Stage Door News

Toronto: “Body So Fluorescent” plays Buddies in Bad Times April 13-23

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre partners with madonnanera and b current theatre to close its 2022-23 season with the mainstage debut of the acclaimed solo show Body So Fluorescent, co-created by Amanda Cordner and David di Giovanni. Featuring a stunning performance by award-winning performer Amanda Cordner (Sort Of, The Expanse, Baroness von Sketch Show), the play examines the falling apart of a friendship while asking difficult questions about Blackness, otherness, and appropriation. In this electrifying solo piece, friends Gary and Desiree retrace their steps from the night before at the club to figure out how it all ended in an explosive fight, shifting from self to alter-ego in their effort to untangle the facts. And after the dust settles, can their friendship be rebuilt?

First shared as a 25 minute piece in the 2016 Rhubarb Festival, Body So Fluorescent went on to tour festivals across the country, including a stop at SummerWorks Festival in 2018, where it received Now Magazine’s Best of the Fest in Outstanding Play, Direction, and Production. In 2020, Cordner and Di Giovanni adapted the piece to a short film, which premiered at the 2020 InsideOut LGBT Film Festival, taking home the Emerging Canadian Artist award.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Buddies and b current in bringing Body So Fluorescent to a Toronto main stage,” say co-creators Cordner and di Giovanni “We’ve been across the country with this show and we’re deeply grateful for those opportunities– while at the same time, our hearts quietly yearned to be produced in our hometown. We’re HERE. Get READY, Toronto!”

The production at Buddies marks the mainstage debut for Body So Fluorescent, allowing for a more robust production design. Director David di Giovanni (Wring the Roses) reimagines the show for the chamber space, with support from lighting designer Rebecca Vandevelde and sound designer and composer Stephen Bowa. The production also engages local drag performers as opening acts throughout the run.


Reduced Capacity Performances - April 11 + 14 at 7:30pm: These smaller-capacity performances (50% of our usual house capacity) are scheduled with immuno-compromised audience members in mind, as well as those who do not yet feel comfortable in a full theatre. Note: proof of vaccination is no longer required for these performances.

Black Out Night - Saturday, April 15 at 7:30pm: Black Out Nights are designed to create an affinity space for Black community members to come together and engage with works by Black artists. The performance on April 15 is an intentional invitation to Black community members to experience Body So Fluorescent together, followed by a talkback. Advance tickets can be booked online, with PWYC tickets available at the door.

Relaxed performance - Sunday, April 16 at 2:00pm: Relaxed Performances are designed to welcome audience members who will benefit from a more relaxed performance environment, including house lights being left on at a low level, more freedom to come and go from the space, and an alternate space to take a break from the show if needed.

Deaf-interpreted performance - Thursday, April 20 at 7:30pm: This performance will feature ASL interpretation by Deaf interpreter Natasha “Courage” Bacchus.

a Madonnanera, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, and b current production

Body So Fluorescent

What happened last night on the dance floor? Two friends retrace their steps from the night before to figure out how it all ended in an explosive fight, shifting from self to alter-ego in their effort to untangle the facts. Body So Fluorescent is an electrifying solo performance that asks difficult questions about Blackness, otherness, and appropriation.

Following a national tour, critical acclaim, and a short film adaptation, co-creators Amanda Cordner and David di Giovanni reimagine their hit show for the Buddies stage.

Amanda Cordner + David di Giovanni // playwrights

Amanda Cordner // performer

David di Giovanni // director

Rebecca Vandevelde // lighting design

Steven Bowa // composition + sound design

Performance information:

Previews: April 11 + 12

Opening Night: April 13

Closing Performance: April 23

Runs: Tues-Sat 7:30pm, Wed, Sat, Sun 2pm

Tickets: Sliding scale ($10 / $25 / $40 / $70)

Photo: Amanda Cordner. © 2022 Dylan Mitro.