Is it possible to tackle racism, sexism, commodity feminism and millennial entrepreneur culture in a tight 60 minutes? These hefty topics are prominent in daily discourse, but often take several hours to unpack. Everyone Wants A T-Shirt! manages to wrestle each conversation piece compactly and with grace. It’s funny, thought-provoking and will have you reconsidering slogan tees long after you have left the theatre.
The show stars Brittany Miranda as Beatrice Deer, a hopeful Queen’s University Commerce grad ready to take on the world with an innovative new delivery message system, “Potato Grams.” Her pitch gets rejected by a washed-up business-woman (Charlin McIsaac) whose success has gone stale since she created the e-card at eight years old. After accepting defeat in what they call the “Dufferin Mall version of Dragon’s Den,” Beatrice is determined to find success otherwise. Female empowerment-branded slogan T-Shirts — similar to the recently popular “The Future Is Female” tees — become the answer.
Audiences watch as Beatrice goes from a novice T-Shirt saleswoman to a pro, convincing skeptical buyers that “Women Are The Future” as the shirts suggest. She graduates from single shirt sales to profiting from “Lupita,” “Reese” and “Malala” bundles. However, Beatrice faces sexism and racism in the workplace and conflict with her business partner (John Wamsley), who still dreams of making their Potato Grams a reality.
The comedic timing and pacing of the show is one of its biggest strengths. Playwright Madeleine Brown clearly knows how to create a scene that moves quickly, without it coming off as too heavy handed. The script is full of hysterical one-liners and captivating dialogue, with references audiences of all ages can enjoy. If you’ve ever dreamed of starting your own business, purchased a politically-aware T-Shirt, or just enjoy an hour of great theatre — this one’s for you.
Catch the last performance of Everyone Wants A T-Shirt! this Saturday, July 14 at Theatre Passe Muraille – Backspace at 9:45 p.m.