STRAY: the film
By Ulla Laidlaw
I had recently returned to Toronto, to the city where I grew up, when I first read Tanya Marquardt’s Stray. Tim had told me that (not a direct quote) “It’s a memoir that has become a meta-memoir in its punk rock concert version, on the theme of running away.” At the time, I could do anything but – I was laid up in bed with a fractured foot, and my big transition back to the city that housed my story was to be all the more challenging.
In the pages of Stray, Tanya so generously shares her painful experiences with an honesty that helped me to reflect on my own. Her words, and her ability to be truthful, guided me to face the parts of my own truth that could no longer be run from.
When we began working on the film for Stray, we started with watching the best concert films made. As we talked and sat with it further, the film asked to be more than that: If the book is a memoir, and the theatre concert is a meta-memoir, than this would be a meta-meta-memoir. Within the container of a concert film, I’m interested in bringing in documentary elements, artistic + cinematic imagery, and experimental elements. Think Joy Division + Sigur Ros meet documentary. We’ll follow Tanya’s feet from the home she ran away from in Port Alberni, through her chapter in Vancouver, to her current life in New York.
In the next few weeks, Tim and Tanya and I will all be in the same place, and we’ll have the chance to film both the reading at Magnetic North (June 6 @10PM in The Cultch Founder’s Lounge), and the full production at Progress Lab (Pi Provocateurs, June 14+15 at Progress Lab 1422, 1422 William St).
Come be a part of theatre punk rock history as one of our four cameras catches you in reduced shutter speed slow mo, catches you dancing, and catches you rocking out to the deepest concert you’ve ever been to.
Find Ulla online at cargocollective.com/ullalaidlaw