Search: tweet

Streaming on the WeeFestival site Until May 24: https://weefestival.ca/2021-box-office

The following three productions at the WeeFestival are story-driven, almost wordless and involve sounds to tell the story.

Tweet Tweet

Produced by Femmes du Feu Creations (Canada)

Created, and choreographed by Lindsay Goodtimes  Holly Treddenick and Monica Dottor

Directed by Monica Dottor

Apparatus creation by Upstage Fabrication Inc.

Set by Kelsey Carrier

Sound by Monica Dottor

Lighting by Ian Goodtimes

Costume by Tanis Sydney McArthur

Digital Production by Upstage Dynamics

Performed by:

Lindsay Goodtimes (Blue Bird)

Holly Treddenick (Red Bird)

With Ivy Benedetti

Winter Benedetti

Arlo Hollyman

Ian Goodtimes (Bird Watcher)

For children 3 +

Tweet Tweet Is a gem of a show that is performed without words but plenty of bird sounds. Two small birds awake in their separate nests high in a magical tree (created with ropes), discover each other and the world in which they live. The gifted Monica Dottor directs and co-choreographed the piece. The birds wake up to the Flower Duet from Lakmé with liberal sprinklings of music from The Magic FluteOde to Joy, and others selections. Glorious.

Glorious!!!

It’s a contemporary circus show about two baby birds, each in its own nest, who are born at the same time, discover each other, learn to play and fly with each other.

It was directed with whimsy, wit and imagination by the always creative Monica Dottor. To accommodate the new digital world and the absence of an audience, director Monica Dottor has engaged three children to act as the audience. They observe, through binoculars (made of toilet paper rolls), the nests of the birds in miniature. The streamed viewing audience sees the birds in their nests and the tree from which they are suspended, full up. The air is a sweet cacophony of birdsong and chirps. There are aerial shots of the birds in their nests, twirling around the tree truck; there are video shots of the children gleefully watching the birds, interspersed with the audience watching the birds up close. That combination is both inventive and engaging. The viewer enters that tweeting world.

When the show starts we see movement in the nests. Something is encased in a flexible covering and is moving and bursting to get out. When these birds break out of their ‘eggs’ they do it to the wonderful “Flower Duet” from Lakmé. The birds stretch, move and grow into the world to this incredible music. And at every turn, they discover their voices and “Tweet. Tweet” to each other. The two birds are in very colourful body suits, one red and one blue with flaps of billowy material that flows out. Feathers. The birds rise up and swing on the ropes holding the nests. Pretty soon they pull beautiful brightly coloured material out of their nests and throw them into the air to land on the floor. This is followed by long, slinky scarves and feathers. The music of Mozart and Elgar is played and there is a rousing rendition of “Rockin’ Robin” to boot, as the birds grow, mature and becomes fearless. For further whimsy, Dottor has added the word “CHEEESBURGER” to the birds’ vocabulary, said with the same high-piercing sound. Hilarious.

Old Man and the River (Canada)

Created by Lynda Hill and Thomas Morgan Jones

Concept, dramaturgy and direction by Lynda Hill

Inspired by the story by Thomas Morgan Jones

Original production design by Kelly Wolf

Original music by Nicky Phillips

Original Lighting design by Jennifer Lemmon

Puppetry by Mike Peterson and eric Woolfe

Videography by Alexander Gangurian

Performed by: Kira Hall

Ingrid Hansen

Mike Peterson

Andrew Young

A touching story of the power of friendship.

Old man lives a simple, grumpy life. He rises from his sleep to growl at the leaves that accumulate on his doorstep and in his house. With great effort, grunting and creaking bones, he gets up and sweeps the leaves away: “Sweep, sweep, sweep” he says. He grumbles at the trees that drop the leaves in his way. He goes to the river, sits on the bridge and fishes until the sun goes down. Then he trudges home to sleep. The next day is the same except at the bridge, while fishing, the river fairy arose from the water and flitted around him, gleeful, happy, joyful. Old man is annoyed and waves off the visitor. Old man trudges home again. When he goes to the bridge to fish again he looks for the river fairy. He misses ‘him’. He trudges home again, sad at missing this magical presence. And then something wonderful happens.

