Praxis Theatre is currently on hiatus! Please find co-founders Aislinn Rose and Michael Wheeler at The Theatre Centre and SpiderWebShow, respectively.

Date: 2008 January

January 31, 2008, by

Two cool-sounding play readings coming up:

1) Tonight @ 8pm @ The Tarragon Theatre’s Near Studio

Best/Before Theatre is reading Natalia Goodwin’s There You Go And Here You Are – directed and dramaturged by Cole J. Alvis.

Cast: Carrie Hage, Brandon Thomas, Assumpta Michaels, Nadiya Chettiar, Ryan G. Hinds and William Poulin.

Click here for more info on this reading.

2) Monday, February 4 @ 8pm @ The Concord Café

Please join Praxis Theatre for the next entry in our series of original play readings. This month, we are pleased to present Taylor Sutherland’s The Sand Factory.

Cast: Shaun McComb, Greta Papageorgiu, Ross McKie, Justin Friesen, Cayle Chernin.All are welcome.

For more information, please contact Laura Nordin.

What a great way to spent a couple of wintery nights in Toronto. Hope to see you there!

January 29, 2008, by

The final entry in our Montreal-focused interview series by Praxis Theatre Associate Artist Greta Papageorgiu.

1) What does Montreal mean to you?
Montreal is a living city. An old piece of the new world. I love its history and share a bit of its heartbreak. Its multicultural diversity, European flavour and Canadian lifestyle makes Montreal one of the best cities in the world.

2) How did you end up moving to Montreal and building Theatre Ste. Catherine with your bare hands?
On a cold winter night there was a fire that destroyed the building. As there had been no insurance it sat in near complete disuse until such time as I happened to inherit. I was on a tight budget, so the demolition and rebuilding took five years.

3) Your free improv classes have a huge following among the actors here in Montreal. How did they come about?
They’re free so . . . that’s cool and of course they are a lot of fun, but mostly because there is a skill to improv that can be observed and crafted.

4) How did Keith Johnstone and the Loose Moose Theatre in Calgary influence your approach to theatre?
The magic is in the method and the depth of understanding. Improvisation is not comedy. Improvisation is a philosophy that can unlock your mind and imagination. At a point we learned that I didn’t even need a theatre and performed to people on streets and outdoor festivals all over the world.

5) What are TheatreSports?
Theatre Sports is team on team competitive improv. First created in Calgary at the Loose Moose Theatre, TheatreSports and improv comedy is now popular all over the world as direct result of Keith Johnstone’s work and forms the basis of similar improv groups such as Canadian Improv Games and League National D’ Improvisation.

6) Can you teach someone to be funny?
Define funny.

7) Any words of wisdom from your twelve years as a street performer?
A smile goes a long, long way.

8) What advice do you have for someone just starting to run an independent theatre space?
Get some friends.

9) Where would you like to see Theatre Ste. Catherine in 25 years?
Still open and teaching a whole new generation of people.

10) If you had a million dollar no-strings-attached production budget, what would you do with it?
Hmm…I have to keep some secrets.

January 22, 2008, by
1 comment

Toronto-based actor Beatriz Yuste
spotted here leaving Swan Restaurant.
Yuste then hailed a cab.

Spotted any hot theatre talent out and about
in your neighbourhood?
Send us your starstruck theatre photos:
January 15, 2008, by

The series concludes:

95) Where are the new forms of theatre that give way to exciting changes and that shock and titillate?

96) Are we simply recycling bad ideas?

97) The heart of exploring what one bottles up and censors.

98) Theatre is stymied by the fact that it is an insider’s game that rewards connections over merit.

99) Theatre ought to get its game face on, as there is a lot of competition for entertainment dollars.

100) Nobody is going to give you a medal for being poor.

101) Theatre is being comfortable with asking those uncomfortable questions.

Well? That’s it.

Praxis Theatre’s 101 sentences about theatre. Thanks to everyone who contributed to this project, including Andrew Zadel, Danny Waugh, David Galpern, Greta Papageorgiu, Ian Mackenzie, James Murray, Jo Chim, Laura Nordin, Leah Wahl, Meredith Scott, Michael Wheeler, Paul Hardy, Shaun McComb, Simon Rice and Tania McCartney.

And thanks again to George Hunka, whose 95 sentences about theatre was the inspiration behind this project.

Click here for the series introduction and for the complete list of 101 sentences.

So. What are we going to talk about now?

January 14, 2008, by

Here’s a quick follow-up to a discussion that’s happening in the comments section of our interview with Ryan McMahon. For your reference, a list of 10 contemporary First Nations comedians (provided by Mr. McMahon, and in no particular order):

  1. Don Kelly
  2. Don Burnstick
  3. Gerry Barrett
  4. Charlie Hill
  5. James & Ernie
  6. Jim Ruel
  7. Craig Lauzon
  8. Mark Yaffee
  9. Drew Lacapa
  10. Ryan McMahon

That’d be one hell of a ticket!

January 10, 2008, by

The series continues:

90) Theatre is the medium that requires the most cooperation and the most conflict.

91) Movies are better than theatre because they can reach a wider audience.

92) Theatre is better than movies because each show only happens once.

93) Think about it.

94) Is it possible to understand theatre that’s performed in a language I don’t speak?

Click here for the series introduction and for a complete list of sentences so far.

January 8, 2008, by

Graeme Gerrard takes to Toronto’s gay village in drag to promote his new play.

Small town theatre artist Graeme Gerrad has gamely answered Praxis Theatre’s call for guest bloggers. In a series of posts, Gerrard has been documenting the production of his company’s new play Going Back In & Getting Dragged Out – which premieres at Toronto’s Factory Theatre this January.

Finding audiences is a real drag
By Graeme Gerrard
Going Back In & Getting Dragged Out opens in less than two weeks. We’ve resumed rehearsals since our holiday break to the expected hazards of the occasional forgotten line, but the cast has really gelled in terms of chemistry.

Although rehearsals had been on temporary hiatus, the promotion of the play and distribution of the book has not slowed down at all. I’m happy to say the book is now available in Toronto at both Theatre Books (11 St. Thomas Street) and This Ain’t The Rosedale Library (483 Church Street).

In order to promote the play, my assistant director, Cody Rus, and I hit the gay village this weekend to spread the word in drag.

We offered people the chance to win a copy of the play by putting on some of our drag queen costumery. Some scoffed. Others were already putting on the faux-fur. What’s even more exciting is we’ll be back next weekend for more town-crying.

For more opportunities to win, tune in to Proud FM (103.9) afternoons on the week of January 7th for a chance to win your tickets to the Factory Studio performances of Going Back In & Getting Dragged Out.

In the mean time there still is the matter of getting the play on its feet.

January 3, 2008, by

The series continues:

85) The best theater happens unplanned.

86) True theatre experience: I clenched my fists and alternated between wanting to fall asleep and wanting to scream.

87) Theatre is not now, nor has it ever been, in trouble.

88) The tingle in my arm hair when theatre transcends the gap between performer and spectator – to be truly challenged and truly included even for a split second.

89) You have to want to make the other person feel good.

Click here for the series introduction and for a complete list of sentences so far.