Playing in a private backyard in Barrie, Ont. Sept. 30-Oct. 1, 2020.

Part of The Plural of She Festival.

Created and performed by Malindi Ayienga

This was the first performance of a world premiere of Justice for Malindi Ayienga by Malindi Ayienga, a wonderfully talented theatre-maker.

She created and performs  the show.

Malindi Ayienga appears gently holding a wrapped bundle of something to her chest. She carefully kneels and puts the bundle on the floor of the porch and delicately unwraps three vibrant pieces of material, revealing many notebooks and other kinds of books. She straightens out the material and places the books in an ordered way along the surface. We learn these are the diaries she kept/keeps beginning in 2007 when she was 10 and in Grade 5.

Malindi Ayienga says her mother is white and her father is Kenyan. She is therefore of mixed race. She tells her story by referencing the various diaries she kept over time.  She reads from them with youthful joy but with twinges of insight, even subtext.  She talks about the various friends she has and that one of them says that she can’t play with her. Ayienga thinks that perhaps it’s because she’s black. She slides over that line with delicacy and quickness but you are pricked by that stinging information.

She tells us again reading from her diaries of a crush she had on a boy and how he broke her heart, but then he treated her well so she changed her mind. Like any young person she forgave him and yearned for him to like her.

You get a sense that sometimes she didn’t know where she fit in. But her awakening came when she went to Kenya to see her father’s family and learn about those roots. She was considered white in Kenya because her mother was white. In Canada she was considered black because her skin is black. You can imagine how these perceptions could play with a person’s head.

Ayienga learned that in Kenya if a young girl had her period the girl was shamed by having to sit at the back of the classroom, on a bench covered in sand.  A girl would be shamed by her mother as well and told to go to the river to wash her bloody undergarments.  So rather than this being treated as a natural thing, the girl was shamed.

Ayienga heard of one young girl who committed suicide from the humiliation of menstruating because she was not taught about this normal bodily function by their mothers or teachers. In the telling of this segment Ayienga was overcome with emotion.

And Malindi Ayienga’s political awareness, her moral fiber and compassion were developed there in Kenya as well. She decided that she would tell young girls that getting their period was a natural bodily function for young women and nothing to be ashamed of. Her father translated for her into Kiswahili so the girls would understand.  Ayienga said you could see just by someone telling them of this natural function that they didn’t feel shame any more.

She and a group of friends co-founded Diva Day International to fund-raise and send Diva Cups to Kenya for when girls got their periods so they did not have to be ostracised. Ayienga’s tenacity with all the things that could go wrong with such an endeavor makes you shake your head in amazement at the resolve of one so young.  

She talks of being a ‘foreigner’ in Kenya and her efforts to find her place there. She explored  aspects in her life that are similar to that of the women in Kenya.  Because she is so eloquent a theatre creator, so poetic a writer about things that are tough and hard to hear, she embraces the audience and conveys what it must be like to be searching for ways to fit into the worlds she lives in.

She talks about racism without preaching. She notes that we all could and should do better. She says it with grace and generosity. She notes that no one can decide or tell you who you are by the colour of your skin, whether black or white. I loved the writing of the piece and so wished it was published because you want to refer to such wisdom again and again.

It speaks volumes that folks came out for this production they were so hungry for theatre,  because it was raining, rather hard at times. We were protected by the overhang of the porch. While Malindi Ayienga was microphoned, part of the dialogue was pre-recorded and the volume could/should be adjusted because occasionally the sound made the dialogue muddy. I’m sure this will be adjusted because what she has to say is too important to miss.

Malindi Ayienga is a gifted performer—I’ve been mighty impressed with her work in You and I and The Adventure of Pinocchio. She is an impassioned voice for “Black Lives Matter”—her YouTube segment in June on this subject was raw, emotional and shattering. She has something important to say and it’s clear in Justice for Malindi Ayienga. We would be wise to listen.  

I am so glad I saw the very first show of this wonderful piece.

Please check the Talk is Free Website for the schedule of The Plural of She Festival.

www.tift.ca

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I’ve written about Brenda Robins before in this series of articles. When theatres are open Brenda is usually on one of the stages. But she also makes terrific pillows of vintage materials.

She and some friends are organizing a two day ‘festive market’ hosted by Soulpepper and the Young Centre to take place sometime at the end of Nov/early Dec. But they need people with these ‘side gigs’ to participate. If this is you, please contact Brenda Robins at the coordinates below.

The initiative is called Solitary Refinement 2020. (love that). Here are the details:

Solitary Refinement 2020

Artists Market

 Soulpepper and the Young Centre will be hosting an indoor, two-day festive market (dates TBA but sometime at the end of Nov/ early Dec)! 

Spots are limited, for Covid reasons, but if you or someone you know has a side-gig ( baked goods, jewellery, crafts, weaving, painting- the possibilities are endless!!) and would like to sell at this market, please let us know!  We are trying to be mindful of duplicate vendors, so for the moment we are only taking names and what you are creating until we can sort it out. We will try to accommodate as many as safely as possible!

It should be noted that should conditions regarding Covid change for the worse, this market could be pushed till Spring. 

Please contact Brenda Robins at brerobins@hotmail.com if you are interested in participating.


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Here are events you might be interested in:

Tues. Sept. 29. These Are the Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad.

The title says it all. And it’s a joy. Jane Miller leads us from song to song.

Part of The Plural of She Festival.

Live in private backyards, in Barrie, Ont.

www.tift.ca

Wed. Sept. 30-Oct. 1 Justice for Malindi Ayienga

Malindi Ayienga tells us who she is and what she stands for in this totally improvised show. The woman has a huge heart.

Part of The Plural of She Festival.

Live in private backyards, in Barrie, Ont.

www.tift.ca

Fri. Oct. 2-3. The Cure for Everything

Maja Ardal’s creation about Elsa at 15 who has to grow up quickly in the face of a nuclear threat.

Part of The Plural of She Festival.

Live in private backyards, in Barrie, Ont.

www.tift.ca

Oct. 3-4 E-Transfers

What do love and money have in common? Gabe Maharjan and Merlin Simard show us.  

Part of The Plural of She Festival.

Live in private backyards, in Barrie, Ont.

www.tift.ca

Oct. 3-4  Dusk Dances In High Park

A Canadian Stage initiative.

www.canadianstage.com

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Presented in High Park at the Canadian Stage Amphitheatre, Toronto, Ont.

