Photo of Jocelyne Lamarche creating projections by Justin Alexander
Shadow Girls is a queer play that blends performance with overhead projector art. It was written by Keshia Palm and Claren Grosz, two queer Toronto-based female creators collaborating with a team of four women projectionists to create an interdisciplinary piece about two bisexual women. The production details the relationship of Maggie and Amelia, who’ve had a history of sex and friendship since high school. After years of separation following an adolescent hook-up-and-break-up, they meet again in young adulthood and begin an affair. Shadow Girls explores how internalized misogyny and homophobia complicate the articulation of bisexual identities within both queer and heteronormative cultures, while delving into universal themes of secret sexual desires and the complicated nuances of love and female friendship.
Palm and Grosz drew on their backgrounds in puppetry and visual art respectively to conceive of the hyper-visual installation art nature of the production. Unlike with other projection art, overhead projection art offers something organic that requires real-time, hands-on manipulation. The audience gets to observe this process alongside the performance. Working with found objects and materials-- dish soap, food colouring, crystal dish ware and more-- the projectionists create evolving images that translate both the inner emotions of the characters and their outside world. The projectors themselves are on moveable bases, which allows them to travel and rotate. They are also able to project at the ceiling and the floor. The result is experiential-- the audience becomes enveloped in otherworldly images. Shadow Girls is a sensuous presentation of a queer love story.
Community Engagement Photos
In conjunction with Shadow Girls performances, we have hosted many community engagement events where guests can create their own overhead projector art.