The puppets by Mike Peterson and Eric Woolfe are wonderful; old man is hunched, craggy-faced, scowling; the river is suggested by shimmering material with sparkly sequins; leaves float everywhere.

Four puppeteers work the puppets: old man, the trees, the river, the sun, moon and the river fairy. The puppeteers are totally focused on the puppets and so are we. The puppeteers are in brown hats, brown shirts and pants and vests. They also wear brown gloves, the better to be ‘invisible.’

Director Lynda Hill has directed this with sensitivity and spareness. You can feel the aches and pains of old man as he creaks and grunts to get up; you can sense his grumpiness with every growl at anything that annoys him, and the slump of his shoulders expresses such sadness.

The music by Nicky Phillips captures the sense of the rising of the sun, the humour of the trees and the joyfulness of the river fairy.  There are just enough grunts, creaks and sounds for old man to convey his age and effort to move. Moving and tender.

My Silly Yum

Jot & Tittle (Montreal)

Created and performed by Gabriela Petrov and Alexandra Montagnese

Directed by Myrna Wyatt-Selkirk

Design collaborator, Darah Miah

Music composed by Nigel Ward

Maminka and Button come to the forest to look for mushrooms. Maminka (Buttons’ mother? I assume so) is calm to the point of being perpetually tired. Button is diminutive, is curious, active and lively. “She” (sorry, the puppet looks like it’s wearing a shift so I assume rightly or wrongly that Button is a little girl). Button carries a mushroom book to be able to identify the mushrooms that are found. As soon as they arrive, Maminka gets drowsy and lays down on the ground to nap. Button cuddles the sleeping Maminka but then goes off to look for mushrooms. Button finds lots of lively mushrooms that appear from nowhere and is excited. There is a cluster of many mushrooms, some seductive, that dazzle Button until Button realizes she is lost. She cries out for “Ma!” until they are re-united. Button is breathless in acting out all the adventures she found in the woods until Maminka calms her down by breathing slowly which gets Button to breathe slowly.

Considering the economy of sounds in Tweet Tweet and Old Man and the River to tell the story, My Silly Yum is overloaded with sounds. Maminka sighs at every move. Button gasps, grunts, pants, utters “Huh?” “Wah?” and exclaims every time she is surprised by anything, which is often. The appearance of mushrooms is accompanied by a squeak or sound of surprise from the mushrooms. The excessive dependence of sounds of excitement of it all over powers the story and makes it seem rather thin. The creation of the puppets is imaginative and the manipulation of the puppets is dexterous, but I found the piece, on the whole, a disappointment.

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The Sandbox

At Théâtre français de Toronto, 21 College St., 6th Floor, Toronto, Ont.

Written by Denys Lefebvre

Directed by Denys Lefebvre

Designed by Patrice Daigneault

Music by Guido Del Fabbro

Lighting by Thomas Godefroid

Marionnettes and costumes by Diane Loiselle

Cast: Denys Lefebvre

Diane Loiselle

A charming play in which two comedic characters both in toques, raincoats and boots explore the many ways of working with sand. They encircle their playing space with sand they get from a small paper bag. Sand pours from their coat sleeves. They play in a magical sand box with sand ‘water’ falls. They drag small carts around the space. It’s a show full of colour, imagination, creativity and whimsy. This was their first show in English.

The final show is in French on May 19 at 2 pm.

 

Mwana and the Turtle’s Secret

At the Assembly Hall, 1 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Dr. Etobicoke, Ont.

Adapted for the stage by Patricia Bergeron and Patience bonheur Fayulu Mupolonga

Story tellers and puppeteers, Patience Bonheur Fayulu Mupolonga and Patricia Bergeron

Visual Illustrations by Steve Beshwaty

Shadow Play by Marie-Ève Lefebvre, Patricia Bergeron, Salim Hammad and Patience Bonheur Fayulu Mupolonga

Set by Fanny Bisaillon Cendron

Lighting by Mathieu Marcil

Music by Dumisizwe Vuyo BhembeCredits

Mwana is a little girl who lives in a village deep in the forest. Her best friend is a turtle. When a monster keeps steeling the village’s food supply and the adults can’t solve the problem, Mwana offers a suggestion on how to solve the problem. She is initially ignored as being too young to solve such a problem. Eventually she wins the day.  The moral is that sometimes the very young are very wise and should be taken seriously.

