Date: 2009 April

April 29, 2009, by
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Stan’s Cafe is coming to Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. These guys are crazy (in a good way). In an effort to allow facilitate skill and idea transfer between international and local artists, they are currently accepting applications, due tomorrow, to work with their AD James Yarker. 

The press release reads:
“HATCHLab is an intensive peer-to-peer learning opportunity presented as part of Harbourfront Centre’s HATCH: emerging performance projects and World Stage programmes. HATCHLab’s goal is to create a space for conversation about practice and to cross distances between artists in Toronto’s performance community and our international peers. Previous HATCHLab’s have featured New York’s TEAM (Theatre of the Emerging American Moment) and Australia’s Back to Back Theatre. This time, Stan’s Cafe Artistic Director James Yarker will lead a workshop on performance creation, devising, and the meetings of theatre, visual and performance art cultures.

Space in HATCHLab is limited. Interested participants should apply no later than Thursday, April 30. The workshop is being created for the participants, so please include a bio and resume in your email, and tell us why you’d like to be part of the workshop and what you’d like to get out of it. Email your submissions to HATCH@harbourfrontcentre.com. Successful applicants will be notified no later than Friday, May 1.”

Check out these videos of the two shows they will be presenting, before you decide if this is a good idea:

The Cleansing of Constance Brown

Of All the People in the World

April 27, 2009, by
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Any suggestions?

April 23, 2009, by
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Pentheus directed by Tatiana Jennings, Humber College, Toronto
Performs: Tues May 5 @ 8pm, Friday May 8 @ noon


Having closed the show on April 18th, Pentheus is still fresh in our minds and bodies at Humber College. We celebrated a great run at our theatre, and look forward to the remount in May. Much like the other participating schools, we’re wrapping up our year and time at Humber, with other final performances and projects taking place. Our time at Theatre Passe Muraille is fast approaching, and our remount rehearsals are on their way as well! As Torontonians we have the luxury of knowing Passe Muraille as audience members, so we’re familiar with the space. However, we will be faced with the point of view of performers, so will soon be navigating a newly taped-out rehearsal floor that will reflect the City of Wine setup. As the date draws closer, we talk often of meeting the other students from across the country, as well as directors, technicians, family, and the general public that will be involved with City of Wine. It’s such a thrilling way to exit theatre school, working amongst one another and closing the distance between schools across the country. What better way to enter a career in the arts than to work with other emerging artists from all necks of these Canadian woods? It’s with this inspiration that we press forward, managing to get through our year-end tasks and performances, looking forward to the City of Wine and all that will follow.

Emily Farrell


Jocasta directed by Craig Hall, Studio 58 at Langara College, Vancouver
Performs: Wed May 6 @ 4pm, Friday May 8 @ 8pm

Image by Emily Cooper

The living definition of playing at work: Remember how in elementary school you folded pieces of paper until they couldn’t get any smaller, then pulled them out and they looked like accordions? Imagine that, but as set pieces. The furniture for Jocasta is made of paper, yup. These set pieces fold accordion style into completely flat slabs, get carried on stage and then opened up and stepped on, sat on, jumped on, or whatever else one may want to do to it. On a nightly basis I am amazed at the abuse that these little buggers can take. On the opening days of rehearsal all the named characters would go off to work on emblems and other types of character building processes, whist we, the unnamed, would spend hours figuring out how crazy of shapes and designs we could make with these while still being able to support a person! And it didn’t stop there, these pieces were an obsession for the run of the show, I continue to find new ways that they can be folded, one of the many reasons I didn’t get a chance to blog about it. I don’t feel that any amount of description can do justice to how cool these things are; therefore I posted a demo of them on YouTube. Check it out. Also there you will find a promo video for the Vancouver production. It has shots of people actually standing on these guys. Enjoy

Joel Grinke



Click here to get fully up to date on City of Wine
April 23, 2009, by
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Toronto-based theatre artist and journalist Chris Dupuis has taken on the Margaret Wente and The Globe and Mail over their willingness to print her recent article on HIV and the issues surrounding HIV disclosure in his recent article in XTRA

Dupuis, who is also editor of the Time and Space Magazine, a forum for critical discussion of contemporary art, performance and politics; finishes his finely-tuned critique with this final challenge:
The damage that Wente has done to the general public’s perception of HIV-positive people and advocacy groups is immeasurable. I have never been so ashamed of another member of my profession.

I call on the Globe’s editors to assign a rebuttal piece to Wente’s work to run on the front page of a future Saturday edition of that paper.

It’s time for the Globe to put things right.”

In support of Dupuis and his attempt to garner balanced coverage to this issue we invite readers to leave puns in the comments section that make discuss Margaret Wente and her approach to journalism: We’ll go first:

  • That’s Wente happens when you present material out of context.

See how easy it is?

April 21, 2009, by
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Harmonia directed by DD Kugler, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver

Performs: Tues May 5th @ 4pm and  Thurs May 7th @ 8pm

This process of rehearsing a show for remount is a strange and wonderful thing. Strange because things are the same, and yet different; it’s clearly not a new production, and yet it’s not quite the same as the first one either. But this is what’s wonderful about the process as well. What an opportunity it is to come back to characters and a story with the kind of understanding that only a production can give you, and then continue to work! To be able to solidify as well as break open the elements of the original show! To make new discoveries (not least of which is that where once you had space on the stage for entrances and exits, you now have a solid wall…)! This chance to take a second look at our work is a gift, and we are excited to be able to bring this story to life again as part of the City of Wine Festival.
Caroline Sniatynski

