Photography by Keith Barker. Click here for photo credits.
AutoShow is comprised of seven 10-minute original plays by seven different playwrights, each written to be performed in actual cars. Each short play explores with voyeuristic intensity the many ways in which we experience cars, from the inspiring ideal that is advertised to the buyer, to the blunt reality of metal and gasoline. Dare to leave your seatbelt unbuckled!
AutoShow was Convergence Theatre’s inaugural production, premiering at the Toronto Fringe Festival July 6-16, 2006. It took place all over the parking lot of Royal St. George’s College, in the Annex neighbourhood of Toronto.
The show was named #4 in NOW Magazine’s “Top Ten Productions of the Year”, and won the “Outstanding New Play, Production, and Ensemble” Fringe Awards.
AutoShow was re-imagined for Kingston's Kick & Push Festival in the summer of 2015, with four new plays by playwrights with strong ties to Kingston.
A mash-up of plays from both productions were used in our annual Passionate Players fundraiser event ReCast in July 2017.
When the audience arrived at the parking lot, they were greeted as if they were attending an actual auto show. Each person was handed a coloured key – cobalt, copper, champagne, chrome & magenta – each colour representing its own group of about twenty people.
Before separating into these groups, the entire audience gathered to meet the five AutoHosts in a flashy opening dance number, followed by the first play, Hawk Ltd., which everyone watched together.
Then, each AutoHost toured their group around the parking lot where the audience discovered five plays in five different cars, one after another. This meant the actors repeated the plays five times in a row, each one needing to start and finish at the exact same time in order for the cycle to work.
The full audience then gathered back together again for the final play, Waiting To Happen, about a car crash, after which the full company of eighteen actors performed a finale dance number on top of the smashed cars.
Each audience member saw all of the material in a different order depending on what key they were given at the start. The element of discovery was huge, with a new surprise around every corner.
TORONTO FRINGE FESTIVAL
Mind Over Matter by Marie Beath Badian
In a minivan outside a casino, twins Jake and Jenny wait for their mother to return. Jenny has to pee. “Try not to think about it, Jenny. Mom will be back soon. If you whine and complain, you know what will happen…”
Prodigy (A Soundscape) by Alan Dilworth
A virtuoso violinist sits in her parents’ garage with their Honda Civic running. Her heartless agent and her overbearing teacher are locked in the trunk. As she madly screeches through her final performance of Paganini's Caprices, they fight for possession of her soul.
Hawk Ltd. by Brendan Gall
Alan Hawk lives and works out of his car. He is a winner. He can do anything he sets his mind to. He is self-sufficient. He is self-reliant. He is unstoppable. Every day is an adventure. Let Alan Hawk take you there – and make you a winner, too.
The Drop by Jason Mitchell
Two young men have a delivery to make. It’s rush hour. Will they make it on time? A meditation on speed, gridlock, and other people’s bad driving.
Out of Hades by Erin Shields
We’ve all experienced the thrill of a road trip... new vistas, new encounters, new friends…. And nobody does road trips better than the Greeks. Haven’t you read the Odyssey? It’s a classic – just like this story. Who doesn’t love a classic?
Rosy by Julie Tepperman
When Rosy accepts a ride home from school from her teacher, what does she expect will happen? Risks are taken. Lines are crossed. How far is Rosy prepared to go...?
Waiting to Happen by Rick Roberts
The blaring horn, the squealing tires, the shriek of metal folding in on itself – misplace your attention for just one second, and your life can change forever. Catastrophe or epiphany? Keep your mind open.
new plays for THE KICK & PUSH FESTIVAL
(Kingston, Ontario, July 2015)
The Test by Alex Dault
It’s the big day. Donnie’s driving test. But a hardboiled instructor who’s seen it all - and has the scars to prove it - isn’t about to let this rookie on the road until he can prove he’s got what it takes.
Totally Nana’s Ride by John Lazarus
When Brittany rediscovers the muscle car her grandmother used to drive, she’s instantly reconnected with her past – but needs to negotiate a trade with the new owner. Maybe she can use her feckless boyfriend as collateral?
The Kind of Person Who Can Drive by Deborah Pearson
A member of the audience is put behind the wheel to read us a story about the first and only time a young woman ever drove that car, evoking our memories of how the first time in the driver’s seat changes us.
Legend by Kat Sandler
Prom Night. A limousine pulls into a clearing in the woods. Four friends plan to write their names in the history books by executing the most legendary graduation prank Meadowvale High has ever seen.
The rights for AutoShow are currently available. Please direct all inquiries below.