Date: 2011 July

July 30, 2011, by
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Text:

You cried, keeping it real, but you should try keeping it right.

-Posdnuos

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Photo by Benjamin Ayres

Noah Davis is an actor, writer, and founder of Chainsaw Theatre.  His play Point No Point is onstage now at Tarragon’s Extra Space.

David Tompa directs Noah Davis and Mylène Dinh-Robic in the premiere of Point No Point.

July 21st to 31st at Tarragon Theatre’s Extra Space
Box Office:  416 531 1827 or click here.
www.ChainsawTheatre.com

July 29, 2011, by
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by Michael Wheeler

Six days to opening and things are heating up.

Tommy Taylor reads from the script at one of our BIG rehearsals

In the current configuration and story-telling methods this means we have probably room for 5-7 more guys in the cage. It will be just fine without them – there are some objects on stage that did not exist in reality, and what we are doing is much more representative rather than a re-creation, at this point, but why stop now?

So here it is, the final call for participants in a show about G20 and the weekend Toronto stopped being part of Canada.

You can either do it, or you can’t. If you can do it, we want you, especially if you are a guy. We are pretty good with women, though we could probably take two more.

Here are the details. Email info@praxistheatre.com to let us know you’re coming – or heck – just show up to rehearsal #3. Today at 6pm.

All rehearsals and performances @ The Theatre Centre.

REHEARSALS
July 29 – 6-10 PM & July 30 – 1-5 PM

TECHNICAL REHEARSAL -
Aug 4, 11 AM – 3 PM

PERFORMANCES – The Theatre Centre
August 4, 5 PM
August 6, 2:30 PM
August 7, 10 PM
August 10, 7:30 PM
August 12, MIDNIGHT
August 13, 10 PM

July 27, 2011, by
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Text:

“Hold back the edges of your gowns, Ladies, we are going through hell.”

William Carlos Williams

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Rebecca Buttigieg is the playwright behind Fierce Monsters, which The Pop Group presents as a staged reading, featuring Margaret Evans, Laura Nordin, Keith Barker, and directed by Jody Hewston.

Sunday, July 31st at 7pm

The upstairs bar at Victory Cafe (581 Markham St.)

PWYC

July 22, 2011, by
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by Michael Wheeler
Director – You Should Have Stayed Home

Rehearsals are sometimes an unpredictable place. Ideas come and go, scenes are rearranged, staging is adjusted, and sometimes, as was the case yesterday, you can arrive at a fundamental realignment of your strategy:

We don’t need just men to tell this story – we need at least ten women to tell a ten-minute section of You Should Have Stayed Home at Summerworks.

So it goes. It makes sense artistically. It makes sense practically. And we were also growing uncomfortable with excluding half the population from participating in this project.

So, new game plan:

If you are a guy – still get in touch. Although we have had huge a number of men express interest, we still don’t have enough confirmations.  We still NEED to hear from you.

If you are female – we currently have at least 10 open slots, open on a first email first reserved basis. You don’t have to be a performer, you do have to be able to work with others in a safe and structured environment.

Relevant Details:

(If you can’t make one of the rehearsals – we can still make it happen.)

TO RESERVE: info@praxistheatre.com

ORIENTATION SESSION – July 24, 1 – 3 PM – Tarragon Theatre

REHEARSALS – July 25, July 29 – 6-10 PM & July 30 – 1-5 PM – The Theatre Centre

TECHNICAL REHEARSAL – Aug 4, 11 AM – 3 PM (Please meet outside the venue at 10:45 AM) – The Theatre Centre

PERFORMANCES – August 4, 5 PM, August 6, 2:30 PM, August 7, 10 PM, August 10, 7:30 PM,  August 12, MIDNIGHT, August 13, 10 PM – The Theatre Centre

Still reading? Its time to sign up!

July 19, 2011, by
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Want to get involved with this piece of theatre?

1 – Join the cast

If you are available for 3 or 4 rehearsals next week – you can join the cast for a 10-minute scene with 39 other people. You don’t have to be an experienced performer- as long as you can work with other people.

To learn more email info@praxistheatre.com.

