I, Claudia, Funny, Rueful Look at Being 12, Premieres April 3 in Toronto

News   I, Claudia, Funny, Rueful Look at Being 12, Premieres April 3 in Toronto She's trembling on the edge of age 13 and she's got her own solo play, I, Claudia, premiering April 3 at Tarragon's Theatre's The Extra Space, April 3, after previews.

She's trembling on the edge of age 13 and she's got her own solo play, I, Claudia, premiering April 3 at Tarragon's Theatre's The Extra Space, April 3, after previews.

Is that cool, or what?

The thirtysomething adult playwright-actress Kristen Thomson is not "twelve and three-quarters," but she's tapping her inner child to create Claudia and other characters in the girl's world. Previews of I, Claudia began March 27 at the Toronto resident theatre and performances continue to May 6.

A child of divorce, Claudia struggles with pre-teen angst — puberty, romance, school issues and more. To further complicate matters, her father is about to re-marry. Thomson, a Dora Award-winning actress from Factory Theatre's Problem Child, introduced portions of the new work in Theatre Columbus' Mayhem showcase. The piece was expanded in Tarragon festivals and workshops. This is Thomson's first work as a playwright.

In addition to playing Claudia, Thomson essays Claudia's grandfather, Douglas; her father's young fiancee, Leslie; and Drachman, the school custodian who is a refugee from The National Theatre of Bulgonia. It's his boiler room Claudia hides in when life becomes too overwhelming. "I was speaking in images to a mutilated nation," Drachman says in the play, " and now I am sweeping your dust bunnies."

Actress Thomson previously appeared in Tarragon's The Memory of Water, which moved to the Winter Garden Theatre.

Chris Abraham directs. Designers are Julie Fox (set and costume), Rebecca Picherack (lighting), John Gzowski (sound).

Tickets are $13-$24. Tarragon is at 30 Bridgman Avenue. For reservations, call (416) 531-1827.

— By Kenneth Jones