Author: Praxis

July 12, 2014, by
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Katie Housley, Winner of the 2014 Toronto Fringe 24-Hour Playwriting Competition

Katie Housley Winner of the 2014 Toronto Fringe 24-Hour Playwriting Competition

WINNER OF THE 24 HOUR PLAYWRITING CONTEST, PRESENTED BY THE PLAYWRIGHTS GUILD OF CANADA:

Midnight on a Monday by Katie Housley

After an emotional day at work, an aspiring sitcom writer finds an unlikely ally in a subway station kiosk owner.

The play show will receive a staged reading to be directed by Praxis Theatre Artistic Director Michael Wheeler, performed by Kat Letwin and Susan Q Wilson.

Location: Tarragon Theatre Solo Room
Date: Sunday July 13th
Time: 9:30pm.

Katie is a recent graduate of the University College Drama Program at the University of Toronto. She was a member of the Paprika Festival’s New Writers Series this past Spring under the mentorship of Convergence Theatre’s Julie Tepperman. Selected acting credits include Teatron Theatre’s Seven Days, Toronto Fringe Festival’s Genesis and Other Stories by Rosamund Small, and Docket Theatre’s Performing Occupy Toronto. She has studied improvisation with the Second City Training Centre and classical acting with the American Conservatory Theater. Katie will be attending the Stella Adler Acting Conservatory in New York this coming Fall. Upcoming: She Kills Monsters at the Red Sandcastle Theatre.

2014 Jury:

Denise Norman, Graham Isador, Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, Barbara Fingerote, Renna Reddie, Jon Michaelson, Indrit Kasapi, Laura Anne Harris, Maya Rabinovitch, Merle Garbe.

Cast:

Kat Letwin - Headshot 2

Kat Letwin

Favourite stage roles include Acaste in The Misanthrope (Mirvish/the red light district), Mrs. Griggs in Sockdolager (The Templeton Philharmonic), Noaman in A Funeral For Clowns (Toronto Fringe 2012 Patron’s Pick), Princess/Michelle in Scheherazade (Next Stage Festival 2014), and Evelyn Marlow in Dark Matter (Circlesnake Productions). Kat has been featured on MTV’s Losing It, currently voices Dr. Ashfaq (Tall, Dark & Handsy) and Waggles Billingsworth (Money Dog) for Bite TV, and just finished her run of Rulers of the Universe: A Love Story at this year’s Toronto Fringe. She can be seen every month at Comedy Bar as co-host of Solo Combo, an experimental variety show for sketch comedians and improvisers.

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Susan Q Wilson

Since returning to acting in January 2010, Susan has demonstrated her versatility on stage and on camera. Selected theatre: Helen, Radical (Toronto Fringe 2014), Dahlia Day, I’m Still Here! (New Ideas Festival), Dowager Countess, Uptown Abbey (Mysteriously Yours), First Witch, Macbeth (Hart House Theatre), Jean Rhys, After Mrs. Rochester (Alumnae Theatre). Selected film/web: Esther, Senior Drivers (Dir: Gary Hayes), Maddy Miller, Out With Dad (Dir: Jason Leaver). Website

June 24, 2014, by
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*Winners in Bold

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Rosamund Small, writer of Vitals, Winner Outstanding New Play & Outstanding Production

OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION
All Our Happy Days Are Stupid Suburban Beast
Birth of Frankenstein Litmus Theatre
Ralph + Lina Ahuri Theatre with the support of Why Not Theatre and Theatre Smith Gilmour
TRUDEAU AND THE FLQ Presented by VideoCabaret in association with Soulpepper Theatre Co.
Vitals An Outside the March Production sponsored by Theatre Passe Muraille

OUTSTANDING NEW PLAY
Alanna Mitchell Sea Sick The Theatre Centre
Christina Serra, Michele Smith and Dan Watson Ralph + Lina Ahuri Theatre with the support of Why Not Theatre and Theatre Smith Gilmour
Litmus Theatre Collective Birth of Frankenstein Litmus Theatre
Rosamund Small Vitals An Outside the March Production sponsored by Theatre Passe Muraille
Sheila Heti All Our Happy Days Are Stupid Suburban Beast

