Fringe Artist Snapshots: Ilana Shecter

Interview series with artists from the 2021 St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival


As an official media partner of the 30th annual St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, Montreal Theatre Hub brings the #FringeBuzz in 2021 with an all-new interview series with artists from this year’s edition of the fest! In this Snapshot, we feature ILANA SHECTER – playwright and performer of SHECTORONi Inc.’s ‘The Third Nipple Chakra Activation Station’. Read our Q&A with the creator of the Fringe show in anticipation of its world premiere at Monument-National’s La Balustrade on June 11th.


Q&A

MONTREAL THEATRE HUB: What is ‘The Third Nipple Chakra Activation Station‘ about?

ILANA: This Fringe show is a clown/sci-fi/spoken word hybrid experiment where an unsuspecting Scientist discovers an alien technology known as the Third Nipple Chakra, a mysterious force gifted to humans to unlock the gates of Fun. With the help of the Spoken Word poetry of Pantha Vee, the Scientist must overcome clownish obstacles and solve queer riddles to arrive at the Activation Station… 

MTH: What can audiences expect from the experience of seeing it? 

ILANA: The audience can expect to feel activated, a little bit silly, hopeful and optimistic! They will have a new tool to confront the War on Fun! We wanted to present a vision for the future that did not use dystopian imagery or pessimistic futurisms. This is a generative piece, and one that aims to see smiles for miles at the end of the show!  

MTH: What was the idea and inspiration behind the piece?

ILANA: I have always been inspired by ideas of the post-apocalypse and sci-fi futuristic universes, whether that be on a planetary or societal or individual scale. Unfortunately, much of the public imaginary has been hijacked with ideas of dystopian futures where we are royally screwed for reason x y and z. I think that vision of the future is misguided and stops us from imagining what comes after transformative, often revelatory change. What if our post-apocalyptic future (which may already be here) is actually generative and powered by technologies of empathy, of co-operation and of Love? So collaborating with Pantha on the Spoken Word Poetry was an opportunity to bring those values to life, and than bringing it into the realm of science fiction with a make-believe chakra that can activate and be activated whenever we want to enter into that new world! A previously unknown democratic tool for the people! 


Ilana Shecter of Shecteroni Inc.’s The Third Nipple Chakra Activation Station (Photographer: Gabrielle Lea)


MTH: Why did you choose the Fringe as the place to premiere this work?

ILANA: The values of the Fringe, accessibility and democratization and experimentation, provides an opportunity for everyone to present their piece, and that freedom of expression and creativity has created a legendary space for the past 30 years. It’s a welcoming space where success, failure and everything in between is applauded, so it definitely feels like a safe space to push oneself out of their comfort zone and take those risks that aren’t necessarily available in other festivals.  

MTH: What has it been like trying to create a show during a pandemic?

ILANA: The biggest challenge has been the logistics of collaborating with someone on the other side of the country, Pantha Vee, who for pandemic-related reasons couldn’t make it to Montreal. But as has been the case throughout the pandemic, our options for connection and communication have greatly expanded, so we wanted to bring that sort of communication in play. Even though Pantha couldn’t physically be present, her presence is there thanks to the power of technology. 

MTH: What’s kept you driven to keep creating during this past year? 

ILANA: After many setbacks and challenges over the past year, long stretches of loneliness and the impending general sense of doom and gloom that pervaded the public imaginary, both individual and collectively,  it became necessary for me to start creating again to empower myself and change the narrative that was all too pervasive. The Third Nipple Chakra is a concept that I have been sitting with for several years, and I felt like using this specific concept as my creative outlet was the spark I needed to stay driven and allow my creative imagination to take over.  

MTH: How does this show/story speak to our present times? 

ILANA: The Third Nipple Chakra Activation Station plays with a lot of the memes that have appeared over the past 16 months, poking fun at what we have all collectively lived through over the pandemic. The scientific discourse, the lockdowns and restrictions, online shopping, the complete transformation of much of our societal norms and habits, misinformation, conspiracies, recalibrating justice. And one of the questions now that we see, is what will emerge out of the post-pandemic world, where we have collectively gone through so much transformation. And so the Third Nipple Chakra Activation Station plays with that question in a light and playful way and offers a previously unknown and make-believe tool for this emerging present!    


Ilana Shecter of Shecteroni Inc.’s The Third Nipple Chakra Activation Station (Photographer: Gabrielle Lea)


RAPID FIRE ROUND

What have you missed most about the Fringe?
All sorts of creative energy coming together to celebrate the works of so many people!

Favourite Fringe show you’ve ever seen?
Dance Side of the Moon, Fringe 2019

#Fringebuzz: which show(s) on the 2021 lineup are you most stoked to check out?
COÑO, Celebrity Obsession, all of them!


ARTIST BIO

Ilana Shecter (they/she/he) is an emerging artist from Montreal, Québec. Ilana’s artistic vision is rooted in queering discourses and bringing unique, generative and inventive concepts into the public imaginary. They have been producing events for the lgbtq+ community in both Vancouver and Montreal, creating spaces for marginalized folks to come together and experience community.


THE THIRD NIPPLE CHAKRA ACTIVATION STATION presented by SHECTERONi Inc. runs from June 11-19 at Monument-National’s La Balustrade (1182 St Laurent Blvd). Tickets ($7-8) can be purchased online at www.montrealfringe.ca

FOLLOW
Website: thirdnipplechakra.net
Facebook: facebook.com/shecteroniadventures
Instagram: @p0st.shecteroni____


Promotional poster for The Third Nipple Chakra Activation Station


Read here all of the interviews in the Fringe Artist Snapshots series:
www.montrealtheatrehub.com/fringe-artist-snapshots
#MTLFringeSnapshots


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