Laius directed by Eda Holmes, George Brown Theatre School, Toronto

Performs: Wed May 6 @ noon and Fri May 8 @ 4pm

The writing of this paragraph is wedged between an Italian line run of Laius, and a performance of one of our spring shows! Here, at George Brown Theatre School, we are ending off our year (and time at theatre school) by performing two shows in rep: a Restoration comedy (The Relapse) and a musical (The Baker’s Wife). In between 12-hour tech rehearsals, we have been getting together to review blocking, run lines, practice transitions, and review the live music we will have to pull together again for our remount of Laius in May. It is a challenge to keep three shows ready to go at a performance level, but we all feel our acting muscles are the strongest they’ve ever been — it is amazing how many worlds we can hold on to at the same time. In fact, leaving this script for days and weeks at a time to enter other characters, examine other issues, and experience other eras has actually sharpened the clarity of the Theban world for me. I have a keener sensorial understanding of what that world feels like, where its moral compass lies, and how its tragedies resonant specifically for the characters. We all look forward to reoopening the world of Thebes with fresh eyes and hearts, especially in the presence of so many other students entering the world with us! We are all also very excited to be hosting so many out-of-towners in our city … we will welcome them with wine and more wine.
Leora Morris

Click here to get fully up to date on City of Wine
April 19, 2009, by
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City of Wine tells the epic story of the city of Thebes and its citizens through a cycle of seven plays by playwright Ned Dickens. Produced by the award-winning dramaturgical theatre company nightswimming, the cycle will be performed twice over May 5th to 9th, 2009 at Theatre Passe Muraille in Toronto, Canada.

What did it take to make it happen?
  • 1 playwright
  • 15 years
  • 9 Workshops
  • 12 dramaturgs
  • 14 directors
  • 25 designers
  • 110 theatre artists
  • 172 professional actors
  • 9 schools
  • 42 school sessions
  • 233 student performers
  • 248 individual supporters
  • 4 Canadian cities
  • 5 days in May
  • 12 hours of theatre
McGill University professor of theatre studies Dennis Salter recently declared to Macleans Magazine, “Nothing on this scale has ever been tried in Canadian theatre.
Leading up to this event, student performer/bloggers from across Canada will be sharing their production and experience with the Praxis blog with one submission from an artist involved in each of the seven shows.
City of Wine bloggers were each given the same broad criteria: Write one paragraph about and include one image of your production. The statement, “Why I am too busy to blog about City of Wine” was suggested as a starting point for these soon-to-be graduated performers, but was not strictly prescriptive.
Stay tuned for the first responses this week!
April 15, 2009, by
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Text:

“This is the true joy in life, the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown on the scrap heap; the being a force of Nature instead of a feverish selfish little clod of ailments and grievances complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.”

Image:
Sound:
Enter this website and click on the box next to DINING ROOM. When the animation loads and the fly has landed, click on #3 along the bottom.













Sarah Sanford is the conceiver/director the original dance/theatre work Appetite opening April 17th in Toronto at Theatre Passe Muraille and April 30th in Philadelphia at The Wolf Building.
Click here to learn more about Praxis Theatre’s Variations on Theatre.
April 13, 2009, by
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Inspired by the success of Praxis Theatre’s 101 Sentences About Theatre, this week marks the debut of a new series: Praxis Theatre’s Variations on Theatre. The series asks artists to respond with a combination of the three key elements present in theatre:

Image, sound, text.

These will consist of:

A) One image
As a jpeg or YouTube clip.

B) One song or sound 
As a link to a Myspace based artist, a website that has sound, a written description of the sound, or other legal means devised to transfer knowledge of sound through the internet.

C) One piece of text 
No constraints. Not crazy long.
Other info:

  1. A jpeg of the artist contributing to the project. (preferably NOT a headshot).
  2. Name, upcoming project and what role (i.e. director, actor, etc.) in this work is.
  3. Website that provides more detail and information on this work.

(Yes it is easy as ABC-123.)

The goal of Praxis Theatre’s Variations on Theatre is to discover new and interesting ideas about theatrical product and practice through creation as a catalyst for discussion. It also has the potential to accumulate a project that approximates small instances of theatre on the internet. That a live audience doesn’t experience these responses in the same space necessarily changes the project in a way that makes this project something different from “pure theatre”. This is why they will be “variations”. C’est la vie. We work with what we have.
Variations on Theatre also presents a way for the community to interact with this website as something other than a bulletin board. Or perhaps, asks that you interact with the website artistically to use the bulletin board. In either case, if you follow the criteria and give it an honest try, the process includes pimping yourself and your upcoming project. If you’re not hawking any artistic wares, and find the project interesting, we’d like you to join in too. 

#1 later this week!

April 10, 2009, by
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The best team in professional basketball, The Cleveland Cavaliers, led by the best player in professional basketball, Lebron James, now begin many games by performing their own piece of devised original theatre. We christen this new troupe: The Lebronsemble.
  • If a typical black box theatre holds 200 people and a typical NBA arena holds 17,000 people; how may sold out performances would you need to reach as many audience members as The Lebonsemble? (Answer: 85 consecutive sell outs.) 
  • Is it surprising in the least that Lebron also happens to be a good director able to meld imagination with compelling imagery?
  • Does their success on the court stem from the strong connection they possess as an ensemble?
  • Have they been studying Stanislavki’s Circles of Attention to create better awareness on the floor?
  • Luke Walton sure would make a hunky star of a short musical interlude. Are Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol cooking up their own rival act? (Before you write this off, think about all the courtside celebrities the Lakers could incorporate.)
Watch and decide:

April 8, 2009, by
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If there was an “Academy Awards of Dance/Theatre YouTube Promo Clips” this one would likely receive a nomination.

Click here for more info