Dance in High Park

Week 1: Solo in High Park (Sept. 26-27, 2020)

This is an appreciation of the artists who are participating in Dance In High Park. I would not presume to review this artform since dance and its language are not my forte.

Canadian Stage is presenting three different dance programs over three weekends outdoors. It’s listed as pay-what-you-can, but in fact it’s fee. You can make a donation on line to show you appreciation.

This first week was co-curated by Seika Boye and Timea Wharton-Suri. The show was a program that offered a gentle introduction of various dance styles to the audience. House dancer, Raoul Wilke started off the show. House dancing is a particular style of dance started in the 1980s (and yes I looked it up—grateful to this show for making me curious).  The style’s main characteristic is “Jacking” where the torso interprets the variations of the music. Wilke chose music that referred to inner pain. The dance seemed to move through that into finally a joyous finish.

Carmen Romero is an award-winning flamenco dancer who performed Mi Amapola, a dance commemorating life and death. You knew that ever twist of her wrists, the sharp, crisp snaps of her heels on the stage and even the flick of her dress all expressed a thought and had meaning.

Sam Grist, resplendent in an orange top and shorts, performed a whimsical, exuberant send-up of dance that blurred the lines of theatre, dance and comedy. It was choreographed by Alyssa Martin.

Finally Travis Knights blasted onto the stage tap-dancing in routines that challenged each other and also expressed the joy of dancing. It seemed his feet were expressing so many emotions, each clear. No extensive commentary was needed. Just an open-hearted appreciation of the work. He said to the crowd: “I’ve missed you!”  

I loved that there were almost 100 people properly scattered over the terraced hill watching these dancers. I loved that there were many children there as well.

Two more weekends of dance will follow:

Week 2: Dusk Dances in High Park (Oct. 3-4 at 2pm)

Week 3: Red Sky in High Park (Oct. 9 at 5:30 pm, Oct. 9 at 1 and 4 pm, Oct. 11 at 1 pm.

This is a wonderful initiative of Canadian Stage. Be mindful that High Park is closed to cars on the weekend. You can get to the Canadian Stage Amphitheatre, by biking or walking (lovely walk)

www.canadianstage.com

These Are the Songs That I Sing When I’m Sad.

Part of the Plural of She Festival (from Talk Is Free Theatre), Barrie, Ont.

Performed in the backyard of a private residence in Barrie, Ont. Sept. 28 and 29 at 6:00 pm.

Created by Jane Miller and Brian Quirt

Directed by Brian Quirt

Performed by Jane Miller

A charming, insightful,  joyful exploration of songs we turn to when we are blue.

This is the perfect show for these times when we are sad about the world, what we can and cannot do because of the pandemic, are missing friends, family and some kind of normalcy.

Jane Miller is a really gifted singer-song-writer-performer-musician. She and her equally gifted director-collaborator, Brian Quirt, created this show about the songs “she turns to when she’s blue, exploring the musical elements that make so many sad songs so addictive.”

Miller begins with Adele’s plaintive song of lost love “Someone Like You.” Miller did a search on many search engines for lists of sad songs and “Someone Like You” was on many of them. Not content with just singing a group of sad songs, Miller explores the minutiae that make the song sad and why we cling to them.  She cites studies from the U.K, McGill University and a study in British Columbia  that explore the emotional, psychological and even physical manifestation of the song. Some songs cause goose-bumps—and Miller is careful to note that the more skin that is exposed, the more the goose-bumps. The questions that Quirt asked Miller in the show’s preparation gives a special look at the creation of a show to which we often aren’t privy.

The Beatles wonderful song, “Let It Be” makes Miller’s list, as does one from Phil Collins. It’s an interesting, eclectic mix. Miller offers moments in her life when the various songs were needed to get her through those emotional times. The songs varied with the occasion. And while the reason for the song is clear in the title, the show is a joyous look at how music gets us through those sad times and why we hold them close to us. She engages the audience as well to offer their go-to song in such moments.

Miller always seems to be questioning and digging deeply into a song. She referenced “Nearer My God To Thee” the hymn sung on the Titanic. She then sang a few chords of Adele’s “Someone Like You.” They are the same. Who knew! One needs to go to Barrie, Ontario to find out such secrets.

www.tift.ca

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Leave it to Arkady Spivak, Artistic Producer of Talk Is Free Theatre, in Barrie, Ont. to come up with yet another initiative to employ, stretch, challenge and help theatre people. This initiative is BIG and it’s brilliant. Read on.

Resistance and Change – A Grant for Theatre Artists      View this email in your browser ARTIST BASIC INCOME GUARANTEE (“BIG”)
PILOT PROJECT Brief Description The TIFT Artist BIG Project is a pilot project designed to offer a number of Artists (approximately 20) a minimum annual income guarantee each year, for a three-year period. The income would be earned through the Artist being engaged on various and separate projects with TIFT throughout the year, as determined by TIFT’s Artistic Producer (“AP”) and the individual Artist together. TIFT would guarantee that the Artist is able to earn enough in fees from the separate independent contracts with TIFT each year to at least equal the minimum annual income guarantee. One of the goals of the BIG Project is the exploration of a new operating system, through action research, that would offer artists and theatre companies a more sustainable and effective paradigm in which to create theatre.
  A more detailed description of the program is available HERE. Please also follow this link to sign up for informational webinars on October 5 and 7, 2020. Call for Proposals Artist BIG is intended for theatre professionals who are currently deriving/seeking the majority of their work as actors, but are interested and excited about diversifying their artistic portfolios and/or professional functions within an artistic organization, with the goal of providing them a more stable, sustainable existence within the world of professional theatre.
  Application Requirements:
  1. Please send a 250-word personal statement that contains: A brief discussion about three artistic opportunities that would scare you the most and why. Please be bold. This could be directing your first play, or creating a piece that is unlike anything the art form has experienced, for example. One way in which you would like your artistic pursuits to change the world. (You will not necessarily be asked to put this into real-life action; this is for inspiration purposes only).  2. Please submit one or more artistic samples of your work that you are most passionate about, for a combined total of no more than 5 minutes. As an example, this can be a combination of contrasting songs, monologues, or even a scene you directed. These samples do not need to be freshly prepared. Please do not forget to include your role/function for the submitted material (For artists who were engaged in three previous TIFT productions, providing support material is optional).

3. Please include your resume.
The Ideal Applicant:
  Wants to see positive change in how the professional theatre industry functions. Is artistically adventurous, ambitious and risk-taking. Has previous work history in Barrie, Ontario (this is a preference, but not a requirement). Please direct any questions to artistbig@tift.caSubmissions are due no later than 5pm (EST) on October 23, 2020.