OUTSTANDING DIRECTION
Chris Hanratty The Tin Drum: an original adaptation of the novel by Günter Grass UnSpun Theatre
David Ferry After Miss Julie The Red One Theatre Collective
Matthew Thomas Walker Birth of Frankenstein Litmus Theatre
Michael Hollingsworth TRUDEAU AND THE FLQ Presented by VideoCabaret in association with Soulpepper Theatre Co.
Mitchell Cushman Vitals An Outside the March Production sponsored by Theatre Passe Muraille

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE – MALE
Alex McCooeye Richard III Shakespeare in the Ruff
Craig Pike A NUMBER CART/HORSE THEATRE
Jakob Ehman Donors safeword
Mac Fyfe TRUDEAU AND THE FLQ Presented by VideoCabaret in association with Soulpepper Theatre Co.
Ron Pederson Pith! By Stewart Lemoine The Theatre Department

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE – FEMALE
Christina Serra Ralph + Lina Ahuri Theatre with the support of Why Not Theatre and Theatre Smith Gilmour
Claire Armstrong After Miss Julie The Red One Theatre Collective
Kate Hennig Rifles Praxis Theatre (presented by Next Stage)
Katherine Cullen Vitals An Outside the March Production sponsored by Theatre Passe Muraille
Naomi Wright A Room of One’s Own The Bloomsbury Collective

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE – ENSEMBLE
The Ensemble of All Our Happy Days Are Stupid Suburban Beast
The Ensemble of Passion Play by Sarah Ruhl Outside the March, Convergence Theatre, Sheep No Wool
The Ensemble of Ralph + Lina Ahuri Theatre with the support of Why Not Theatre and Theatre Smith Gilmour
The Ensemble of The Tin Drum: an original adaptation of the novel by Günter Grass UnSpun Theatre
The Ensemble of TRUDEAU AND THE FLQ Presented by VideoCabaret in association with Soulpepper Theatre Co.

OUTSTANDING SCENIC DESIGN
Anahita Dehbonehie Vitals An Outside the March Production sponsored by Theatre Passe Muraille
Camellia Koo The Wanderers Cahoots Theatre Company
Michael Spence The Sacrifice Zone Theatre Gargantua in association with The Uncertainty Principle
Rae Powell All Our Happy Days Are Stupid Suburban Beast
Sherri Hay YouTopia Vertical City Performance

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN
Anna Treusch The Tin Drum: an original adaptation of the novel by Günter Grass UnSpun Theatre
Astrid Janson TRUDEAU AND THE FLQ Presented by VideoCabaret in association with Soulpepper Theatre Co.
Catherine Hahn WEATHER THE WEATHER or how we make it home together Theatre Columbus
Michelle Bailey Passion Play by Sarah Ruhl Outside the March, Convergence Theatre, Sheep No Wool
R.Kelly Clipperton Dinner at Seven-Thirty Theatre Rusticle

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DESIGN
Dave DeGrow The Tin Drum: an original adaptation of the novel by Günter Grass UnSpun Theatre
Laird Macdonald The Sacrifice Zone Theatre Gargantua in association with The Uncertainty Principle
Michelle Ramsay Sister Mary’s a Dyke?! Cahoots Theatre Company
Michelle Ramsay The Wanderers Cahoots Theatre Company
Patrick Lavender Birth of Frankenstein Litmus Theatre

OUTSTANDING SOUND DESIGN/COMPOSITION
Beau Dixon Rifles Praxis Theatre (presented by Next Stage)
Christopher Stanton The Tin Drum: an original adaptation of the novel by Günter Grass UnSpun Theatre
John Millard WEATHER THE WEATHER or how we make it home together Theatre Columbus
Sound Design and Live Foley: John Gzowski/ Original Vocal Composition: Jacquie PA Thomas and the Ensemble The Sacrifice Zone Theatre Gargantua in association with The Uncertainty Principle
Thomas Ryder Payne Nightmare Dream IFT Theatre, Newface Entertainment

May 22, 2014, by
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Since 1995, The Harold Awards have come to represent the independent and hard-working spirit of Toronto’s vibrant theatre community. 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.

