Friday, September 22, 2023

Frost Bites Review: LIFE IN TRANSIT(ION)

Who: Paula Grove, Catherine Graham, Michael Chambers and residents of YWCA Hamilton Transitional Living Program
Length: 12 minutes
Digital Exclusives
When: Available through to February 20, 2023
Tickets: $13.00 + HSR Fare onsite
To Buy Tickets:

In our modern era of high-speed internet, it often feels as if everyone and everything is interconnected. It becomes all too easy to forget that some people can’t even afford to own a home, let alone a smartphone or an internet connection. For people struggling to rebuild their lives after a major upheaval, daily life is a very different experience, and they all deserve better than being ignored or treated as a nuisance.

LIFE IN TRANSIT(ion) is a show aiming to tell the stories of these people, through the unique mixture of guided tour and online audio track. Upon buying tickets, you gain access to a pair of audio tracks, which you can listen to freely for a limited time. If you then contact the box office, you can get a guided tour and enjoy the intended experience: listening to the audio during a bus ride on the HSR.

The audio track forms the actual material of the show, and consists of various snippets from interviews with women in Hamilton—more specifically, residents of YWCA Hamilton’s Transitional Living Program. None of the women are named, and the audio track swaps back and forth between several distinct speakers, but they’re all united by their shared experience.

That’s the best part of listening to it: the authentic stories of the women featured, shining a light on an issue that never seems to get enough attention. Being homeless is hard, having a disability is hard, and dealing with a drug addiction is hard. Many people deal with two or three of these at once—but they’re still human beings with lives of their own, and it’s nice to see a show that lets them tell their own stories. Or rather, to hear one.

The guided tour takes you on a bus between the Bernie Morelli Centre and Theatre Aquarius, in either direction. As these are the two venues available for Frost Bites this year, the tour offers some added convenience for patrons looking to travel between the two. It doesn’t add much else, though; the ride you get is on a normal city bus, and only the tour guides who lead you to the bus stop are actually a part of the show.

Of course, you’re also free to listen to it without setting foot on the bus at all; the listening experience alone is worth the money, and the guided tour feels more like an optional addition. The way you experience it is up to you, but it’s definitely worth spending the money on.

Arthur Bullock
Arthur Bullock
Arthur Bullock is a graduate of McMaster University, Mohawk College and Algonquin College. He's spent nearly all his life in Hamilton, and has been reviewing plays at the Fringe since 2015. He has a passion for writing of all kinds, and loves to combine that with a longtime interest in local theatre.

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