Late submissions cannot be accepted.

Please submit to artistbig@tift.ca.

Our goal is to notify all applicants about the results of their submissions by November 30, 2020.  Season Partner Operating Funding generously provided by: Copyright © 2020 TIFT, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a media contact of Talk Is Free Theatre.

Our mailing address is:
TIFTP.O. Box 247Barrie, On L4M 4T2 Canada
Add us to your address book

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Live in backyards of private homes in Barrie, Ont.

Continuing on with The Plural of She Festival of plays in Barrie, Ont.

Details for the rest of the festival: www.tift.ca

In Case We Disappear

Created and performed by Vanessa Smythe

A beautifully crafted, gently heartfelt production of memories and people held dear and eventually disappeared in the life of Vanessa Smythe.

Vanessa Smythe tells us that she and her younger brother (12 years younger than she is)  always had a fear of things disappearing: little gifts, people they loved  “suddenly being gone.” To keep the fear at bay Vanessa Smythe would calm her brother with silly, kooky stories etc. She has developed that idea of disappearing into a wonderful creation of a series of comedic stories, songs and poems. In so doing we also conjure up our own memories of things and loves that has quietly disappeared from our lives.

She tells of meeting a young man, a poet and falling deeply in love with his poetry, his spirit and the essence of him. She beautifully creates that instant intoxicating feeling that leaves one light-headed with euphoria. It’s that special feeling that has two people talking all night about everything, thinking that feeling will last forever, until the quick realization that it doesn’t. Even in the ending of such a beautiful ‘moment’ is said with a sweet wistfulness. At one point she says: “Love is even in good-bye.”

There is her encounter with a customer when she was a waitress. Her patience with him was impressive. The story was compelling because we weren’t sure where it was going or if it would end well. It’s to her credit that it took a twist so small and elegant it left one breathless.

 Vanessa Smythe is a sensitive, perceptive performer, a lyrical poet and a gifted writer. She has such grace and an affinity with her audience it’s as if we were breathing as one.

Ordinarily I would say that this lovely, gentle production is a reminder of what we have lost during this pandemic—going to the theatre and gathering to watch a play. But that is really not the case here since we gathered in a charming backyard to watch the vibrant, engaging Vanessa Smythe tell us stories, poems and songs about things that disappeared in her life. If that isn’t the joy of live theatre, then I don’t know what is.  This show was terrific.

In Case We Disappear played in a backyard of a private home, Sept. 25-26, 2020.

More details: www.tift.ca

Smart

Adapted and performed by Nicky Guadagni

Script by Rosemary Sullivan and Carolyn Smart

Directed by Edmund Stapleton

With Special thanks to Layne Coleman.

Canadian poet/novelist, Elizabeth Smart (1913-1986) lived a life that was emotionally huge, fraught with incident, passionate and fiercely unconventional.

She was born into privilege in Ottawa, Ontario. She began writing poetry when she was 10 years old. As soon as she could she left Ottawa for England to get away from the restrictive privilege. She discovered the poems of George Barker and fell in love with them and him (even before she actually met him). She was single-minded about meeting him and when she did she and he began a torrid affair. Never mind that he was already married.  Matters got messy. She wrote of the relationship in “By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept,” which was described as “One of the most passionate accounts of romantic love in modern English literature.”

In one short hour Nicky Guadagni beautifully reveals what has been described as “A compelling personal exploration of the romantic legend, passionate mother and transcendent Canadian writer Elizabeth Smart.”

Guadagni adapted the script by Rosemary Sullivan and Carolyn Smart. The writing is spare, smart and vivid. At one point Elizabeth Smart is described as “Twenty-three and terrified of missing her life.” Elizabeth Smart’s world is wrapped up in that simple sentence.

Guadagni makes her entrance as Elizabeth Smart and it’s at once quirky and careless: she wears a long baggy cardigan over a skirt. She wears trainers and socks. One sock is pulled up, the other bags around her ankle. I loved that detail.

Over the course of the show Guadagni as Smart putters in one of her seven gardens (she loved gardening), arranging pots, moving driftwood  hunks from one area to another, recalling memories. Guadagni’s delivery as Smart is quiet (although microphoned—we hear every word), confiding and self-contained. When Guadagni offers commentary, we know it’s she who is giving it and not Smart because the tone and body language slips away from Smart, and just as deftly switches back when Smart fills us in with her life. Edmund Stapleton directs this beautifully.

Guadagni offers a characterization of Elizabeth Smart, so full of conviction and loyalty to Barker (even when he didn’t return it in the same way), that we are not quick to be judgemental. It’s a performance full of nuance, sensitivity and detail. It’s a life obsessed with the love of Barker, her children and the compelling need to write and Guadagni reveals it all masterfully. Most important, she makes us want to find out more.

Smart played in the backyard of a private residence Sept. 26-27, 2020 in Barrie, Ont.

 For more details: www.tift.ca

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The Plural of She Festival

Performed in backyards of private residences in Barrie, Ont. Sept. 23-Oct. 4, 2020.

Having Hope: A Hand Drum Song Cycle

Created and performed by Nicole Joy-Fraser

Performed Sept. 23-24, 2020.

Wonderful, inclusive, welcoming. An incredible life journey of the performing artist Nicole Joy-Fraser. An important lesson of hope and tenacity in the life and practice of an Indigenous artist.

The Story and Production. Having Hope: A Hand Drum Song Cycle is part of The Plural of She Festival of plays created and performed by women and feminine-identifying artists. It’s curated by Maja Ardal—a terrific performer-writer in her own right—Her show The Cure For Everythingis part of the festival.

She’s taking a cheeky dig towards the English language when she calls the festival The Plural of She.  She reasons there is no distinctive plural of the word “She” in English. In ordinary times we would have used the plural “they.” But these aren’t ordinary times. Ardal frowns on using the word “they” because as she says: “’They’ is only now offered as the pronoun for many individuals on the gender spectrum.”

Sounds good to me.

Having Hope: A Hand Drum Song Cycle is written and performed by Nicole Joy-Fraser.

She and the show are terrific. She embraces her audience, welcomes them in what ever diversity is presented. She never assumes. Her story is one of hardship, a feeling of displacement, a seeking of who she is and full of her joy. Her curiosity about her roots and her seeking of her truth are quite astonishing. She is a gifted story-teller and the story squeezes your heart it’s so full of challenges.

She began the show with a drummed song of welcome, that welcomed the audience to the out-door space. She explains the song is sung in Anishinaabemowin. We learn she is Métis, part Cree part European, of the Bear Clan. She was put up for adoption by her birth parents so that she would have a better life. She was adopted by a white couple but her adoptive father introduced her to Indigenous culture by taking her to the art gallery—The McMichael Gallery, the Ontario Art Gallery, etc. She loved the art and thought she might be an artist.

Then she became familiar with other artforms and went to school to be an actress/singer. It’s a life that took her to London, England and then back to Canada. In England she had to explain to people that while she didn’t ‘look Canadian’, she was. Her patience with ignorance is astounding—she was asked if “Indians” still existed in Canada?”

When she was seventeen, she learned the secret of her birth parents and other aspects of her family. This led her to finding out about her Indigenous culture by consulting elders and leaning of their practices.

It’s an incredible story, sometimes harrowing, sometimes wounding. You can hear your heart thumping as more and more stunning detail comes out.

The title—a Hand-Drum Song Cycle– is a bit of a misnomer. There are not as many songs as one expects from something described as a “song cycle.”  There are perhaps four or five songs in the whole show, with her story taking up most of the time. I would call it a woman’s journey to finding her-self first–with songs added—perhaps the songs could be more evenly disbursed in the story.

Each song is meaningful—a song of welcome or good-bye for example—and she sings in a pure soprano voice, full-throated, brimming with emotion.  Nicole Joy-Fraser sang two songs in succession, explaining that the second song is a Veteran Honour Song and definitely is different than the one before it. She said usually with the second song the audience is encouraged to stand and honour the veterans. As she didn’t stop for applause after the first song of this duo, we didn’t really know she had begun to sing the second song, so knowing when to stand was awkward.

I think her idea of standing and honouring Veterans is wise and right but the audience should be given a cue on when to do it easily and without confusion.

First we want to applaud her efforts so perhaps she should just break them up. Then the audience knows the second song is their cue to stand. As this is Nicole Joy-Fraser’s first attempt at her story I will certainly cut her slack.

Comment: Overall, I loved Having Hope: A Hand Drum Song Cycle. We don’t often hear stories like this first hand from an Indigenous point of view and it’s important we do. I loved the ceremony of the whole endeavor. I got there early so I saw Nicole Joy-Fraser do a smudging ritual for the whole space—cleansing it. When the audience was seated Nicole Joy-Fraser welcomed all of us.

I loved the open-hearted, inclusive effort to embrace and welcome the audience into the ceremony and the circle. I have been to a few other shows with Indigenous artists and the audience was treated to the same ceremony of inclusion.  In these troubling, divisive times that lesson of welcome without barriers is so important to learn. At the end of her show she thanked us for coming and listening to her story, and she held out her arms and said, “My relatives.”

It was a privilege to see and hear Having Hope: A Hand Drum Song Cycle.

Having Hope: A Hand Drum Song Cycle played in Barrie, Ont. in the backyard of a private home Sept. 23-24.

For details about the rest of the “Plural of She Festival” please go to: www.tift.ca

Romantics Anonymous

This plays on line until Sat. Sept. 26. For details go to: STCBox@ShakespeareTheatre.org

Written and directed by Emma Rice

Based on the film: Les Émotifs Anonymes

Based on an original design by Lez Brotherston

Lyrics by Christopher Dimond

Music by Michael Kooman

Choreography by Etta Murfitt

Lighting by Malcolm Rippeth

Sound and Broadcast Design by Simon Baker

Cast: Marc Antolin

Carly Bawden

Me’sha Bryan

Philip Cox

Omari Douglas

Harry Hepple

Sandra Marvin

Laura Jane Matthewson

Gareth Snook

Pure, sweet delight with a touch of tart. Lip-smacking good. And it was about love and chocolate. An unbeatable connection.

NOTE: Romantics Anonymous is a musical that was recorded live on Tuesday at the Bristol Old Vic for broadcast over the week and will end Sat. Sept. 26.

The Story. It’s about Angélique who is a gifted chocolate maker, but is so shy that she gets anxious and when she gets anxious she faints (She attends a support group “Emotions Anonymous”). She makes chocolates for kind Mr. Mercier but he had to promise her he would not tell anyone about this genius who makes his chocolates.

Then he dies and Angélique is bereft. She has no job. She has no prospects. She is too shy to go out and look for work. Her impatient mother keeps harping at her. The mother even calls Angélique ‘a turd.’ Now that’s harsh.

Jean-René is a man who is painfully shy and awkward and runs his family’s failing chocolate factory. His hands sweat when he is in any situation. But he knows his chocolates.  He bought Mr. Mercier’s chocolates not knowing that Angélique made them.

Angélique comes to work for him thinking it’s to make chocolate, but in fact it’s as a salesperson. No one wants the chocolates. They are very traditional and boring. The business is failing.  What can be done? They need a miracle.

Angélique is too shy to tell them she knows a thing or two about chocolate. How they solve the problem is one of the many charms of this musical.

The Production. It starts with a bit of cheek. We are told to lay on some of our own chocolate but not to eat it until we are given a cue. It starts off with characters speaking French with no surtitles. Be patient, there is a method to Emma Rice’s ‘madness.’ She is setting the stage, the place and the space. We see the meticulousness in which Angélique (Carly Bawden)  makes her chocolates and we get the sense of wit and pace in the beginning scenes. And with almost a wink to the audience to eat our chocolates they segue into English.

Is this a saccharin-sweet (sorry) musical? It is not.  It is prickly, irreverent, and even rude (remember Angélique’s mother calling her ‘a turd’).

Jean-René’s  (Marc Antolin) staff is so exasperated with him that they are pretty pointed behind and in front of his back. It’s painfully obvious that Angélique and Jean-René are made for each other but writer Emma Rice is not going to make it easy. It’s a relationship full of regret, insecurity, awkwardness, but also love and acceptance.

When Angélique meets Jean-René she doesn’t faint and his hands don’t sweat. If that’s not true love, I don’t know what is.

Christopher Diamond’s lyrics are brilliant in capturing the essence of a taste or the fear of ‘doing something’ or not following your dreams.  When trying to describe some of the chocolate that Angélique has made we have this lyric: “No language can capture that silky, smooth rapture.” Or this: “If you don’t do anything, nothing will go wrong.” Or this one: “Life isn’t life when it’s lived in regret.” Michael Kooman’s music is just as captivating.