2013 House of Paul Bettis Haroldee, Maria Popoff remembers the man behind the mayhem:


If Harold were alive today he would be 108 years old … and no doubt he would still be heckling. His comments could be childish, adolescent, even crass, but they were never uttered as angry interruptions.

His participation was active, loud – you had your chance, it’s my turn now Harold was never passive. He said things that some people in the audience might have wanted to say but would never dare to say.

His presence always made for a lively evening of theatre. The boundary between him and the stage didn’t exist. His effort to pierce the theatrical bubble didn’t degrade the quality of the actors work…as long as they knew beforehand that Harold was in the house.

And, night after night, Harold kept coming back to the theatre, seeing the same show more than once. He was a loyal supporter and there was never a question about his passion or dedication to the theatre.

I am told that “Audience Engagement” is the term used these days to describe the desire to want theatre attendees to participate in the experience, making it active and not passive.

Harold was certainly ahead of his time.


NEW THIS YEAR – in recognition of the Twentieth Anniversary of the Harold Awards, the event producers, in their infinite wisdom, will allow The People to put forward a name to be Harolded. The winner will be inducted into the hallowed halls of House Luther Hansraj!

YOU CAN VOTE HERE.

THE HAROLD AWARDS

Monday May 26
Doors at 7pm, event at 7:30pm
Appetizer buffet included with ticket, Cash bar
The Cadillac Lounge
1296 Queen St W, Toronto,

 

January 9, 2014, by
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Click image to read NOW cover story

Click image to read NOW cover story

Rifles

By Nicolas Billon, Starring Kate Hennig, Directed by Michael Wheeler

A Praxis Theatre production at The Next Stage Theatre Festival

In the midst of the Spanish Civil War, Senora Carrar refuses to pick sides: her husband died in combat and she’s determined to keep her two sons alive and out of the conflict. But as Franco’s army marches towards their village, her resolve is challenged.

Click here for tickets

Kate Hennig and Cyrus Lane

Kate Hennig and Cyrus Lane

Dates & Times:
Wednesday, January 8th, 9:30pm
Thursday, January 9th, 5:00pm
Saturday, January 11th, 2:30pm
Sunday, January 12th, 7:00pm
Monday, January 13th, 9:15pm
Wednesday, January 15th, 7:00pm
Thursday, January 16th, 5:00pm
Saturday, January 18th, 7:00pm
Sunday, January 19th, 9:30pm

 

Cast: Kate Hennig, Cyrus Lane, Araya Mengesha, Barbara Gordon, Hume Baugh, Philip Graeme, Zoe Sweet, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Matthew Hines
Original Composition: Beau Andrew Dixon
Set and Costume Designer: Erin Gerofsky
Lighting Designer: Rebecca Vandevelde
Stage Manager: Kat Chin

December 20, 2013, by
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Rifles webs banner 2

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Rifles Director Michael Wheeler and Producer Aislinn Rose in The Next Festival Program

Hello Praxis Friends,

Happy Holiday Season to everyone.

We are hard at work on our newest creation, Rifles as part of The Next Stage Theatre Festival this January at The Factory Theatre in Toronto.

In the midst of the Spanish Civil War, Senora Carrar refuses to pick sides: her husband died in combat and she’s determined to keep her two sons alive and out of the conflict. But as Franco’s army marches towards their village, her resolve is challenged.

