Date: 2012 May

May 31, 2012, by
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Greta gets some Fringe Tips from Johnny Walker, the Co-Artistic Producer of Nobody’s Business Theatre (not the cheap whiskey):

JOHNNY WALKER’S 5 TIPS FOR PEOPLE DOING THEIR 1ST FRINGE SHOW:

1.     Find people you trust and like to working with, even if they have little to no experience.

2.     Befriend an amazing photographer.  This is how you get press-awesome photos.

3.     Fundraise, fundraise, fundraise!  Do not go into a show with zero capital and expect to recoup all you expenses from your box office.

4.     If you write your own work and you have limited resources, write to your resources.  Don’t write set pieces you can’t afford or characters you will never be able to cast.

5.     Sell your work.  A catchy title, pithy synopsis, memorable poster and aggressive web presence go a long way.

Nobody’s Business theatre company has two shows going on during  the 2012 Fringe Festivals: The Other Three Sisters will be playing at the Toronto Fringe and then the company leaves for a cross Canada Fringe Tour of their 2010 Summerworks hit – Redheaded Stepchild read the review here.

Greta Papageorgiu is an actor, writer, teacher and director. She performs and teaches throughout Ontario and Quebec. Greta loves the theatre and hopes to share some of her love with you through 2 Minutes With Greta Papageorgiu.

May 30, 2012, by
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Text:

“Tragedy is the question. Comedy is the answer.”

~ Luke Barber

Image:

Sound:


Christine Lesiak is the co-creator/performer of Fools for Love at the Toronto Festival of Clowns at Pia Bouman. Shows: May 31 @ 8pm & June 2 @ 615pm.

Small Matters Productions is an Edmonton-based theatre company dedicated to creating and performing original works of modern clown theatre. Drawing from our experience in the uniquely Canadian Pochinko-style of clown, we use classic theatre techniques, improvisation, and audience participation to reinvent clown for contemporary adult audiences.

May 26, 2012, by
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Every evening at 8pm in Montreal, and recently in other parts of the province, Quebecers gather to bang pots and pans in support of the student movement and against Bill 78, which limits the right to freedom of assembly and association as protected in the Charter.

The new potentially illegal law has attracted international attention with The New York Times and The Guardian condemning the measures.

Casseroles oriented protests appear ready to spread to Toronto on Sunday.

Musique/music:
INTUITION #1 – Avec pas d’casque
© Grosse Boîte
Bandcamp: avecpasdcasque.bandcamp.com/album/astronomie

May 24, 2012, by
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Tantalize your taste buds with the seasonal flavours of June

Click the icon to reserve now

Praxis hors d’oeuvre including spring leeks, fiddle-heads, squa­­­sh blossoms, wild arugula, cherries, peaches and more!

You are invited to celebrate with an evening of cuisine and art at the Praxis Summer Party on Monday June 11th at 6:30pm.

Hosted by donors Christine Armstrong and Irfhan Rawji at 358 Wellesley St. East, your ticket includes an open bar stocked with local wines and beer, a seasonal menu of locally created cuisine, Praxis performers, live art, music and more. Tickets are $75 and all food and drinks are included.

Tania McCartney prepares the open bar

We appreciate your already generous support of Praxis Theatre. The past year has been an important period in our development. Jesus Chrysler at Theatre Passe Muraille was our first production in association with an established theatre venue and the first time we have engaged all of our artists under the Canadian Theatre Agreement.

Our award-winning production of You Should Have Stayed Home at the SummerWorks Festival generated significant interest from a number of theatre companies and organizations and has already been invited to be presented as far away as the Yukon. The process of building a national tour of Tommy’s G20 story is well underway.

We will also continue with the development of our Dungeons & Dragons experiment, which launched at the Toronto Fringe Festival and combined interactive performance, twitter, and live drawing and live sound and video design by some of Toronto’s most established theatre artists.

In 2011, there was hardly a theatre company more vocal, inventive, and relevant than Praxis. From discussions about the new Culture Plan, to funding cuts, to the arts under the Ford administration, to the federal funding issues with the 2011 SummerWorks Festival, Praxis’s online presence made sure that the word was spread … as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Not to mention the fact that their shows… demonstrated creativity and political awareness that few others matched.” Torontoist.com

Simon, Michael and Aislinn

We hope you can make the party. If you are unavailable to attend, donations of any size will be gratefully accepted at:

indiegogo.com/PraxisTheatre

Yours Sincerely,

Michael, Aislinn & Simon

May 23, 2012, by
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Pip's dispatches have moved from the Tarragon Theatre Booth to the Toronto Fringe Office

Dear Friends:

There is a saying in this world that “a change is a good as a rest”. Frankly, years of club-hopping has left me unconvinced of the truth of that statement. Sometimes, readers, I would have been far better served by going home to bed than by going to the Dakota. However, I have decided to take this dubious advice to heart and, finding myself tiring of the trials of being a space technician, I have flown the Tarragon coop and found a new roost here at the Toronto Fringe Festival for a brief time.

