Clothing Swaps and Live Theatre Come Together at Toronto’s Fringe Festival

PhotographyCourtesy of Bryan Cacciatore

“Swapping really does span all different socio-economic and cultural gaps, which is one of the things that’s most fulfilling about it.”

AmandaBarker and Dale Boyer, the long time buddies behind the innovative brand-new play/clothing swap fittingly entitled Clotheswap, have actually had their own Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants minute. In the 15+ years that they have actually been going to swaps together, Barker has actually accumulated practically all of Boyer’s denims. “The very first swap that she ever had I could not think it, you understand we’re not the very same physique, however if Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants taught us anything, it’s that everyone can use the very same denims,” states Barker.

It makes good sense, considering their long history of hosting and going to clothes swaps, that the 2 writers/comedians would weave those shared experiences into a part-scripted, part-improvised theatrical efficiency that is presently underway at Toronto’s FringeFestival Earlier today, I made my method to The Textile Museum of Canada for an afternoon efficiency of the program, which sees Erin (CassieCao), Krimp (AshleyComeau), Geri (TarahConsoli), and Brenda (AmandaBarker) assembling in Renata’s (KarenParker) dead grandma’s house for a clothing swap. All sorts of insecurities, defects, and suppressed sensations are exposed throughout the program, the narrative script making you feel as though you’re eavesdroping on a discussion among buddies, while the masterfully carried out improvisation opens the story approximately the audience. Audience members are motivated to bring their own clothes to be utilized throughout the efficiency, and take part in a real-life clothes swap after the program. The staying pieces are contributed to regional charities such as Sistering and Dress for Success.

The very first time Boyer and Barker saw each other was at a previous Toronto Fringe Festival back in 2002, nevertheless, they didn’t really satisfy till2003 After being cast together in “Tony N’ Tina’s Wedding” at The Second City, they began their own sketch performers called“Shame is Right!” Since then, they have actually interacted on numerous jobs, such as 2015’s Home for the Holidays with Jann Arden.

PhotographyCourtesy of Bryan Cacciatore

When the concept for Clotheswap began to form, Boyer states she and Barker didn’t see themselves in any of the functions. “It’s funny, we wrote this show and we actually didn’t envision ourselves within it at all. But it was really important for us to create, as best we could in 90 minutes anyway, fully fleshed women who were contradictory, even within themselves.” 76% of individuals operating in the garment market are female, states Barker, therefore the program is as much about the story of the clothes itself as the story of the ladies using it, driving house the point that this is quite a female’s story to inform.

The story likewise originates from a deeply individual location, viewing as clothes swaps have actually long been a huge part of both Barker and Boyer’s lives. “Probably as long as we’ve known each other we’ve been doing clothes swaps, and we kind of have a core group that do them now,” states Boyer, at whose house Barker attended her first-ever swap, back in 2002 or2003 Since then, the ladies have actually been to numerous more swaps, all of which have actually been arranged a bit in a different way. “The last swap I went to actually was a very painstaking process of one piece at a time—honestly it was about an 8-hour swap,” statesBarker Others may permit ‘battles’ ( where one swapper needs to show to another why she or he is worthy of that specific garment), and some may simply be a total free-for-all.

Clotheswap reveals ladies of all various backgrounds, occupations, and sizes coming together to switch their clothes, which is a sign of how clothes swaps operate in reality. Diversity and inclusivity were a substantial impact for the script, Barker describes, since it’s what they like the most about their own swaps, which she refers to as “some of our most fulfilling times to get together as women, because it’s not just within an insular group. Swapping really does span all different socio-economic and cultural gaps.” Clothing swaps likewise raise discussions about life, memories, accessory and body image, which aren’t female-specific, which is why Barker wishes to motivate more males to get included also. “This story is also about all the non-female identifying people in our lives. For us, we want men to swap, we want non-female identifiers to swap, because fabric is for everyone.”

Aside from the individual and psychological aspects of a clothes swap, there’s a sustainable and eco-conscious angle to them also. “For the last four years we’ve been studying the effects of fast fashion, how it obviously affects the world but also our day to day,” statesBarker According to her research study, 86% of contributed garments wind up in garbage dumps since individuals are distributing undesirable stained, ripped, or foul-smelling clothes. “The textile industry in Kenya, which was once one of their most thriving and vibrant industries, no longer exists because of our donations of fast fashion.” These days, a great deal of fabrics can’t be recycled since they’re often combined with artificial fibers, making it practically difficult to separate one from the other.

WhileBarker explains herself as “not a hoarder, but close,” Boyer considers herself a “deep swapper,” seldom keeping clothes for more than a season. “The funny thing is that I have more fabulous, wonderful clothes than I have ever had in my life. When you’re not holding on to something, that’s when things show up for me.”