top of page
  • Writer's picturebothsidesofthecurtain

Talk Is Free Theatre Brings Live Theatre to Barrie Backyards

‘The show must go on’, and Barrie’s Talk Is Free Theatre (TIFT) has found a way to make theatre magic despite the large hit the theatre industry has taken due to this pandemic.

TIFT recently announced a series of live performances to take place in Barrie backyards beginning this fall. These intimate stagings will have audiences of twenty, and will focus on stories celebrating “the resilience, fortitude and determination of the human spirit.”

All of these shows will be following the COVID-19 guidelines listen below:

(Precautions copied from the Talk Is Free Theatre website.)

  • A screening checklist will be completed prior to entry for all patrons.

  • All patrons must provide their full name and telephone number for easier tracing.

  • Masks must be worn by attendees at all times.

  • Each venue has been measured extensively to ensure social distancing measures are met and maintained for each patron (or their bubble), as well as between them and the performer(s).

  • The seating capacity has been significantly reduced to the maximum of 20 seats, depending on the venue.

  • An unlimited exchange policy up to one hour prior to the performance.

  • Additional measures at the direction of health officials.

I have provided the list of shows and their breakdowns from the TIFT site below.

Let me know which ones you would love to check out!

Can’t catch one of these live performances? Share your support by sending an MP3 file of your applause to by August 15th.

For tickets and more information, please visit: .


Beneath Springhill: The Maurice Ruddick Story

Created and performed by Beau Dixon

Music and Lyrics by Susan Newman and Rob Fortin

Originally dramarturged and directed by Linda Kash

Sound design by Beau Dixon

Maurice Ruddick, and African Canadian, was awarded “Citizen of the Year” for saving the lives of his fellow workers after an historic mining disaster in Springhill, Nova Scotia, in 1958.

Actor Beau Dixon will recall the events of the seven miners trapped two miles beneath a small mining town, the effect it had on their rural Canadian community, and the racial tension that surfaced as a result.

Dixon portrays 10 characters: Maurice, the six miners whose lives he was credited with saving, a news reporter, Valerie, one of Ruddick’s 13 children, and Ruddick’s wife, Norma. Beneath Springhill is a story filled with tragedy, drama, and comical, yet conflicting, moments of hope and bravery.

PERFORMANCES: September 9th - 19th, 2020, on Wednesdays - Saturdays at 8pm.

VENUE: Backyard of a private residence at 801 Big Bay Point Rd, Barrie.

The Plural Of She

A brand new mini-festival created and performed by women and feminine-identifying artists. These works are a collection of the timely and poignant stories from unique perspectives.

Details for the individual performances are as follows:

Having Hope: A Hand Drum Song Cycle

Created and performed by Nicole Joy-Fraser

Through her gifts of song and hand drum, 60’s Scoop witness Nicole Joy-Fraser shares the reclamation of her Indigenous identity, her journey of healing, and her personal decolonization through the performing arts. Birthed from an invitation by her colleague and mentor, Maja Arfal, Nicole thought if she replaced the piano and bar scene of a cabaret-style concert with the hand drum and a back yard, then it could be an opportunity for a small audience to learn and hear her story. Ultimately this is the perspective of a professional Indigenous Artist and Cultural Arts Worker who has been establishing herself over the last 20 years with the incredible support of her family, her community, and her ancestral lineage. This production is the official premiere and the first time that Nicole is devising solo work. Kininâskomitin.

PERFORMANCES: September 23rd and 24th at 6pm.

VENUE: Backyard of a private residence at 16 Lougheed Road, Barrie.

In Case We Disappear

Created and Performed by Vanessa Smythe

In Case We Disappear is a series of poems, songs, and comedic anecdotes that “quickly tack between the humour in everyday minutia, and grand, heartfelt observations about big life questions.” (NOW Magazine).