The Toronto Fringe, in what can only be a moment of near-godlike inspiration, has seen fit to hire me as their Youth Outreach Coordinator. And after reviewing the reasons you wish you were in my program I have listed below, I’m sure you will agree that clearly they could not have gone in any other direction.

5 Reasons Why You Wish You Could Be In My Youth Outreach Program

  • We’re talking the Fringe Festival here.

Seriously, why would you not want to be part of the best two weeks in Toronto theatre? Do you not like seeing plays for free? Do you not want to be party to some of the most interesting discussions in theatre? Do you not like hanging out with awesome people?

  • I’m too new to know what isn’t allowed.

If you think it is a good use of our time together to watch episodes of Gossip Girl and analyze the development and progression of Blair Waldorf, the greatest character on television, who am I to say no?

  • Thanks to my raging adult ADD, I have more energy than any one human being should.

Being me requires enough energy to fuel a rocket ship to the moon and back. Think you’ve got lots of drive and get-up-and-go? I wrote the book on overnighters WHILE OVERNIGHTING. This party never stops.

  • I’m a technician, which means we are not dilly dallying around here.

We are going way beyond theatre games, my friends. Largely because I am not too clear on the rules and motivation behind Zip Zap Zop.

  • You get to come hang out with me in my clubhouse

As the Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Toronto Fringe Festival, I am finally achieving a Fringe Dream five years in the making: I get to hang out at the Fringe Club all day long while people come visit me in my clubhouse, The 100 Salon. No, seriously, I have a salon. You want to come to my salon? WELL TOO BAD, because you’re not in my youth outreach program.

The program Pip is taunting you with is The 100, a new program the Fringe is developing for young artists between the ages of 17 and 24.  This 12 day immersive theatre entrepreneur boot-camp allows participants to get hands-on experience developing viral and guerilla marketing techniques, learning about self-promotion and branding, and generating street theatre while acting as ambassadors for the Fringe Festival of Toronto.

Perks include an unlimited pass to the Toronto Fringe Festival, access to behind-the-scenes action at the Fringe Club, and more fun than you can shake a stick at. To learn more, you can email her at outreach@fringetoronto.com, or to apply simply click here.

Sarah ‘Pip’ Bradford is the Youth Outreach Coordinator for the Toronto Fringe Festival, the Mainspace Technician at Tarragon Theatre, and the founder of Art Is Hard, a grassroots arts philanthropy project.

If you like what you see here, she blogs (infrequently) at The Christopher Pike Project, and posts daily to Tips From Pip, an unsolicited Tumblr advice blog. She is also willing to accept Samwell Tarly on Game Of Thrones as a contender for best character on television.

May 22, 2012, by
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A Great Thunder. An open letter to striking students.

CHRISTIAN NADEAU, May 17, 2012

Christian Nadeau is a professor in the Philosophy Department of Université de Montréal.

This letter was originally published in French here and distributed in the above video.

Dear students,

Please allow me firstly to address you as a group in its entirety and not solely to your spokespeople, nor to those the media label as your “leaders”, an expression that reflects the moronic servility of our current era. I wish to speak to the student movement’s activists.

I am writing you this letter in order to salute you and to humbly ask that you help us follow through with your endeavor. Your struggle is becoming the rebirth of of the left in Quebec, asleep for years thanks to the privilege of the few and dizzied by its own prefabricated rhetoric. You are liberty’s workers. You have denounced the sugary splendor of our artificial paradise. You have reminded us of what a nation is when it is at its best: a great act of confidence. You spoke to us, you offered us your hand even when we did not answer. But it is not too late. We will first be a few hundred, then thousands who will work alongside you. The question of violence remains, which is the wall between us. But what violence do we speak of precisely?

Violence and contestation

It is comfortable to condemn when we are not faced with it daily. It is convenient to judge without understanding, to judge the striking body as a whole for highlighted actions, ones that were perhaps even cynically hoped for by our elected officials. Of course, some of you would deem the present not suitable for festive events where imagination confronts power. But you also know that might does not equal right.

For my part, I will always be opposed to power that is at gunpoint, no matter who holds the gun. But I have never seen a club in the hands of a student. On the other hand, I have never seen such a display of violence against a social group in Quebec. I have never witnessed such contempt on behalf of the government towards its own citizens. I have never witnessed such an arrogance on behalf of such a vast number of journalists and columnists in the face of those who could even teach them to write and express themselves decently.