The story is told using puppets, shadow play, storytelling and directly engaging the audience.

This is for children 3 +

The moral is lovely—pay attention to children for they are wise. The good people who created and perform this piece should take their own advice and note their audience because at 45 minutes in length, this piece is 15 minutes too long. The children will tell you. At my performance at various times they fidgeted, talked, squirmed and were bored. The piece could stand to be cut and edited judiciously.

The final show is May 19 at 11 am in English.

 

TWEET TWEET!

At the Redwood Theatre, 1300 Gerrard St. E, Toronto, Ont.

Created and choreographed by Lindsay Goodtimes, Holly Treddenick and Monica Dottor

Birdwatcher, Weston Horvath.

Performed by Lindsay Goodtimes and Holly Treddenick

Directed by Monica Dottor

Set by Kelsey Carriere

Sound by Monica Dottor

Lighting by Ian Goodtimes

Costumes by Tanis Sydney McArthur

TWEET TWEET! Is a gem of a show that is performed without words but plenty of bird sounds. Two small birds awake in their nests high in a magical tree (created with ropes), discover each other and the world in which they live. The gifted Monica Dottor directs and co-choreographed the piece. The birds wake up to the Flower Duet from Lakmé with liberal sprinklings of music from The Magic Flute, Ode to Joy, and others selections. Glorious.

For children 0-6.

It plays until May 20.

www.weefestival.ca

 

 

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At Wychwood Barnes, Toronto, Ont.

Created and performed by Lindsay Goodtimes and Holly Treddenick

Directed by Monica Dottor

Set by Kelsey Carrier

Sound by Monica Dottor

Lighting by Ian Goodtimes

Costume by Tanis Sydney McArthur

Glorious!!!

This show was for wee ones from 9 months to three years old. (I just got in under the wire). It’s a contemporary circus show about two baby birds who are born at the same time, discover each other, learn to play and fly.

The children sit around a large circle outlined in material. A magical tree made of ropes is in the centre of the circle. A sturdy branch pokes out and a nest is on either side of the branch, held up by ropes.

When the show starts we see movement in the nests. Something is encased in a flexible covering and is moving and bursting to get out. When these birds to break out of their

‘eggs’ they do it to the wonderful “Flower Duet from Lakmé. The birds stretch, move and grow into the world to this incredible music. The two birds are in very colourful body suits, one red and one blue. The rise up and swing on the ropes holding the nests. They communicate with a simple “Tweet, Tweet”. Pretty soon they pull beautiful brightly coloured material out of their nests and throw them into the air to land on the floor. This is followed by long, slinky scarves and feathers. The music of Mozart and Elgar is played and there is a rousing rendition of “Rockin’ Robin” to boot.

It was directed with whimsy, wit and imagination by the always creative Monica Dottor.

What a wonderful addition Tweet Tweetwas to the Wee Festival. It only played this weekend. It was produced by Femmes du Feu. Look out for this group. They are wonderful.

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Live and in person at the Greenwin Theatre, Meridian Arts Centre, North York, Ont. Produced by the Harold Green Jewish Theatre.  Plays until June 11, 2023

www.hgjewishtheatre.com

Written by Ken Ludwig

Directed by David Eisner

Set by Brian Dudkiewicz

Lighting by Steve Lucas

Costumes by Alex Amini

Sound by Lyon Smith

Cast: Aris Athanasopoulos

Amy Keating

A courtship through letters written during the war between Jack Ludwig and Louise Rabiner, who would become the parents of playwright Ken Ludwig.

The Story. During WW II U.S. Army Captain Jacob S. Ludwig began writing letters to Louise Rabiner. He was stationed in Oregon.  She was an aspiring actress in New York City. Their fathers were friends and felt their two adult children would like each other and should ‘meet.’  They met and fell in love through letters and telegrams.  

