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BAD POETRY
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Sara Porter Productions will create and present an evening of "Bad Poetry: Live in Toronto," a performance and community Event in October 2024 (for four shows) at the Theatre Centre, Toronto. The event consists of a 30-minute performance by Sara Porter followed by 20-30 minutes of audience interaction (play) that solicits their bad poetry to be performed - by two dancers and two live musicians onstage. The Event blends set and improvisatory material, created and performed by professional improvisers - both in music and dance. The event provides an open forum for poetic play, between audience and four performing artists

With Bad Poetry, Porter returns to one-woman monologue dances. She aims to craft strong, resonant performance that engages an audience's mind as well as its heart, to reveal the power and fragility in human experience. Helping people laugh and think and recognize the humanity in one another, Porter believes that performance is about connecting to people, letting them see who you are, and helping – with humour – to recognize the absurdity and beauty in life and in ourselves.   

History of the Work:

"Bad Poetry" began ten years ago with three tired mums going to the pub to complain about parenting. One suggested they could complain in bad poetry, and only Sara arrived with poems created: She had written several. 

 

Sara then found an article by academic Tristanne Connolly called "The Importance of Loving Bad Poetry" which talked about how writing bad poetry was like being gay, and led to self acceptance. This prompted Sara to write a monologue, which she performed, (dressed as a banana) as part of her solo, Getting to know your Fruit (2019). She loved the central theme that creativity generates good self-esteem, regardless of the objective 'success' of the poem. 

 

During CoVid lockdown, Sara Porter created a Facebook group called The Bad Poetry Drinking Group for people to post poetry in an non-judgemental environment to stay creatively engaged. The group shared and supported their poetry online. Sara organized live/zoom meetings for people to meet one another and discuss poetry. (There have been four online meetings to date). Participants made 'bad poetry' together = Sara called them Community Poems. There are now over 150 group members across Canada, the US and Europe. 

 

Sara wrote a "definitive guide" on How to Write a Bad Poem, began researching books about bad poetry (there are several) and published her guide on her website, and on the Bad Poetry FB Group page. 

 

At Sara Porter Productions fundraiser (March 2023), Sara performed a spontaneous rendition of her Bad Poetry Definitive Guide - accompanied by two imrpovising musicians - pop-star James Creegan (from BareNaked Ladies) and young pianist/song-writer (Felix Quastel). She then enaged the audience in playful process to activate their own bad poetry. It was a great success and Sara noted the potential for a different kind of performing - that is, including the audience's creative process in real time, and using it as fodder for musical and movement improvisation. The evening's event grew through improvisation - with audience members writing, reading and performing their own 'bad poetry' with the support of Sara, Jessie (dancer) and the two musicians. 

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