This July, teens from Sandcastle Theatre’s performance group will finally be taking their original show, Under Pressure, to the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Written and directed by Stephanie Fowler in collaboration with the teen cast, Under Pressure follows a group of high school students who take a stand against the school dress code and organize a school-wide protest. As the movement gains momentum, other students join the protest with a variety of grievances of their own, leading to tension between the different groups, and ultimately to situations that are both comic and thought provoking.

The young actors had originally created Under Pressure in 2018 – a play that examined the pressures faced by young people – who were age 12 – 15 at the time. Having met with great success when touring the show to various schools across Grey-Bruce, the cast decided to apply to the Toronto Fringe, and won a coveted spot in the festival, which features performers from all over the world.

The in-person Festival was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. However a majority of the original cast members remained keen to continue with the project, creating Under Pressure – Quaranteen edition for the Digital Fringe Festival in 2020 and re-focusing their stage play for 2022, to better reflect their reality at their current stage of life.

Under Pressure approaches a timely subject with humour and honesty. The play offers an authentic perspective on the pressures that young people face and reflects their feelings about love, friendships, harassment, belonging, and standing up for what you believe in.

Director, Stephanie Fowler and stage manager, Beatrice Fowler Campbell are veterans of the Toronto Fringe, having performed their mother-daughter show, Little Miss Understood, to Fringe Festivals across Canada in 2014 and 2015 and winning the Tosho Cutting Edge Award at the Toronto Fringe Festival in 2014.

There are 2 opportunities for local audiences to catch the show before it heads to Toronto. Under Pressure will be performed on July 3rd at 7:30 pm outside the Park Head Memorial Hall (beside the Park Head United Church) and on July 4th at 7:00 pm at the Rotary Park in Tara. Both performances will be outside (in case of rain, the Park Head performance will move inside the Hall) and the audience is invited to bring their own lawn chairs. Tickets are available at the door by donation. Ice cream, pop and water will also be available by donation. All proceeds will help the teens with the cost of taking their show to the Toronto Fringe Festival.

Under Pressure is a show created by teens for teens but is entertaining to audiences of all ages.


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