Almost But Not Quite Touching is the debut play of the Tough Toots Theatre Folks, performed in October of this year in Toronto. A completely re-written and re-imagined version of a previous play of the same name and entirely written, directed and performed by women and trans* folks, Almost But Not Quite Touching was described by its creators as follows: “Be prepared to laugh, to learn, and to cry. Enter the minds of real people in a cabaret style dealing with real life,with relationships, gender variance, one night stands, queerness, love, and indescribable pain.”
The following interviews with co-creator and director Molly McGregor and co-creator Lucy Gervais have been edited for length and clarity.
SHAMELESS: Can you describe the play and your motivations for creating and directing it? What was the process like?
MM: The play is a collective creation on the subject of sexuality and intimacy. The show was a cabaret of love and pain within the confines of those two intense subjects.
I originally directed and co-wrote the first draft of the play in May 2013, and after receiving some grant money from Linda Eyman, Toronto Jazz/Opera Vocalist, and partnering with Lucy, I decided to add more and make the piece more whole. I wanted to get a different perspective that would evoke different emotional responses in the audience: masturbation, consent, the moments during sex that no one really wants to talk about, responses someone may receive on OK Cupid. We really wanted to explore it all.
When I was directing this piece, I wanted to make sure every actor had the chance to share their opinion on the subjects brought up while moving as a collective. So we had each actor contribute at least one writing piece about a certain subject, including online dating, having mind blowing sex with your genderqueer lover, the horrible feeling as someone cancels the date for the evening, and advice on how to be good to yourself.
LG: I wanted to put on a play because I didn’t pursue any meaningful artistic endeavors with my year off, which bothered me quite a bit. I contacted Molly because I knew that if anyone could get a play done, it was her. I didn’t have any specific vision in mind, but I knew that we would come up with something fantastic if we collaborated and melted some ideas together, which is exactly what we did.(more inside…)