Performances Times:

Wed Jan 8 9:30pm, Thu Jan 9 5:00pm, Sat Jan 11 2:30pm, Sun Jan 12 7:00pm, Mon Jan 13 9:15pm, Wed Jan 15 7:00pm, Thu Jan 16 5:00pm, Sat Jan 18 7:00pm, Sun Jan 19 9:30pm

BuyTickets_Button

nicolas_billon

Rifles playwright Nicolas Billion. Winner of the 2013 Governor General’s Award for Drama.

This new adaptation is based on Brecht’s little-known masterpiece, Senora Carrar’s Rifles, written in 1937, which Michael directed last year as his Shaw Festival Director’s Project.

This is Nicolas’ first script for the stage since winning The 2013 Governor General’s Award for Drama for his trilogy Fault Lines.

Look for more about the show in this space leading up to the show in January.

Rifles
Playwright: Nicolas Billon
Director: Michael Wheeler
Producer: Aislinn Rose
Cast: Kate Hennig, Cyrus Lane, Araya Mengesha, Barbara Gordon, Hume Baugh, Philip Graeme, Zoë Sweet, Wade Bogert-O’Brien, Matthew Hines
Original Composition: Beau Dixon
Set and Costume Designer: Erin Gerofsky
Lighting Designer: Rebecca Vandevelde

December 12, 2013, by
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2013-12-09 20.26.26

HATCH artistic teams, Harbourfront Centre Communications staff and us, getting together for a little pre-season potluck

As we announced earlier this year, Praxis Theatre is guest-curating Harbourfront Centre’s 2014 HATCH season of new performance experiments. As curators, we were particularly interested in looking at projects that would include experiments in how social media can be included in the development and/or performance of new works.

We’re very happy to say that we have selected our artists for 2014, and while Harbourfront Centre will be launching an awesome new web portal for these artists and their work at HATCH in January 2014, we’re providing you with a sneak peek today of who they are and what they’ll be working on over the next 5 months.

We invite you to take a look, and even engage with their projects online as they develop.


Week #1:
#legacyRob Kempson – Core Artist

Why do we yearn to leave a legacy behind? #legacy features Twitter and three women over the age of 65 who are looking to make the most of it.

This interactive performance project brings three women over the age of 65 up-close and personal with social media in general–and the Twitterverse in particular–in order to consider how we might leave a lasting impression—and how it should be hashtagged.

Follow the ladies on Twitter:

@judith_dove
@Joan_Belford2
@McCroq


Week #2:
BroadFishMelissa D’Agostino – Core Artist

What happens when the promise of a perfect future hangs on the one thing out of your grasp?

BroadFish is a live theatre experiment by acclaimed performer Melissa D’Agostino that integrates folktales, music, improvisation, and motion pictures to explore the thin line between reality and fantasy, relationships and romance, and the power of myth in our everyday lives. By plunging into the wild world of female stereotypes, BroadFish considers traditional attitudes toward relationships, happiness, and romance, investigating how they’ve evolved and degenerated through the Internet, social media, and digital technology.


Week #3:
The Ballad of _______ BFrancisco-Fernando Granados – Core Artist

The Ballad of _______ B brings together a young refugee’s obsession with opera diva Maria Callas and the queerness of the imagination to centre stage.

The performance is conceived as a character study of _______ B, a once “clean-cut, fresh-faced 18-year-old” refugee whose story appears as a vocabulary lesson in the pages of an instructional ESL book. This work marks a radical departure for artist Francisco-Fernando Granados, from action-based, conceptual approaches to experimental explorations that incorporate digital media, narrative, and recitation.


Week #4:
Faster than Night – Digital BlackBox: Vanessa Shaver, Pascal LangdaleAlison Humphrey – Core Artists

Social media billionaire Caleb Smith is on a mission. Racing against a terrible terminal illness, he is embarking on a deep space voyage with the secret goal of cheating time and death. But when something goes horribly wrong, can you help make a gut-wrenching life-or-death decision?

Newly formed Digital BlackBox blends live performance with real-time 3D animation and audience interaction to hone a new approach to storytelling, the first of its kind in the world. The company includes RADA-trained actor, writer, and performance-capture specialist Pascal Langdale; writer, director, and 2009 Elliot Hayes Award-Winner Alison Humphrey; creative producer Vanessa Shaver; and executive producer Jo Singh Brar.