The student movement is rising up against the beatings by the bullies who are gripping their clubs, these weapons held as though they were rattles. They spit Cayenne pepper and degrade their entire profession. Maybe I’m a tad naive, but I remain absolutely convinced that the police force remains divided with regards to the impression made by their militaristic repression. The martial charges by rows of armed and armored officers against peaceful protesters are not intended primarily to frighten you. They are actually intended to humiliate you until reason gives into anger, setting off hostilities against which the forces of order will be victorious. This is what you are fighting against: might equalling right, you are opposing the force of reason. By denouncing violence against individuals, you have brought us back to the real meaning of this moral debate. You have done what you’ve been doing for months now: you are providing us with edifying words.

This strike is about learning…

There is a famous passage in Wind, Sand and Stars (Terre des hommes), where the author condemns the will to put an end to what is best in the hearts of men. “What torments me, says Saint-Exupery, the soup kitchen cannot heal. What torments me is not the humps nor hollows nor the ugliness. It is the sight, a little bit in all these men, of Mozart murdered”. This sentence, often tarnished, still resonates within the current context, as it expresses disgust in the face of the dishonorable. The government insists on looking down upon you, in the process looking down on its own reason to be. It was counting on a public humiliation and it did so with its club, but also and perhaps especially with the insults of a guard dog to the well-off, the profiteers, and those who sabotage the common wealth. To the worst sycophants, you respond with dignity. You offer a lesson in public morality to a government that stopped being preoccupied with honor long ago.

But the struggle is for everyone

It is surprising to see commentators being stunned at the political turn taken by this student strike. However, since the beginning, you have clearly expressed why this struggle is concerned with a fundamental issue for our society. Since the beginning, you have refused any form of corporatism. You have proposed options and you have accepted all societal debates, including ones undertaken with those who would rather see you dragged through the mud than being granted the slightest credit. However this plays out, you have already generously shared with us a daily victory since the beginning of this strike.

If a segment of our society has wanted to humiliate you, it’s because it fears the return of a social-democratic tide. If this segment reacts with such violence to your movement, it’s because they are afraid of those who wish to stand up straight and are ready to defend the common good. Why would you wish to cage freedom and destroy the hopes for a more just society? Is it really Mozart who we are murdering by wishing to destroy your movement? Should we not seek to understand why it is that they wish to kill Jaurès?

Great thunder

I will end by thanking you once again and by inviting all those who, like me, feel at their very core this infinite gratitude towards you for having accomplished so much. We will salute your courage and your refusal to abdicate. And together, we shall rebuild a civil society and a state that the corporate eulogists would like to see destroyed.

Dear students, you have shown us the way. It has been said that you are expecting the impossible. On the contrary, you are opening doors to the possible. That is the reason why we will be so numerous in accompanying you at the large demonstration on May 22, walking with you or forming a hedge of honor around you to salute your determination, waving down to you from all the windows. We will create together the greatest thunder, yes, a very great clamor of applause, an ovation the echo of which will be heard again and again, in order to sustain the struggle and the hope.

Translated from the original French by Translating the printemps érable.

*Translating the printemps érable is a volunteer collective attempting to balance the English media’s extremely poor coverage of the student conflict in Québec by translating media that has been published in French into English.

These are amateur translations; we have done our best to translate these pieces fairly and coherently, but the final texts may still leave something to be desired. If you find any important errors in any of these texts, we would be very grateful if you would share them with us at translatingtheprintempsderable@gmail.com.

Please read and distribute these texts in the spirit in which they were intended; that of solidarity and the sharing of information.

May 16, 2012, by
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by Greta Papageorgiu

In this edition of 2 Minutes with Greta, Greta speaks with Ciara Adams from bluemouth inc. about Dance Marathon and immersive versus participatory theatre.

Dance Marathon runs May 18th and 19th at the Enwave Theatre as part of Harbourfront’s World Stage Festival get your tickets here.

Greta Papageorgiu is an actor, writer, teacher and director. She performs and teaches throughout Ontario and Quebec. Greta loves the theatre and hopes to share some of her love with you through 2 Minutes With Greta.

May 15, 2012, by
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by Michael Wheeler

Last fall I spent a bunch of time at Occupy Toronto and Occupy Wall St.

In Toronto, I marched in the streets as well as scheduling meetings in St. James Park with various Praxis collaborators (free wifi!). In NYC, I did a lot of reading in the library, reviewed Alan Filewod’s book Committing Theatre for rabble.ca, and went to some offsite meetings about how Occupy Wall St. was organizing itself online.

During all of this I had my camera-phone with me which I used to snap pics with throughout. Below is a gallery of the best 20  and one photo that someone else took and was spotted by a friend on Facebook. Thanks for sharing Kelly Ricketts!

Not sure what will happen to the movement now that the frost has lifted. Looking back at these made me remember that whatever happens will happen because we made it happen.

