Who: Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts Teen Creation Collective
Length: 60 minutes
Where: Hamilton Conservatory for the Arts (126 James Street South)
When: July 21-31 as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival
Tickets: $12 + $1.75 fee at https://boxoffice.hftco.ca/event/866:604/
Every generation of our society has its own story to tell. In Ignite, the Teen Creation Collective teaches us that while the stories of older generations might have been around for longer, the stories told by younger people are just as valuable.
The show is heavily character-driven, consisting of monologues or exchanges of dialogue from five different interconnected teenagers. Other characters appear in the form of voiceovers for the characters’ parents, but the teens themselves are clearly the focus. All of the action occurs under a spotlight at the centre of the stage, while anyone not currently in the scene is visible but out of the spotlight. The scene transitions are creative and well-choreographed, each one coming across as a sort of dance.
The show’s themes are reflective of its performers. It deals with relationships between friends, self-doubt, self-expression, and the struggles of living in the age of social media. Each character struggles with something different, and each one has a different way of dealing with it. Their lives and their problems aren’t kept separate, either; a web of relationships exists between them, and the events of one scene often have an impact on what happens to someone else later on.
Anyone can watch this show and enjoy it, but I’d especially recommend it to anyone who struggles with some form of doubt or anxiety. It says a lot of things that can be very reassuring to hear, and the problems faced by the teen characters are all too relatable. Even if you’re not, it still paints a compelling picture that’s worth taking a look at.