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The Production Front is pleased to announce MFA: an upcoming co-release on the night of Thursday, October 14th, of

Sheila Heti’s third book, HOW SHOULD A PERSON BE? Tomboyfriend (led by Ryan Kamstra)’s first album, DON’T GO TO SCHOOL; and Margaux Williamson’s feature-length movie, TEENAGER HAMLET

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Margaux, Ryan and Sheila feel pretty lucky to have been born into a time when artists don't need to leave home in order to try to make good art. They took advantage of their contemporary luck, and used each other as teachers and subjects. They effectively created their own MFA program right in their neighbourhood, learning only what each other, the internet, and Toronto could teach them.

Sheila’s tape recorded conversations with her friends ended up forming the structure of How Should a Person Be?, an enjoyable, funny and experimental novel that pulls fiction and truth out of life.

The poppy, magisterial album Don’t Go To School is the result of Ryan’s using non-professional musicians around him to form his band, Tomboyfriend, composing songs based around the band members’ talents.

Margaux left her painting studio to see what meaningful thing existed at the heart of her community, and found Teenager Hamlet, a surprising and critical take on the difference between being an actor and taking action.

Many of the same people appear in these these works -- as performers and characters -- people drawn from a loose community of Toronto-based artists and writers, such as the painter Sholem Krishtalka, the music critic Carl Wilson, and the illustrator Marlena Zuber. Sheila, Margaux and Ryan are characters in How Should a Person Be? and all three “acted” in Teenager Hamlet. Tomboyfriend contributed songs to the movie and Margaux made a video for the band that The New York Times praised as “one of the best things to see on a screen in 2008.”

The album, book and movie together create a vivid picture of art, love and democracy, and explore the exalted limitations of living your own life, in your own neighbourhood, among the people you find there.

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A joint launch party will be held in Toronto on Oct. 14 at Stone’s Place at 8 pm. It is open to the public. Sheila Heti will read from her book, Tomboyfriend will play a set, and a clip from Teenager Hamlet will be screened.

For review copies of the album or the movie, or for interview requests or more information, email Chris at: mfa@theproductionfront.com

For review copies of the book, please contact Laura Repas at House of Anansi Press: laura@anansi.ca

 

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"Teenager Hamlet is a moving and insightful way to use Shakespeare to explore youth, art and our generation in the modern age. It reminds me of the way Van Sant used Henry IV as a springboard into exploring the young, disenfranchised generation of Portland in the early 90s."
- James Franco
 
“Sheila Heti's voice in How Should a Person Be? is utterly beguiling: blunt, charming, funny, and smart. She subtly and beautifully weaves together ideas about sex, femininity and artistic ambition. Reading this genre-defying book was pure pleasure. I especially admire her willingness to make herself look bad; she has zero investment in burnishing her own image.”
- David Shields, author of Reality Hunger
 
Tomboyfriend is... "a performance art whirlwind" - Eye Weekly; "a more brilliant New Pornographers" - Playground; "a more-left-wing Hidden Cameras with a crazy fun Keith Cole aesthetic" - Fab magazine; "When Don’t Go to School does come out I think I’m going to crank my stereo, hit repeat, and tell my parents they don’t understand me—just for old times sake." - This Magazine.