He was known as ‘Jack’ and was serving in the army as a medical doctor. She was known as Louise and did a lot of auditioning as a dancer and then an actress. Jack sent the first letter—very formal, introducing himself and signing off as “U.S. Army Captain Jacob S. Ludwig” but would later write and say he is known as “Jack”.  Louise was more easygoing, more carefree in her letters. They wrote each other for three years before they actually met in person.

The Production. Director David Eisner has envisioned two separate spaces, nicely designed by Brian Dudkiewicz—one space stage right for Jack (Aris Athanasopoulos) with a simple metal desk, army issue, and one space for Louise (Amy Keating) stage left, with a writing desk a chair and several selections of dresses and a divider behind which she can change. Alex Amini’s dresses for Louise are stylish and bright-coloured.

They had been writing for several months when Louise suggested it was time they referred to each other by their first names. The letters told about themselves—Louise had to drag facts out of Jack. She was more forthcoming.

Initially each sat at their desks writing and speaking what they wrote. Eventually they either sat or stood in their sections, perhaps close to each other, verbalizing what they wrote. At times he didn’t write and that was because he had been called to see to tend to the wounded in the Pacific. Louise was worried something happened to him. But when he returned he was eager to allay her fears and explained he couldn’t write to her because the mission was a secret. They tried to meet in person a few times when Jack finally got leave but they were always thwarted. As the audience floats along with each eagerly anticipated letter, they felt the disappointment I’m sure as much as Jack and Louise when the war interfered with their meeting. The letters get more heartfelt. Emotions come easy as it’s obvious they are falling in love through their letters.

Both Aris Athanasopoulos as Jack and Amy Keating as Louise are two charming actors who bring a whole host of emotions to their performances under the sensitive and nuanced direction of David Eisner. Aris Athanasopoulos is courtly, boyish in a kind of formal way that eventually drops the formality. Amy Keating is the more fun-loving of the two, her emotions are closer to the surface.

Comment. If I do have a quibble, it’s with the piece itself. At 1 hour and 45 minutes divided over two acts it seems a bit thin in Act I and loaded with emotion and huge implications in Act II. I think Ken Ludwig would have had a stronger piece if he condensed the work to one Act and tightened the various revelations.

Ken Ludwig is considered one of the American Theatre’s finest comedic playwrights having written: Lend Me a Tenor, Moon Over Broadway and Crazy For You to name a few. Still Dear Jack, Dear Louise harkens back to a time when people actually took the time to write to loved ones, expressing their affections, inner most thoughts and dreams, with nary a ‘Facebook’ post or heart-emoji Tweet in sight. My quibble aside, it’s a sweet play, done very well.

The Harold Green Jewish Theatre presents:

Plays until June 11, 2023.

Running time: 1 hour, 45 minutes (1 intermission)

www.hgjewishtheatre.com

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Live and in person at the CAA Theatre, 651 Yonge St., Toronto, Ont. Produced by David Mirvish and Crow’s Theatre. Plays until April 2, 2023.

www.mirvish.com

Written and performed by Cliff Cardinal

Creative Co-Conspirator, Chris Abraham

Lighting by Logan Cracknell

NOTE: This is the third iteration of this funny, bracing, challenging show by Cliff Cardinal that I have seen since 2021.

Background.

FIRST ITERATION.  

A version of this show opened at Crow’s Theatre in 2021 and was called: “William Shakespeare’s As You Like It—a radical retelling by Cliff Cardinal.”

If one delved into the website of Crow’s they would see the additional title of “The Land Acknowledgement.” The running time was 90 minutes according to the website.

Cliff Cardinal, dressed in black pants, a black t-shirt underneath which was an orange t-shirt (It was Truth and Reconciliation Day) and a black windbreaker, came out from behind the red curtain on stage and began by saying: “My name is Cliff Cardinal and this is my Land Acknowledgement.”

He was charming, smiling, impish, and angry. He was angry at what was happening to Mother Earth, because of pollution, or oil spills and all manner of ills. He hated land acknowledgements no matter who gave them. He had harsh words for the Catholic Church, the rich, (saying they didn’t work hard; a person who picked strawberries worked hard). He went on and on in a measured, theatrical way.  Where was As You Like It?  At about the 45-minute mark of this performance of what turned out to be a one-hour show, Cliff Cardinal addressed that very question—where was As You Like It? He said innocently that there was none. He pulled back the curtain to show there was no scenery or even a hint of As You Like It a radical re-telling or otherwise. It was a trick. Cliff Cardinal as a trickster. And we were urged at the end of the show not to give away the trick.