May 11, 2012, by
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Michael Wheeler & Krista Jackson. Photo by David Cooper

Since mid-February I have been working along with Krista Jackson as one of two Neil Munro Intern Directors at The Shaw Festival. The Theatre Ontario and Sun Life Financial sponsored program inserts us into three shows at the festival as assistant directors, as well as running sessions with the Shaw Academy. It concludes with The Directors Project: we choose a one-act from the Shaw Festival mandate and create with festival actors and designers.

Krista and I will present our top three picks for this text to a committee led by Program Director Eda Holmes in mid-June.  In early-July once the selection has been approved and confirmed, we discuss with the committee appropriate actors for specific roles who are then asked if they would like to volunteer to be part of our project. Rehearsals begin in August for invite-only presentations in September.

We both hope our thoughts as we go through this process will be interesting to theatre blog readers and thus we have elected to write the occasional co-blog on The Directors Project and what is going on with us at The Shaw Festival.

Click image to enlarge

Krista Jackson

April 27, 2012

Writing on a rainy afternoon in my little cottage in Niagara-on-the-Lake – Misalliance directed by Eda Holmes is in previews and we are in the thick of blocking His Girl Friday directed by Jim Mezon– the second of three shows I am assisting on.  I am staring at my pile of one act plays on my coffee table which includes the large red binder Neil Munro assembled of “good ones”, wondering which one to crack this afternoon. I have read nineteen so far bypassing the shows done in the director project’s recent past.

So what is swirling around in my head? Translations are always an issue with pieces that aren’t American or British, but at this point I’m not ruling out anyone. When chatting with ensemble members and stage managers about the project many have talked about comedies being preferable to work on – and see – by the end of a long season.  Still, I want to narrow it to three shows that excite me and make me ask the most questions.

Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre just celebrated Shaw in this year’s Master Playwrights Festival and I directed a production of Village Wooing for my company, zone41 theatre. So, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to do a Shaw again, but after working on the brilliant Misalliance I was seduced into reading some of his other one acts and have found one I really like.  Michael and I have made a pact to use both music interns Beau Dixon and Scott Christian to compose some original music for our shows, so I am also keeping that in mind as I read. A one act with multiple scenes perhaps? More reading to do…

Today I’ll dive into Feydeau, First to Last – a compilation of 8 one act farces. Bring on any suggestions – and thanks for reading!

Click image to enlarge

Michael Wheeler

May 4th 2012

So far the majority of my experience here has been working as an assistant director with Shaw Festival Artistic Director Jackie Maxwell on Ragtime at The Festival Theatre and with director Alisa Palmer on A Man and Some Women at The Courthouse Theatre.

I am learning a ton  – it is a very different creative process when you are rehearsing a show for half-days over a two-month period with some of the best actors in the country. Not that Praxis actors aren’t some of the best in the country also, in fact Tim Buck 2 co-creator Ben Sanders stars in The Shaw Festival’s production of Misalliance, but I digress.

In terms of picking a one-act, so far my reading has begun with classics one would expect to read if picking a play written during Shaw’s lifetime (1856-1950). Shaw, Chekhov, Brecht, a little Synge and Coward.  I have already come up with a few texts that fascinate me. The size of cast is a question I am considering currently: Do I want to work with an ensemble or with a smaller cast on some really detailed work? Either way we get the same amount of rehearsal time. I think the answer to that question will inform my eventual choices for texts and the process that we work with.

In any case, look forward to more specific posts as the deadline approaches and I have to make some choices. I don’t intend to be too coy about the whole thing and will throw out some titles that I am considering next time around. Please feel free to leave us your thoughts and ideas about what to read next in the comments.

May 4, 2012, by
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The Harold Awards are on Monday night

The 2012 Harold Awards

Hosted by Caroline Gillis
With musical guests Blair Irwin and John Hughes on piano

Since 1995, The Harold Awards have come to represent the independent and hard-working spirit of Toronto’s vibrant theatre community – a kind of rabble-rousing alternative to the Dora Awards. Each year the innovators, instigators and architects of the Toronto theatre community descend upon a local establishment to honour our fellow devotees and to celebrate. The evening is riddled with giddy secrecy, as those about to be Harolded don’t know it.

To be Harolded is an honour of the highest subversive order. Awards are bestowed from one individual to the next in recognition of an outstanding and often under-recognized dedication on or off the stage. The Harolds is the only awards night of its kind – as unique as the man himself – an evening of surprise, pride and serious celebration.

Monday May 7th
8pm sharp
$10 at the door – cash only. (please bring a canned food item to donate)
El Mocambo 464 Spadina Avenue, Toronto, ON (just south of College)

Never miss the Harolds!
Jacoba Knaapen – Executive Director, Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts