News from t.theatrosphere
by Michael Wheeler
* Strombo lays it down. I’ll be honest: I don’t watch alot of Strombo – what with him running concurrently at 11pm with the two greatest political satirists of our age – but you gotta hand it to him for this monologue on what will happen to internet access in Canada if the CRTC’s current ruling is implemented, what’s behind it, and how you can get involved on the side of OpenMedia.
*Someone let Richard Florida back in the building! Maybe it’s gauche to link to my own interview – but I just suggested to NOW Magazine’s Jon Kaplan that the best thing about cultural policy in Toronto under Rob Ford was that we finally had an opportunity to move beyond the widely discredited ‘Creative Economy‘ theories espoused by Richard Florida that gained prominence during the David Miller administration. Guess not: Last week Florida was announced as advisor to a new City Hall panel to update Toronto’s culture plan called The Creative Capital Initiative. Something tells me we might have another ‘cultural renaissance’ on our hands. More on this as it develops – there are some smart people on the panel.
* Canadian Actors’ Equity Association (CAEA) and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) have announced a new trial program geared at creating a reasonable way to contract new play creation. I know, you’re bored already. If you make new plays in Canada don’t be. The Tangerine Contract has the potential to fundamentally change the way you create work – dividing the process into four creation stages and providing the option to work by the hour instead of by the week. More news on this as it develops. Fingers crossed that this trial goes well and that artists, producers, and artist/producers enjoy working under it.
* Theatre 20 announced their intention to take the success of musical theatre in Toronto into their own hands: 20 established musical theatre artists from multiple generations have come together to start their own company that will create homegrown hits. Looks like they are getting some assistance from the Mirvishes including use of the Panasonic Theatre on Yonge St. It seems like this will go somewhere. I wonder if they will use the Tangerine Contract to make new works?
* The Tarragon Theatre opened the Toronto Stock Exchange? Yep it’s true. One good thing about theatre people is that they are very good at clapping.
* Luminato Artistic Director Chris Lorway announced he is stepping down. No word yet on what that means for the festival or what comes next. I for one am bummed about this as Chris was always quite supportive of this website and my work – even though praxistheatre.com gained some of its credibility and noteriety from a series of posts about the high degree of B.S. that led to the creation of Luminato in the first place. Proof that a structural, policy-based debate need not be a personal one.