In my review:

https://slotkinletter.com/?s=As+you+Like+It+a+radical+retelling+by+Cliff+Cardinal

 I felt Cliff Cardinal was giving the audience the finger. I said so in the review. All hell broke loose as a result. Lots of invective to me, (racist, irrelevant, worse) usually from people who didn’t see the show or read the review properly, or misinterpreted it or whatever; some positive comment; some discussion but lots of angry comment at a review that told what I was looking at. I did not play into the trick and the urging of ‘don’t tell what the ruse is.’ I said at the end of the review of the land acknowledgement: “as for As You Like It—I didn’t.”  

The result is that I got more hits on my blog because of that review than I have ever received for any other review. People wrote or called me and said they would not see the show because of the review. One was from Mirvish Productions. I insisted they go. They had to see it for themselves, they could not take my opinion as theirs.

One of the mysteries to the public that they don’t know, of theatre criticism, is that I actually want people to go to the theatre and decide for themselves especially if my review is less than positive. Those folks went as I urged. They all loved it. I could not be more delighted. Another mystery of theatre criticism, we don’t have to agree. We have to be open for discussion. The show was held over twice; the first announcement was made on opening night, before any review; the second holdover was announced soon after the few reviews appeared. I was the notable negative one. Forgive the arrogance, but I am taking full credit for the second hold-over of the show because of the clamor of my review. Another mystery of theatre reviews? They get people to go to the theatre. At least mine seem to do that.

SECOND ITERATION.

I saw that The Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa was programming the show. Now it was called: As You Like It: a radical retelling. There was no mention on the GCTC website of The Land Acknowledgement. It was still marketed as a radical retelling of As You Like It. I was intrigued. I decided to drive to Ottawa, to GCTC, one Sunday, to see the show again, to see what I missed.

The Production. The GCTC lobby is fitted out with pastoral pictures that look like they take place in a forest. A character looks like he is a Joker of sorts, playing on that vision of As You Like It.  As I sit in my seat waiting for curtain time, I hear the sounds of birds tweeting and the lilting recorded voice of Ed McCurdy singing a variety of folk songs. It’s all in aid of setting us up for As You Like It.

(I ask the young man beside me why he’s come to this show. He says that he’s studying As You Like It in school and he’s reading the play and is interested in what Cliff Cardinal has to say. The young man rarely goes to the theatre. I ask the woman next to him—he doesn’t know her—why she’s come. She says that she’s Indigenous and she wants “to see him (Cliff Cardinal) smash this play” (presumably a play of the colonizers). I don’t say a word of information about the show to either of them beforehand, and we go our separate ways after, so I don’t ask what they thought.)

The lights dim. Cliff Cardinal comes out—black pants, shoes, t-shirt, jacket, no orange t-shirt under the black t-shirt. I wait for him to say, “My name is Cliff Cardinal and this is my land acknowledgement.” He doesn’t say it. I wait for him to follow that with: “I’m angry.” Nope. He talks about the land on which GCTC is situated in vague terms, like every other land acknowledgement. He then says that he hates land acknowledgements. He hates them said by ‘settlers.’ He hates them said by Indigenous people. He has cutting words for the ‘woke,’ for those professing to be ‘allies,’ for the rich, for the destructive Catholic Church, pedophile priests, nasty nuns, lazy, care-less teachers, anything phony. He does have respect for hard-working strawberry pickers.  

He gently chides the Ottawa audience to keep up and see how what he is saying connects to the land. The land has rivers and streams polluted by industry. There are approximately 7,000 children buried in the land in unmarked graves on the property of former residential schools run by the Catholic Church. There are thousands of Indigenous women and girls missing from the land.

Cliff Cardinal’s piercing laser gaze firmly pins you to the seat, squirming. He’s not flicking his middle digit. It’s much subtler than that. He is an equal opportunity skewerer. He will make everybody squirm with his quiet, devastating truths. He follows every barb with an impish, ‘disarming’ smile, leaving you questioning every assumption you may have had about anything to do with Indigenous culture, colonialism, land acknowledgements and what you think might be true.

