Carl Kennedy and Evelyn Chew in She Has A Name - photo by Kelsey Krogman

Carl Kennedy and Evelyn Chew in She Has A Name - photo by Kelsey Krogman

By Pat Donnelly, Gazette theatre critic June 14, 2012

MONTREAL – She Has a Name is a play about human trafficking.

Even its promotional material is disturbing, referring to Montreal as “Canada’s port city for sex slaves trafficked from and through Europe.”

Yes, it happens here, in Montreal. People whose existence has been reduced to a number are exploited in the sex trade across Canada as well as in faraway places. And Alberta’s Burnt Thicket theatre company thinks we should care. Which is why they are bringing She Has a Name to the Montreal Fringe Festival this weekend.

At fringe festivals, which tend to be a playground for standup comedy, burlesque and navel-gazing solo shows, well-crafted, issue-oriented plays are rare.

When I spoke to playwright Andrew Kooman this week, he was unpacking his bags in Red Deer, Alta., having just returned home after the play’s Ottawa run. Although he has been published in other forms, including a novel for young adults (Ten Silver Coins: The Drylings of Acchora), this is Kooman’s first full-length play. When it opened last year at the Epcor Centre in Calgary, it proved so popular that people had to be turned away at the door. “It was just this exciting moment, especially for me, as a writer,” he said. “After it closed, we said, wow, we could bring this to other people.” So a 12-city, seven-province tour was set up, including several fringe festival bookings.

Read the full article by the Montreal Gazette’s theatre critic,  Pat Donnelly here.