Preview: Borderline Me by Robin Zee

The version of this one-woman play being presented at the Spice Factory will be different from previous performances and definitely worth a second look.

By Mackenzie Kristjon Jenkyns
Published November 24, 2015

When I first met Robin Zee, she was in the middle of writing and developing what has become Borderline Me. I remember going to her house and listening to her explain to me the stories associated with this work, and at that time, she showed me a clip of her reading some of this material in Toronto.

Let's just say she's come a long way.

The piece has been performed at the Hamilton Fringe, the Guelph Fringe and in many other contexts, and has evolved in content and presentation. Without getting into spoiler alerts, what I can tell you is that if you were lucky enough to see this performance at the Hamilton Fringe last year, the version of this one-woman play being presented at the Spice Factory will be different and definitely worth a second look.

The content of the piece is largely autobiographical and delves into some pretty tough territory: streetwalking, sexual abuse, human trafficking, and violence. Luckily for us, Robin has lived to tell the tale and been able to move beyond - and, in fact, transform the experiences into a positive opportunity for change, inspiration, and empowerment.

Recently I was over at her home to discuss the upcoming event. Of course, the first thing I noticed after admiring her paintings while she fixed coffee was her 2015 Hamilton Arts Award for Performer of the Year. It was easy to see how proud she was of this award and how grateful she felt. She was clearly beaming!

In our short conversation, she explained to me how much she values the workshops she has been doing of late for various organizations that help women.

In keeping with the idea of her performing this 20-minute piece for various workshops, Robin is performing Borderline Me as a fundraiser for the Elizabeth Fry Society (EFRY) at the Spice Factory on Friday, November 27.

The Elizabeth Fry Society has been delivering services to criminalized women since 1971. As one can imagine, women who come from any number of backgrounds can find themselves facing violence, addiction, mental health issues, poverty, grief, and loss. They can find themselves in difficult situations that can occasionally lead to criminalization.

That further tends to cause feelings of isolation from society. Shame and confusion can lead to further negative outcomes. Because there are very few programs (if any) that exist for this purpose, it is important to recognize the value of EFRY.

As such, this seems like a perfect pairing and should make for an interesting event. Come early for the silent auction!

Mackenzie Kristjon is an Icelandic-Canadian singer-songwriter and all around creative force. He has published numerous books including the award-winning Culinary Saga of New Iceland. He also has roots in community radio at CFRU 93.3 FM in Guelph. To hear/see/download his music, you can visit


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