. She believes his words because of the nice and expensive things her bought for her and the new name he gives her. He calls her, his Roxanne

He also puts her up in her own apartment. She describes it as their love-nest until she slowly realizes that his words, were just words and she had just exchanged one prison for another, she had escaped a violent pimp to be locked up by a man who professed that he loved her, but she was just that a lover, a kept woman who he did not plan to help fulfill her dreams.

Please give us the 1-minute elevator speech about your show:
The Session is the story of a young woman Leslie- Haydn Burke (Roxanne) as she is forced to undergo a psychiatric assessment, during which she reluctantly relives her life’s journey; from leaving home after her fight with her mother to the serious crime that has led to her incarceration.

Who is involved in putting your show together?
The members of our Theatre Company:
Rais Mendes-Clarke (Actor)
Giulia D’amanzo (Stage manager)
Malinda Francis (Production Coordinator & Publicity)
Tien Providence (Playwright/ Director)

Please tell us about yourself:
I have worked and produced theatre since moving to Ontario from St Vincent (Caribbean) in the 90’s. I first worked within the Caribbean community, specifically with The St Vincent Cultural group; Writing Directing and producing many of their theatrical community projects. I also worked with the Annex Theatre Group, directing the play Weeds and had a short play/monologue published by the Playwrights Union Of Canada in the anthology ‘Beyond The Pale’. In 1999 My play Just For A Moment was produced by the St Chad’s Theatre Company. In the 2000’s I continued to work in theatre intermittently my play Back Home was staged at the Artword theatre. I also workshopped a new play and directed Cage Without A Key a play written by Jean Hodgkinson. In 2013 along with Malinda Francis we created the company Things Falling Apart and has done three productions so far.

Is this your first Fringe production?
It is my first for Windsor, but I have been a part of the Toronto Fringe festival two times.
Back Home 2003, Cage Without A Key 2007

What does Fringe mean to you?
It means opportunity. The ability to get your play in front of an audience without over-whelming financial cost. It can also help push your career in a positive direction.

Aside from Fringe, what are you up to this year
So far this year, we staged the play in Toronto in April and after Windsor, we will be taking The Session out to Victoria, to be a part of the Victoria Fringe and we are planning another staging in the fall for Toronto.

The Session performs at the Fringe on:

July 24 – 8:30pm
July 25 – 4:00pm
July 28 – 9:00pm
July 29 – 6:00pm

Tickets are available at the Fringe website.