2 – Form a strategic partnership with the production

Strategically, what we need to make this piece go is cash. Funding cuts to Summerworks by Heritage Canada have increased ticket prices, but artists involved in the festival don’t receive that increase – the festival does. So we have the same product at an increased price, with no increase in revenue. Strategically we need to pursue multiple revenue streams, like partnerships with engaged citizens just like you. Click here to get strategic.

3 – Come to the show

Dates: Aug 4th @5pm, Aug 6th @ 2:30pm, Aug 7th @ 10pm, Aug 10th @ 7:30pm, Aug 12th @ midnight, Aug 13th @10pm

Location: The Theatre Centre, 1087 Queen St. W. Click for Map

Tickets: Info on how to buy tickets available via Summerworks.

4 – Follow us online

The show has a Facebook Page and Praxis has an active Twitter Account – both of which will be full of info and stories surrounding the production.

5 – Spread the word

Do you know someone who may be interested in this sort of thing? Tell them about it. Word of mouth is the single most powerful factor that can drive awareness of a production. Use Facebook, drinks with old friends, Twitter, family dinner, sports practice, etc. There are a lot of venues where you can say, “Hey did you hear about this G20 play where….”.

Looking forward to your involvement with the piece!

July 16, 2011, by
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by Aislinn Rose

We played the second of our three games on Thursday night, and saw our players – made up of members of Toronto Area Gamers – defeat a cursed manticore by tricking it into killing his own minions. The final epic battle was against a many-eyed rubbery octopus-like creature, in the midst of which I tweeted the following:

Apparently this is the kind of thing I tweet without giving it a second thought these days.

Tonight is our final game, and we’re bringing together members of Toronto’s theatre and gaming communities in a brand new adventure, taking place in the basement of Snakes & Lattes from 5pm until 11pm. Now that we’ve resolved some of the logistical challenges of the experiment our focus tonight is audience experience. We’ve brought you closer to the action, now how do we get you involved in that action?

View of the board from our Ranger, Mike Riverso

We also want to further explore the relationship between the design elements and the players, so that sound and visuals become a genuine and integral part of the conversation happening in the room. Our friend Amy will be joining us again with her iPad and will be live-drawing throughout, with a direct feed into the projectors.

Join us tonight in the final game of this phase of our experiment. We’re always happy to provide a recap, so don’t be shy about stopping by at any time.

Around the table you’ll find theatre nerds Michael Wheeler – Praxis Theatre’s co-Artistic Director, award-winning playwright Nicolas Billon, and Dora-nominated actor Colin Doyle. Rounding out the group is hybrid theatre/gamer nerd Becca Buttigieg, along with gamer nerds Kate Bullock and Ben Santos. Playing the role of God (or Dungeon Master) is, again, the wonderful Ryan Stoughton.

You can follow and join our tweets via #DnDPT. On Thursday night, our Ranger tweeted his experience when not smoking his Ranger pipe, or being saved by a flumph. Apparently a flumph is a thing.

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Image by Jody Hewston

Dungeons & Dragons (not) The Musical - Toronto Fringe Festival, 2011
Final game:
July 16th, 5pm to 11pm
Venue:
Snakes & Lattes – 600 Bloor Street West.
Tickets:
Click Here to purchase, or here for more information.

*PLEASE NOTE: there is a maximum allowable attendance of 20 people at any one time; the box office will be located at the venue and will be open for the entire 6 hour performance time.

July 15, 2011, by
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The proceeds frorm these nation-wide readings will go to the recently de-funded Summerworks Festival

by Michael Wheeler

Today will see over 70 companies across the country join together in readings of the play Homegrown by Catherine Frid, in an impressive display of solidarity amongst Canadian theatre artists.

As one of these 70, it is a heartfelt honour for Praxis Theatre to join our peers from coast-to-coast in an action that supports the notion that art is created within an ecosystem, and that it is a slippery slope down the road towards censorship if a government only forms relationships with artists that support or reinforce its ideological agenda.

Here’s all of the key Homegrown info:

As a final note, a tip of the hat to playwright Catherine Frid who didn’t ask for any of this but lends her play to the entire country tonight. And another to event organizer Michael Healey for showing leadership in pursuit of solidarity in a time when we needed both.