November 17, 2013, by
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On Monday Dec 18 all 308 MPs will receive this invitation.

On Monday Dec 18 all 308 Members of Parliament will receive this invitation. CLICK TO ENLARGE

After 34 acclaimed performances of You Should Have Stayed Home in Whitehorse, Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, we conclude our tour in Ottawa on November 20th. It is our hope some of our nation’s elected representatives will join us onstage on opening night.

The production will have a reception on Parliament Hill, the same day as this performance. We are extremely grateful to The Honourable Andrew Cash, Member of Parliament for Davenport, for organizing this event where MPs of all stripes can meet us and discuss the opportunity.

Reception for You Should Have Stayed Home on Parliament Hill

3pm-4pm Wednesday November 20th, 2013.

Centre Block: Room 601

Winner of The SummerWorks Arts Professional Award

Reviews: NOW MagazineGeorgia Straight 

Hundreds of Canadians have already stood up for civil liberties in a safe and creative way by participating in a short scene in the middle of the show. Before each performance we’ve led a discussion about Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms and how it’s been significantly weakened by G20 Toronto – a period Ontario Ombudsman Andre Marin called, “The most massive compromise of civil liberties in Canadian history.

We hope Members of Parliament will be inspired by this level of engagement by  ordinary citizens across Canada, and also stand up for civil liberties.

We have already confirmed participation by a few MPs, and we’re hoping for more. We’re encouraging MPs from all political parties to join us. Civil liberties are not a partisan issue. Everyone from libertarians, to socialists, to all of those in between, can find rare common ground on this subject. This important consensus can be communicated theatrically.

If you are an MP:

Please get in touch by email: MP@praxistheatre.com.

If you are not an MP, but live in Ottawa and would like to join us onstage:

Please get in touch by email: participate@praxistheatre.com.

If you are not an MP, but you would like to see your MP participate:

Please send them this post. If you tweet to them, be sure to use #G20Romp. Also, be sure to be nice.

Consider sharing this post on Facebook or whatever other social network you use.

Only through real momentum will we fully realize this goal.  We are so darn close and we need your help.

November 13, 2013, by
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nicolas_billon

 

A sincere congratulations goes out to playwright Nicolas Billon, who has just been announced as the winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. Billon’s collection of plays FAULT LINES was published by Coach House Books earlier this year, and includes the award-winning plays Greenland and Iceland.

Rifles will premier in January, 2014 at the Next Stage Theatre Festival

Rifles will premier in January, 2014 at the Next Stage Theatre Festival

This announcement comes at a particularly exciting time for Praxis Theatre. We have recently begun a collaboration with Billon on a new work called Rifles. The play will be an original adaptation of Brecht’s Spanish Civil War ‘Call to Arms’ Senora Carrar’s Rifles, which Michael directed as a Shaw Festival Director’s Project last year.

We’re happy to be premiering this piece as part of Toronto Fringe’s Next Stage Theatre Festival this coming January. Having produced 6 Fringe shows over the last 10 years, we’re pleased to continue our association with such an important part of the Toronto theatre ecology.

Rifles will be presented as part of Next Stage on the Factory Theatre Mainstage from January 8th to 19th. Tickets go on sale soon.

October 21, 2013, by
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Praxis continues its partnership with The Canadian Civil Liberties Association to use our play as an access point to contribute to the broader discourse surrounding civil liberties in Canada.

The CCLA has messaged members through email and social media encouraging participation in staging the play, and has partnered with us to create panel discussions on broader issues facing civil liberties in a number of the cities we are travelling to.

This Tuesday, following the 8pm performance of #G20Romp, we will continue the discussion about G20 Toronto with a discussion of many of the issues the play raises. Years after the largest mass arrest in Canadian history there are many unanswered questions, developments, and non-developments with regards to police actions at the Summit.