Carly Bawden as Angélique is sweet, anxious, feisty and dear.Marc Antolin as Jean-René is stiff, awkward, insecure and eventually charming too. Gareth Snook is kindly as Mercier, hilarious as Mumbler, and over-the-top as Madame Marini.

The whole production is a light swirl of activity thanks to Emma Rice’s direction. It’s like watching as delicate meringues are being made.

Comment. If I can’t be in a theatre watching this wonderful, charming show live, then seeing the live filmed version of it is ok by me. I thought the whole production was a treat, not too sweet, some nuts, some wonderful spicy flavours rounded off with terrific performances. If I can’t be in a theatre, this is the kind of filmed version I want to see in its place. And it’s about chocolate so it’s perfect.

Romantics Anonymous plays on line until Sat. Sept. 26.

Check details from the Shakespeare Theatre Company website at:  STCBox@ShakespeareTheatre.org

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On-line until November 5.

Written and directed by Richard Nelson

Cast: Charlotte Bydwell

Stephen Kunkin

Sally Murphy

Maryann Plunkett

Laila Robins

Jay O. Sanders

A theatrical creation for the pandemic that takes place on zoom as siblings meet, eat, drink and talk about the incidental moments of their day.

The Story and production. It’s about the Apple family: three sisters—Jane (Sally Murphy), Barbara (Marianne Plunkett), Marion (Laila Robins), and their brother Richard (Jay O. Sanders), plus the people around them—girlfriends, partners etc.

Jane was a writer, the youngest and had a fragile relationship with her boyfriend Tim  (Stephen Kunkin) who has moved temporarily back to his boyhood home. Barbara was a teacher. Marion was out and about on a date (she was a woman of a certain age I believe it’s called). She went on the date because she wanted to know what her date looked like without the mask. And Richard the brother was a lawyer and was retiring from working for Governor Cuomo.

This is the third in a trilogy of plays written and performed specifically for presentation by Zoom. Playwright/director Nelson has been writing about this family for about 10 years.

The plays have played at the Public Theatre in New York. When it was performed live in a theatre. The family would sit around the dinner table as they got together to eat, talk, share their lives with each other, bicker and love each other.

Then COVID-19 struck and people were isolated from each other. Same with the Apple Family. Each sibling lived separately, sometimes in a different town so they communicated as per the COVID protocol, by Zoom.

Therefore, to illuminate how the siblings coped with COVID-19 playwright Richard Nelson wrote it as if each sibling was in his/her house talking by computer by Zoom.

And for this segment: Incidental Moments of the Day, the siblings pretended that they were all having dinner as they did before COVID, so there were the characters with their glasses of wine and their plates of food, eating and talking about their day, to each other.  

It worked a treat. We get nuance, subtlety and subtext because it’s all so closely observed on our screens. For example, Jane left the screen to get a drink in another room and the other siblings moved closer to their screens as if to whisper to the others, wondering how Jane was doing? Then Jane came back and confided to her siblings that she was suffering from depression. Others wondered about Richard and how he would do with out working for Cuomo. In a previous play I believe they discussed the killing of George Floyd. The Apple Family plays give you an interesting look at liberal America. I get the sense they are well educated, certainly loving and caring for each other.  They are trying to cope as well as they can.

And while they appear fair-minded, there is a sense of privilege with just a hint of superiority in Marion and Richard. They all talk in a reasoned, reasonable way, no tantrums or rages, but there are undercurrents of disappointment, grudges perhaps and lots of unknowables.

Comment. I’d love to watch the trilogy and get a better sense of them. On the basis of this one play, it’s a terrific feat for art to imitate life in the time of zoom.

Incidental Moments of the Day streams for free until November 5 at:

http://www.theapplefamilyplays.com

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Here is some interesting stuff for the week of Sept. 21 to 27, 2020.

Sept. 22-26.    Romantics Anonymous, on-line directed by Emma Rice and produced by her Wise Children Theatre Company, performed live from the Bristol Old Vic.  Have you ever seen Emma Rice’s work? She’s brilliant.

Presented by the Shakespeare Theatre Company (Washington, D.C.) From their blurb: “For one week only, Wise Children, Bristol Old Vic, and Plush Theatricals present a livestream of their acclaimed production of Romantics Anonymous. The production will take place LIVE from the Bristol Old Vic stage from September 22–26. You can watch it as it happens on your TV, phone, laptop, desktop or iPad in glorious (HD) technicolor.

STCBox@ShakespeareTheatre.org

Sept. 22-Oct. 4. The Plural of She Festival. (Barrie, Ont. in private backyards)

Summary:

A brand new mini-festival created and performed by women and feminine-identifying artists.

The Plural of She includes:

HAVING HOPE: A HAND DRUM SONG CYCLE

Created and Performed by Nicole Joy-Fraser

I’m seeing this Wed. Sept. 23.

IN CASE WE DISAPPEAR

Created and Performed by Vanessa Smythe

I’m seeing this Sat. Sept. 26.

SMART

Created and Performed by Nicky Guadagni

I’m seeing this Sat. Sept. 26.

Sept. 26-27. Solo in High Park (September 26-27 at 2 PM) In High Park in Toronto.

Co-curated by Seika Boye & Timea Wharton-Suri

This program introduces audiences to a variety of dance styles from solo artists who reveal the precision, depth and significance of their craft and the importance of the audience to the art they make. Solo in High Park features award-winning flamenco dancer Carmen Romero performing Mi Amapola, a dance commemorating (or paying honour to) life and death; internationally acclaimed tap artist Travis Knights exposing the rich tradition of tap dance while exploring the challenges of interpersonal human connection; world-renowned house dancer Raoul Wilke examining, through movement, how we shield our emotions through art; and award-winning choreographer Alyssa Martin and performer Sam Grist from Rock Bottom Movement taking an unrestrained adventure into the life of a modern dancer with one last shred of hope in the year 3029.

Reserve a place. Pay-what-you-can

www.canadianstage.com

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Continuing in the series of our most inventive, creative theatre companies announcing their plans for the coming 2020-21 season, below are the plans and initiatives of Artistic Director Aislinn Rose for the Theatre Centre. Give a read. Quite impressive:

“Inventing the Future”
The Theatre Centre announces ambitious plans for 2020/21
Toronto, Tuesday, September 15, 2020 — This year, The Theatre Centre is embarking on what may be the most ambitious year of creation in its history. They will be supporting an unprecedented 16 projects led by 20 artists; creating two new development streams; welcoming new Creative Producers in Training and a new Associate Artistic Director; and inventing the role of Reckless Generosity Dramaturg.