July 14, 2011, by
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Shira Leuchter live-drawing at game 1 on Sunday

by Aislinn Rose

We had our first game of Dungeons & Dragons (not) The Musical at the Toronto Fringe Festival on Sunday evening in the Snakes & Lattes basement. For our first attempt at what we’re calling a performative experiment, it was fun, it was problematic, and I learned a hell of a lot. Oh, and apparently it was really hot.

Our team of theatre-makers and improv performers set out on a quest (along with their precious donkey) to find a manticore, meeting a copper dragon and battling gargoyles along the way. We started out with a packed house, but by the end of the six hours we had a rather more intimate audience. Despite our smaller numbers there was an audible gasp across the room when our beloved donkey met a tragic demise.

One of the main things I noticed as I watched the audience watching the game, is that many people were inching to get as close to the table as they could. Some of the braver audience members simply picked their chairs up and moved them next to the gamers, which I was happy to see. As a result I have plans to significantly reconfigure the placement of the game within the room, and where the audience will be seated. The gamers will be almost entirely surrounded by onlookers.

One of Amy's live (and un re-touched) ipad drawings from Sunday. Catch more of Amy's work throughout our final presentation on Saturday night

We also discovered some unexpected sound challenges. Considering the relatively small room in which we’re playing, I didn’t think sound levels would be a problem. However, we’re battling an air conditioning unit, so sometimes the voices were lost. This also limited our ability to really build in the sound design elements, in fear of further drowning out the action.

Our Dungeon Master, Ryan Stoughton, is an important and compelling element as he plays the various goblins and gargoyles, so I want him to be heard no matter what. Tonight he’ll have his own wireless mic, with an area mic to pick up the voices of the other players. This will also allow Lyon Smith our Sound Designer to further distort and play with their sound.

Finally, towards the end of the game when our players were more comfortable with one another, we had some really wonderful moments where they reached out to the audience for wisdom and advice. “Let’s ask the audience.” I’m hoping that tonight’s new seating and playing arrangement will further encourage this kind if interaction. Tonight will also see serious gamers at that table, and I’m excited to see how that alters the audience/player relationship.

I’d love to have you join us for our next six-hour session. We’ll be at Snakes and Lattes from 7pm until 1am and you can drop by any time for as little or long as you like. Our live-drawer for tonight is Jody Hewston, who created our D&D Dragons, and also just took 2nd place in the Fringe’s 24-hour playwriting contest!

Given the experiment, your feedback is really important to us, and I was thrilled to receive an email from a gamer who joined us for the entire 6 hours on Sunday to let us know what he thought. I hope we get more of those.

Before the show on Sunday, someone in line outside the venue said “are we allowed to heckle the players?”. Absolutely.
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Image by Jody Hewston

Dungeons & Dragons (not) The Musical - Toronto Fringe Festival, 2011
Remaining dates:
July 14th, 7pm to 1am
July 16th, 5pm to 11pm
Venue:
Snakes & Lattes – 600 Bloor Street West.
Tickets:
Click Here to purchase, or here for more information.

*PLEASE NOTE: there is a maximum allowable attendance of 20 people at any one time; the box office will be located at the venue and will be open for the entire 6 hour performance time.

July 9, 2011, by
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Text:

Greek schoolchildren had to learn the Seven Wonders, not because those were the only ones, but because they seemed to be the greatest.
But today we should not be able easily to select the seven greatest.  We should have seventy times seven, and then seventy times seven again.
It is not hard to name seven wonders in the modern world; it would be very much harder to name seven things not wonderful.  One of our poets has said that he has seen “nothing common” on this earth.
We ask “Why?” very early in our life, and we ought not to stop asking “Why?”.  Nothing will ever become common; everything will be full of wonder, if we keep our eyes open and our minds wide awake.

-The Wonder Book of Wonders, 1922
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Eleanor Hewlings plays Cassie in the site-specific production of HORSE at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival.

Written by Dora-Award winning playwright Ned Dickens and directed by Leora Morris, HORSE takes 15 people at a time into a Kensington Market alleyway to meet two street kids and watch them negotiate homelessness, police corruption, trauma, and addiction.  Every night July 6th-17th @ 7pm.  12 Kensington Avenue.

July 7, 2011, by
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The production is now seeking for female performers as well!

Click to enlarge