Last week, CCLA published: “Take back the streets”: Repression and criminalization of protest around the world. We look forward to a robust discussion of the issues facing protest and dissent.

Edited Logo with text

Click here to buy tickets.

Click here to buy tickets.

Civil liberties and protest in post-G20 Toronto

Aki Studio Theatre @ Daniels Spectrum – 585 Dundas Street East.

Tuesday October 22nd: Show @ 8pm  panel @ 9:30pm.

@PraxisTheatre will be livetweeting the discussion on Twitter via #G20Romp

Moderated by: 

Praxis Theatre Artistic Director Michael Wheeler

Panelists:

Abby Deshman – CCLA: Director, Public Safety Program

Abby-Deshman-headshot

Abby graduated from University of Toronto faculty of law in 2008 and has an LLM from New York University law school. She has been a program director with the Canadian Civil Liberties Association for four years, and is currently the director of the public safety program. Her program area touches on all aspects of CCLA’s work on criminal justice, police powers, police accountability and privacy.

Leading up to the G20 she coordinated CCLA’s advocacy efforts on policing and protest, and during the meetings she led a team of independent observers monitoring police conduct. She interacts regularly with police forces across the country on issues of protest and policing and oversees the CCLA’s involvement in the struggle for post-G20 accountability.

On Tuesday, she will begin the day by heading up to OPP Police College to give a lecture to new Public Order Unit Commanders on protest rights.

Jan Borowy – Cavalluzzo

Jan BorowyJan Borowy’s practice areas include labour relations, human rights, pay equity and professional regulation. Jan brings to her practice a longstanding commitment to the promotion of workers’ rights and human rights. Her experience gives her an understanding of the importance of a clear strategy in union negotiations, campaigns, strikes, organizing and educational programs.

Jan is the former Research Co-ordinator at the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union, where her work focused on a campaign for fair wages and working conditions for garment home-workers. She further developed her advocacy skills as the Worker’s Rights Community legal worker at Parkdale Community Legal Services. At law school, Jan developed an expertise in Aboriginal law and issues facing Aboriginal workers.

Jan’s experience within the firm has included close involvement in the representation of private sector and public sector workers before labour arbitrators, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, the Pay Equity Tribunal and the Ontario and Canadian Labour boards. Jan is a member of the Canadian Association of Labour Lawyers and the Canadian and Ontario Bar Associations.

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Tommy Taylor – Writer/Performer: You Should Have Stayed Home

Tommy is a theatre artist, activist and NGO fundraiser living in Toronto. Recently Tommy was assistant director/video designer on The Belle of Winnipeg (Dora Winner), adaptor/director of Dear Everybody at the CanStage Festival of Ideas and Creation and director of Kayak at The SummerWorks Festival. He is a graduate of the Centre for Cultural Management (University of Waterloo/ CCCO), The Vancouver Film School and Humber College’s Community Arts Development Program.

Tommy was arrested (but never charged) and detained during the 2010 G20 Summit in Toronto. He has since turned his account of the experience into You Should Have Stayed Home. The show is on a cross-Canada tour for Fall 2013, playing in Whitehorse, Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa.

October 18, 2013, by
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Tommy Taylor interviewed about You Should Have Stayed Home: A #G20Romp on The Rush

Click here to buy tickets.

Click here to buy tickets.

*50% of tickets for 2pm shows are reserved for Pay What You Can at the door.

Toronto, Ontario: Aki Theatre, 585 Dundas St. E. Phone: 416 531 1402:

Thu October 17, 2013 @ 8pm (Preview); Fri October 18, 2013 @ 8pm (Opening); Sat October 19, 2013 @ 2pm & 8pm; Sun October 20, 2013 @ 2pm;

Tue October 22, 2013 @ 8pm; Wed October 23, 2013 @ 8pm; Thu October 24, 2013 @ 8pm; Fri October 25, 2013 @ 8pm; Sat October 26, 2013 @ 2pm & 8pm