“In a time when we can’t operate normally, we are taking the opportunity to experiment with operating differently,” commented The Theatre Centre’s Artistic Director Aislinn Rose. “We are taking the precious time that this moment is granting us, to consider not only what we do, but how we do it. As a team, we are excited to discover the learnings from these experiments that we can take with us into the future.”
In addition to expanding access to the Residency program, The Theatre Centre has added two new creation streams. The Explorations stream will allow artists to spend a year supported in
their pursuit of burning questions that may impact a larger work, or the future shape of their practice. The Finishing stream creates an opportunity for artists to take a work that has been in development for years into an intensive period of design and technical experimentation. “Both of these streams will allow us to see if there are new ways in which we can fill gaps in how our sector supports creation,” said Rose.


The new Residency artists are daniel jelani ellis, Nehal El-Hadi, PJ Prudat & Jonathan Seinen, Prince Amponsah & Viktor Lukawski, and Brandon Ash-Mohammed. They will be joining the four artists currently in Residency: Ian Kamau, Stewart Legere, Jennifer Tarver, and Rimah Jabr. Those artists embarking on Explorations this year will be Adam Lazarus, Anand Rajaram, Lorena Torres Loaiza, Milton Lim & Patrick Blenkarn, Neema Bickersteth & Nikki Shaffeeullah, and Thomas McKechnie. Victoria Mata will be supported in the Finishing stream.
“We may be grieving the lost opportunities we’ve experienced in recent months, and facing a future that feels uncertain, but as an organization we feel empowered by the commitments we’ve made to artists to focus on what we do best,” said Rose. “Residency is based on the principle that we say yes to following an artist’s idea without knowing where the journey of that idea will take us, or how long it will take to get there. We are walking into the dark and finding our way forward together. Our future is inventable.”


In addition to the large cohort of new artists, this year will also see the Creative Producer Training Program welcome two new trainees. Earlier this year a call for one Indigenous Creative Producer was announced, but thanks to some emergency funding, the company was able to invite two new artists into the program. Cheyenne Scott and Theresa Cutknife will work closely with the current and incoming artists, many of whom are at various stages of development.Helping The Theatre Centre navigate the year will be Seika Boye who will be joining the team as their new Reckless Generosity Dramaturg. For the last two years, the company has been involved in Metcalf Foundation’s Staging Change Program with EmcArts. Together with Boye, they’ve developed a role that gives her a bird’s eye view of the organization, where she will be able to see all the various pieces of who they are and what they do. Like any good dramaturg, she’ll be asking challenging questions and suggesting support, while holding onto the context of both the pieces and the big picture. Together, they’ll work toward answering their biggest question: “How can we be more reckless with our generosity?”


Earlier in July, The Theatre Centre also announced that Liza Paul was named the new Associate Artistic Director. In case you missed it, you can find the full story here. In her previous role as Café/Bar Curator & Manager, Paul programmed many comedy nights in the venue; this initiative culminated in her programming the hugely successful Comedy is Art festival last October. Paul played a major role in the selection of the new artists now joining the Theatre Centre’s Residency, Explorations, and Finishing programs.
“This new role is a dream, an honour, and a privilege in one glorious package, and the thrill and the gratitude run deeper than words can possibly express” Paul commented. “I am so lucky to work with this team and to have this magical opportunity to support art and art making in all its shapes and sizes. I am really looking forward to working alongside Aislinn. We’ve already had lots of opportunities to collaborate, and while we see eye-to-eye on a lot of things, we also aren’t afraid to challenge one another and I think that’s a really special combination. I really hope to
see you all in the building again one day soon. But until that time comes, please know that I will be hard at work scheming and dreaming on a future that serves us all.“


New Residency Artists:


daniel jelani ellis Iris Malcolm Housing Co-op
Iris Malcolm Housing Co-op is a trilogy exploring ambition, currency, and community; featuring the plays Rosie, Kwik Pick, and i-and-i. Set within a housing co-op in the east end of Scarborough, the works speak to the ingenuity of Black dreaming. What happens to a dream deferred? A question posed in the poem Harlem by Langston Hughes. Hughes asked in 1951 when limitations on Black living, much less dreaming, were extremely unyielding and often physically violent. IMHC is asking in a context where the limitations manifest more covertly but with the same potent searing of the soul.
daniel jelani ellis (he/him) is a Toronto-based artist raised in Jamaica by a village of theatre artists, poets, and educators. His art practice is driven by his commitment to celebrate those of us who live within the margins. danjelani has performed on stages across Canada and the Caribbean. Recipient of The Theatre Centre’s Emerging Artist Award, Merritt Award Nomination and five Dora Award Nominations. Graduate of National Theatre School of Canada and alumnus of the Playwrights Unit at Obsidian Theatre Company and Emerging Creators Unit at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. ellis is proud parent to plenty plants.


Nehal El-Hadi
“In this residency, I am working towards live arts events that challenge the audience to consider their relationships with technology, and to explore both positive and negative implications for racialised groups. The narrative focuses on a pair of young Black children in Toronto witnessing these changes. I invite audiences to consider near and distant futures, imagine new ways of being while combatting the anxiety that is a by-product of change, and work towards producing more just futures.”
Nehal El-Hadi is a writer, researcher, and editor. She is the Culture + Society and Science + Technology Editor at The Conversation Canada, an academic news site, and Editor-in-Chief of Studio, a magazine dedicated to Canadian craft and design. Her work explores the relations(hips) that render us human; these include the interplays between us and technologies, objects, and spaces/places, focusing on the professional fields of design, planning, journalism, and healthcare.


PJ Prudat & Jonathan Seinen À la façon du pays
For PJ Prudat and Jonathan Seinen, this piece will be a time-travelling, multidisciplinary public performance of the very private. An exploration of their relationship, imagining what it may have been five hundred years ago, meeting under that time’s Fur Trade/colonial reality, and what has really changed since then between Indigenous women and white men on this land.
PJ Prudat and Jonathan Seinen have been friends since meeting at the University of Alberta in the early 2000s. Since then, PJ has worked primarily as a writer and actor, Jonathan as a director and actor. They have collaborated twice, on Architect Theatre’s 2015 Like There’s No Tomorrow (SummerWorks) and Saga Collectif’s 2019 Iphigenia and the Furies (On Taurian Land), nominated for seven Dora Awards. PJ is currently Creator-In-Residence at Nightswimming Theatre and a member of the Canadian Stage RBC Artist Residence Program. She has acted on stages across the country, most recently at the National Arts Centre
(Indigenous Theatre), the Belfry Theatre and the Shaw Festival. Jonathan also directed Black Boys (Saga Collectif/Buddies), and in 2020 earned an MFA from Columbia University in New York City and was awarded the John Hirsch Prize for Directing from the Canada Council for the Arts.