Vanessa Smythe has toured the show to sold-out houses throughout North America and the UK where it was a Critic’s Pick in 9 publications, and also named one of the best free shows at the Edinburgh Fringe (BFTBO Scotland).

PERFORMANCES: September 25th at 6pm, and September 26th at 2pm.

VENUE: Backyard of a private residence at 72 Monique Crescent, Barrie.


Created and Performed by Nicky Guadagni

Elizabeth Smart wrote one of the most passionate accounts of romantic love in modern English literature, but the real narrative of her life is far more complex. Smart is about the experience of being a woman artist in the middle of this century and how genuine connection is not bound by time.

Nicky Guadagni has created a compelling and personal exploration of the romantic legend, passionate mother, and transcendent Canadian writer.

PERFORMANCES: September 26th at 6pm, and September 27th at 2pm.

VENUE: Backyard of a private residence at 16 Lougheed Road, Barrie.

These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad

Created by Jane Miller and Brian Quirt

Performed by Jane Miller

A Nightswimming Production

These Are The Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad is a joyous show about sad songs! Jane Miller shares the songs that she turns to when she’s blue, exploring the musical elements that make so many sad songs so addictive. Join this remarkable singer for an intimate and personal look at the bond we have with sorrowful songs, the stories that make them stick in our hearts, and the deep emotions that take us back to them again and again.

PERFORMANCES: September 28th and 29th at 6pm.

VENUE: Backyard of a private residence at 23 Theresa Street, Barrie.

Justice for Malindi Ayienga

Created and Performed by Malindi Ayienga

If the #BlackLivesMatter movement doesn’t move you, maybe it’s not personal enough. If Black bodies being brutalized are haunting your dreams, maybe you need some Black JOY.

Malindi Ayienga invites you to come as you are, she certainly will be. From the girl who on almost every report card, brought home critiques of her chatty nature during class time. Find out just what she’s running her mouth about, with direct quotes from over a decade of diaries. She will probably sing, she will probably dance, most likely she will cry because her moon is in Pieces and yes, she will most definitely talk about astrology. The entire show will be completely improvised and as interactive as you allow it to be. She’s got a big heart, lots to say, and she’s here to introduce herself.

I am Malindi Ayienga. I am Breonna Taylor. I am George Floyd. I am Atatiana Jefferson. I am Philando Castille. I am Tamir Rice. I look forward to meeting you.

PERFORMANCES: September 30th and October 1st at 6pm.

VENUE: Backyard of a private residence at 72 Monique Crescent, Barrie.

The Cure For Everything

Created and Performed by Maja Ardal

Scotland, 1962.

15 year old Elsa is full of teenage heartache and hungry to be part of the high school “in crowd”. But her world turns upside down when she comes home one day to news of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Hearing that this could be the start of World War 3, she resolves to live her life as fast as she can before the world blows up. The ensuing adventures are sometimes hilarious and sometimes terrifying.

“Maja Ardal offers us a magical kingdom where actor and author unite in blissful harmony” - Richard Ouzounian, The Toronto Star.

PERFORMANCES: October 2nd at 6pm, and October 3rd at 2pm.

VENUE: Backyard of a private residence at 23 Theresa Street, Barrie.


Created and Performed by Gabe Maharjan and Merlin Simard

What do love and money have in common? They’re sometimes used recklessly, often desired, and whether we like it or not - they are vital to our survival. Wyn (they/he), Emma (they/she), and Zein (they) are hustling within their digital trans community as they make, save, and spend these currencies.

E-Transfers was developed at the Buddies in Bad Times Emerging Creators Unit in partnership with b current performing arts and Catherine Hernandez. A live digital performance was broadcast on June 30th as part of Buddies’ Pride line up with support from The National Theatre School’s Art Apart Program.

PERFORMANCES: October 3rd at 6pm and October 4th at 2pm.

VENUES: Backyard of a private residence at 16 Lougheed Road, Barrie.

6 views0 comments
bottom of page