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Photo of Wes Ryan on fence and Patrick Walsh playing harmonica

CANCELLED: The Pratfall Affect

presented by These are Horizon Days

Written, directed, and choreographed by Wes Ryan. Musical direction by Patrick Walsh. Featuring Matt Gilbert and Phil Lyons.


CANCELLED: Public Energy Performing Arts regrets to announce that presentations of Wes Ryan’s The Pratfall Affect on October 20 have been cancelled. There are no plans to reschedule at this time.

7:00 PM

LOCATION: intersection Simcoe St. and Bethune St.
SHOW LENGTH: 20 mins

An examination of economics, addiction, ice cream and community told through harmonica and dance in six foot intervals.

“The Pratfall Affect” looks at the relationship between increasing drug-addiction rates and the demise of industry and employment, and vice versa. Set in one of Peterborough’s most visibly drug influenced quarters, at the corner of Simcoe Street and Bethune Street, with the dismantled Baskin Robbins(BR) factory as the backdrop, “The Pratfall Affect” is a work of creative nonfiction combining current stories of the addict and sex-worker communities with a history of the BR factory including its dismantling and current partially demolished, static condition due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The location and subject matter are relevant to the project as Peterborough is in the midst of an ongoing opioid / fentanyl epidemic and this intersection is the hub of much of the activity. Bringing audiences to this location, often maligned due to the current addict and sex-worker activity, merges art with reality in an undeniable fashion. The show is a study of economic poverty set to harmonica, an overview of human conflict staged with ice-cream and fencing, and an examination of community resilience at 6-foot intervals.

The action of falling (affect) as metaphor for relapse and recovery (effect) is the main physical theme repeating throughout the piece. The creators of the piece have their own relationships with substance use and recovery, most as users and one as a witness, and they each bring their own creative energy to the project. The show is structured to promote socially distanced rehearsals where performers are many metres apart and often work in isolation. The Covid-19 protocols are worked into the performance through signage and operatic vocals.

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These Are Horizon Days (TAHD) is Peterborough, Ontario’s only integrated performance group focused on presenting works by people with disabilities (nuances). Since being founded in 2017, TAHD has staged seven performance pieces including solo and group shows, hosted a month-long gallery installation, and presented at two conferences. Working with organizations including Public Energy, The Brain Injury Association of Peterborough Region, and Artsweek, TAHD challenges audiences and agencies to rethink the limits of body and mind, to reimagine where and how art is created, and to give space for marginalized voices to be heard. Artistic Director, Wes Ryan, has a 28-year history of creating socially conscious performances which combine artforms in unique ways while pushing the boundaries of poetry, dance, theatre, and narrative.

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An outdoor fall performance series to be presented between October 2-18 2020 in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. The Pivot Series is intended for socially distanced outdoor audiences in response to COVID-19 measures. Public Energy Performing Arts has partnered with the Peterborough ReFrame Film Festival to create a short documentary about the Pivot Series for screening at the 2021 ReFrame festival.

The Pivot Series is inviting artists to re-imagine existing work, or create new work for an outdoor site-specific public setting in Peterborough/Nogojiwanong. Locations include parking lots, parks, park pavilions and many more. Performance works are 15-30 minutes in length.



Thank You!

Public Energy gratefully acknowledges the generous support of our 2020-21 Season Funders and Sponsors.

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