Prince Amponsah & Viktor LukawskiLIMBS
LIMBS is a project that is the beginning of important research: to redefine puppetry through a differently-abled body, and what it means to manipulate without the use of one’s hands. It is a collaboration between two theatre artists, Prince Amponsah and Viktor Lukawski, who are trying to develop a project that they have yet to experience in the world of puppetry and visual theatre.
Prince Amponsah is a performer currently residing in Toronto. Since graduating from the George Brown Theatre program, he has gone on to garner credits for performance on the stage and screen. Some of which include: KILLJOYS (SYFY); The Things You Think I’m Thinking (Meraki Moving Pictures); The Threepenny Opera (Sick+Twisted and AA Battery Theatre) and SHEETS (Veritas Theatre) here at The Theatre Centre.


Viktor Lukawski is a theatre director, actor, and puppeteer who was born in Poland and raised in Canada. He is the Artistic Director of ZOU theatre company in Toronto and is a member of French-Norwegian company, Plexus Polaire. He is a graduate of École Jacques Lecoq in Paris, France, and Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada.


Brandon Ash-Mohammed
“My idea is a one-person show based on my life that explores the breakdown I had 6 years ago that caused me to stop performing. It’s what I call a ‘one person Hip-Hopera’ and in it are a series of monologues and songs that tell the story of the buildup, breakdown, and comeback I had that led me to my current life of being a successful comedian.”
Brandon Ash-Mohammed is an award-winning comedian & writer based in Toronto. His credits include being a writer on CBC’s Tall Boyz, being one of CBC’s Comics To Watch, and most recently releasing his #1 comedy album Capricornication which is the first comedy album ever released by a Gay Black Canadian.


Current Residency Artists
Ian Kamau
Loss
Ian is developing Loss, a Live-Arts Multi-Media performance that explores mental health in Afro-Caribbean communities through a personal narrative co-written by himself and his father Roger McTair. Ian Kamau is an artist, writer, and designer from Toronto. He has released seven music projects including the self-produced album One Day Soon (2011) and has published articles, short stories, and poems in publications by Vice, Coach House Press, and Book Thug. The son of pioneering filmmakers, he was the founding executive director of Nia Centre for the Arts, has a Bachelor in Design and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, and a Masters in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University. His research includes cultural production, storytelling, and critical city building with a focus on mental health and actualization.


Jennifer TarverBear Witness
Created in collaboration with director Jennifer Tarver, conductor Christine Duncan (The Element Choir), performer and choreographer Susanna Hood, and choreographer and writer Sara Porter.
Bear Witness is a large-scale choreographed theatrical narrative embedded in the body of a choir. Part auto-biography and part fairy tale, Bear Witness uses a multi-voiced choir as a metaphor for the human body. The work explores a common human tendency to bury or hide stories deep within our bodies. Touching on events of both trauma and joy, the work follows a journey of excavation and re-interpretation of a personal history.


Stewart LegereThe Unfamiliar Everything
A conversation and collaborative performance project between The Accidental Mechanics Group and queer artists working in different media from every major region of Canada. This extraordinary meeting of LGBTQ2+ artists is an experiment in collaboration across genres over massive distances, an exploration of the pains and beauties of queer loneliness, queer spirituality, and a celebration of the chosen family.
The artistic team includes choreographers, musicians, poets, light artists, actors, writers, video/projection designers, dancers, spoken word and performance artists.


Rimah JabrBroken Shapes
Rimah Jabr is a Brussels and Palestine-based playwright now working in Toronto. Jabr, along with visual artist Dareen Abbas, is creating a new performance piece (Broken Shapes) investigating what happens to humanity in the context of borders, surveillance and fear.
A young woman in a city that has been occupied for decades. On the day of her father’s funeral, she discovers his architectural drawings. Overcome with sadness, she slips into the dream worlds and imagined places that he created. What is the influence of our environment on our imagination? Is such influence hereditary? Are our actions and dreams coloured by the environment where our ancestors lived, be they an open field, the ocean or a prison cell?
Broken Shapes is a hybrid theatrical and audio-visual experience in which live performance, installation and video explore how physical surroundings affect us mentally.
Explorations


Neema Bickersteth & Nikki ShaffeeullahBlack Paris: The Notion of Song
Black Paris: The Notion of Song is an interdisciplinary performance piece that fuses music, installation, and theatrical storytelling. It draws from Alice Walker’s seminal essay In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens; and other themes relating to the nature of art forms and ‘artists’, race and culture, moms, flowers, and beauty.
Neema Bickersteth is a creator and performer working in music and theatre. Nikki Shaffeeullah is a director and creator working in theatre and community-based arts. Moveable Beast is a collective of artists, led by Neema Bickersteth, examining culturally diverse and hybrid identities through performance, with projects including Century Song and Treemonisha.


Adam LazarusBouffon
Swiss photographer Ander Petersen knows how to capture humanity. In this way, I’ve always thought of him as a master Bouffon Artist, who can highlight the deep lines of experience, and show us that we are all beautiful, grotesque, and oh just so terribly alive.
Bouffon is very alive theatre. It’s vicious. It’s visceral. It laughs at the hypocrisies of the human experience. It walks the razor’s edge of offense and necessity: we’re ugly, now watch, laugh, and admit complicity.
Bouffon is a creation lab, where a group of diverse artists will muck around in the bouffon form and create something epic.
Hailed as “Toronto’s favourite twisted clown”, and “the bouffon king”, Adam Lazarus brings a dark and comic sensibility to all of his work. He has acted as a creation director and collaborator with countless artists, and is known for dynamic and implicating solo performances, including Daughter; The Art of Building a Bunker, and Wonderland. Adam is an award-winning theatre artist and instructor whose work has been showcased nationally and around the world. He lives in Toronto with his wife Sarah, and their two children, Josephine and Oliver.


