I took the above shot just a few moments before Kat Sandler‘s dark comedy Liver opened at the Storefront Theatre. Kat was anxious about how her new work would be received, but a minute into the performance, the audience was reeling in laughter. The premiere of a Kat Sandler play is always an “event”. Fortunately, I brought my trusty Nikon, and took a few shots. Don’t normally post this many photos, but it was a great night. Playwrights, actors, directors, theatre designers, all networking. A lot of talent in indie theatre. A lot.
Kat Sandler is a prolific writer and in two years time has turned out a bumper crop of hits including Delicacy, Punch Up, Cockfight, and many more. She’s able to do this with a lot of talented friends at their producing company Brouhaha, including Tom McGee and Daniel Pagett. The company caters to Sandler’s particular creative process and ensures her works arrive in front of an audience. Sandler also directs her own dark comedies.
Sandler’s work is horribly funny, in tune with whatever is happening with a young culture. But what makes her drama so successful is that she can take a commercial idea, embellish it with fascinating characters, and give it resonance with increasingly dark and more universal themes. Her wit is sharp, and her comedies are remarkably satisfying because there’s a real story behind them. Her plays aren’t just one-liner, that keep people laughing and leave them feeling hollow. Her works are perspective and they grow more so, with each new work.
Sandler is still evolving as a playwright, and Liver is a further step. In it, she’s managed to raise a variety of serious question without offering pat answers. Like any good writer, she’s opened all the nightly doors and left it to audience to imagine who or what is in the shadows.
Sandler, along with Brauhaha, is generating enormous exciting in Toronto, and I have a feeling it won’t be long before New York and even London, England, hear of her.
The opening at The Storefront Theatre, itself a hotbed of new actors, directors, and playwrights, was absolutely terrific. And I’m very happy I was able to document the night, and capture a bit of the fun.
Camera by Nikon. All photos by Burke Campbell.