Anand RajaramThe Monster from Inside the Third Dimension
The Monster From Inside the Third Dimension is an immersive choose-your-own-adventure 50s-horror/sci-fi-inspired project presented in a VR video game-style setting with escape room puzzles and wandering interactive characters that may be friends or foes. It’s a family-fun sto—oh no! Look out behind you! AHHH IT’S THE MONSTER FROM INSIDE THE THIRD DIMENSION!!! Anand is an award-winning improviser, actor, playwright, director, musician, teacher & puppeteer. He is an accomplished theatre performer and creator, film and tv performer as well as voiceover artist for video games and cartoons. He is artistic director of @N@f@N@, currently creating AR digital content for live streams under the banner of his company, Cardboard Dreams.


Lorena Torres LoaizaPandora in the Box
“We’re building a giant comic people can walk through, moving the rules of comics page layout to a 3D space. For the story, we’ll explore how hope is preserved, lost, and how it can be created anew. To begin, we’ll explore the Pandora’s box myth. She’s let evil out. The world is ruined. But unlike evil, hope won’t come out of the box by itself. Perhaps she goes in the box to find it. Or perhaps the box itself is a safe place to hide, if she can ignore hope’s naïve, pesky attitude in there.”
Lorena Torres Loaiza grew up in Colombia, and then in Canada. She works in comics, illustration, and fiction, often in a quirky visual style using fantasy elements. She likes flawed people solving problems, not heroes. Lorena has a handful of short stories and comics published, and helps with projections for local theatre sometimes. She’s a 2020 Writing Excuses Retreat Scholarship winner. Right now she’s just finished a graphic novel and is working on this Pandora comic and a new fantasy novel.


Milton Lim & Patrick Blenkarn asses.masses
asses.masses is a solo videogame performance for multiple players about sharing the load of revolution. The narratives of multiple asses collide in a journey through the obsolescence of the manual labourer, political idealism, digital labour, and virtual revolution. In each show, audience members step forward one at a time from the herd to seize the means of production (a video game controller) and to lead us through a world of asses (donkeys) in pursuit of a life worth living.
Patrick Blenkarn and Milton Lim’s ongoing collaborations constitute a framework for investigating labour and value, utilizing game mechanics in performance, and manifesting alternative modes of discourse. Their projects are heavily informed by their respective trainings in performance making, critical thinking, and game creation. They are the co-creators of the performing arts economy trading card game culturecapital, and the archivists behind the performance archive videocan.ca.


Thomas McKechnieAnticapitalist Ritual Magic
We’re not going to make it through the death triangle of Climate Change, Forced Migration, and Fascism without a reconnection to the spiritual.
Weird communist and erratic prophet, Thomas McKechnie is creating new rituals for a new world that’s coming. Prayers to prevent burnout. Funerals for the bosses in our heads. Renaming rituals for queers and criminals, blessing for burning cop cars, all the magic we’ll need to overthrow capitalism.
Thomas McKechnie is a playwright, bike courier, union organizer and student. His writing credits include The Jungle with Anthony MacMahon, Remembering the Winnipeg General, and 4 ½ (ig)noble truths. He was part of the paradigm-shifting union campaign to win collective bargaining rights for app-based food couriers at Foodora. He also helped found Artists for Climate and Migrant Justice and Indigenous Sovereignty. He does this with multiple overlapping mood and cognitive disorders so fuck the haters.


Finishing:
Victoria Mata – Cacao | A Venezuelan Lament
Cacao | A Venezuelan Lament, is a multi-sensorial interactive dance installation, that explores the socio-cultural-historic-political traces of Venezuela’s cacao industry through the story of two cousins reuniting. Inspired by creator and choreographer Victoria Mata’s childhood memories of playing in Venezuela’s cacao farms, cracking open cacao pods and sucking on the cotton-soft fruit. This installation is an homage to Venezuela’s cacao farmers and their resilience to preserve their way of life in the face of national crisis and the pressures of neoliberal industrialization.
Victoria Mata is a Venezuelan-Canadian settler in T’Koronto and a poly-lingual choreographer, dance artist, and activist with a background in expressive arts therapy. Mata’s career was first sculpted by pedagogic, self-directed training, which proceeded with training under internationally renowned choreographers. Mata’s sensibility to inclusion and border stories is due to her eclectic upbringing in three continents before the age of fifteen. Intersectional, multi-framed community-arts and the abolishment of violence against women are some of Mata’s passions. She has intricately woven these themes in her MFA in Contemporary Choreography and they are the foundation for some of her recognitions such as being a grant recipient of the Metcalf Foundation, a finalist of the Toronto Arts Foundation Emerging Artist Award, and 7 Dora nominations.


Creative Producers
In early March, The Theatre Centre put out a call for an Indigenous artist to join Sascha Cole and Rachel Penny in its ongoing Creative Producer Training Program. In partnership with Leslie McCue & Central Fire, and Judy Harquail, they decided to push forward with the call, and
thanks to some of the emergency funds the company received, they were able to create a second training opportunity.
“We are grateful to be welcoming Theresa Cutknife and Cheyenne Scott into our team,” said Rose. “Creative Producers work closely with artists from idea to production, so this ambitious period of creation is the perfect time for them to start.”
Cheyenne Scott is Straits Salish of the Saanich Nation/Norwegian settler descent and a theatre artist with a focus on new works. Having learned theatre through a colonial lens, she is working to Indigenize her process through personal expression and storytelling. She is passionate about supporting diverse voices and work that is challenging structures and is conscious of its relevance to today’s audiences. Cheyenne produced her play SPAWN at the rEvolver Festival and SummerWorks Festival in 2017. She is a Dora Mavor Moore nominee for co-creating Now You See Her (Quote Unquote/Why Not/Nightwood).


Theresa Cutknife (She/her) is a mixed queer Nehiyaw and Puerto Rican actor, writer, curator, storyteller, and director from Maskwacîs, Alberta located on Treaty 6 Territory and is a member of the Samson Cree Nation. Previous acting credits include: Father Penible – A Canadian Adventure of Tartuffian Proportions (Centre for Indigenous Theatre) and Tipi Confessions (Buddies in Bad Times). Theresa has worked as an assistant director for The Election (Common Boots Theatre) directed by Jennifer Brewin and After the Fire (Punctuate Theatre) directed by Brendan McMurty-Howlett. She continues her work as a curator for the 2021 Rhubarb Festival and has joined a new curatorial project with Briane Nasimok for Storytelling Toronto’s: Story Fusion Cabaret. Theresa is currently researching, developing, and co-writing her next project in and for her homelands of Treaty 6.
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THE THEATRE CENTRE is a nationally recognized live-arts incubator and community hub.
Our mission is to offer a home for creative, cultural and social interactions to invent the future.

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