He has completely rethought his show, turned it inside out and upside down. He has expanded it, refocused his attention to every aspect of it and clarified various connections. He still has the trick of revealing there is no As You Like It, except as a play on words and he still asks the audience to keep the ruse and not tell. I don’t have such an obligation to the theatre company or the playwright. Revealing the trick doesn’t diminish the importance of this show.   

This is a land acknowledgement like you have never heard one before. The result is bracing, brutal and brilliant.

THIRD ITERATION.

The sound of birds twittering can be heard as the audience files in. The lilting voice of Ed McCurdy sings traditional folk songs.

The show at the CAA Theatre is now appropriately titled, THE LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, or As You Like It. Cliff Cardinal appears from behind the red curtain hanging across the CAA Theatre stage and says: “My name is Cliff Cardinal and this is my land acknowledgement.” He vaguely references that at one point in the show’s development that William Shakespeare’s As You Like It was part of the title, but was thought that if you offered that as the show and didn’t fulfill that offer that the Mirvish audience wouldn’t be able to handle it. Hmmmm. So at the get-go the audience knows the show is the land acknowledgement without the trick of the offer of As You Like It, that is then snatched away. In this case the sub-title of As You Like It can just be considered a play on words, which it is.

To some, tricking the audience by offering them one show but giving them another, is equitable to the duplicity shown to Indigenous Peoples over history. Uh, no, I don’t think so. Every person in the audience has been tricked, or short changed or duped somehow in their lives. Equating that with having to live with polluted, contaminated rivers on a reserve because of the mendacity of industry is ridiculous and not even in the same universe of trickery. It’s best that for this run at least, the trick is cut.

Cliff Cardinal continues to be a charming, often impish, engaging performer/story-teller. He is very attuned to the audience and their reactions or lack-there-of and how to ‘play’ them and play to them. His arguments are pointed but they are made initially in a disarming way. And then the arguments come fast and with a sense of fury. He’s angry and he says it quietly for real effect and he lets the audience know it in no uncertain terms.   

For this iteration the basic shape and presentation of The Land Acknowledgement is fundamentally the same as he presented in Ottawa (the second iteration). Mother Earth, the land and what is happening to it is there in Cliff Cardinal’s laser gaze.  Again, he follows every barb with an impish, ‘disarming’ smile, leaving you questioning every assumption you may have had about anything to do with Indigenous culture, colonialism, land acknowledgements and what you think might be true. He says that he hates land acknowledgements. He hates them said by ‘settlers.’ He hates them said by Indigenous people. He has cutting words for the ‘woke,’ for those professing to be ‘allies,’ for the rich, for the destructive Catholic Church, pedophile priests, nasty nuns, lazy, care-less teachers, anything phony. He does have respect for hard-working strawberry pickers.  

He continues to subtly re-work, reposition, shift and change the focus of speeches and sections. I sense that the anger at the Catholic Church and the various priests and nuns come in for particular attention this time around. He has expanded the section of needing good, trained, caring teachers to teach on reserves to inspire students, not some incompetent who couldn’t get a job at a school they preferred.

The result is that THE LAND ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, or As You Like It is a funny, challenging, deeply felt, moving show that will make you squirm, think, ponder, and reconsider everything you thought about this subject.

I want every single person who saw William Shakespeare’s As You Like It—a radical retelling by Cliff Cardinal at Crow’s Theatre to see the show again in the revised version, as The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It at the CAA Theatre. And if you never saw it before, for whatever reason, see it! The change in the title accurately reveals what this show is about. It needs to be seen, heard, reflected upon, pondered and considered.

David Mirvish and Crow’s Theatre Present:

Opened: March 14, 2023.

Plays until April 2, 2023

Running Time: 90 minutes (no intermission)

www.mirvish.com

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Live and in person a Crow’s Theatre production at the Great Canadian Theatre Company, Ottawa, Ont. Played until January 29, 2023.

www.gctc.ca

Writer and creator, Cliff Cardinal

Lighting by Logan Cracknell

Cast: Cliff Cardinal.

(Perhaps subtle input by Chris Abraham alone for this go-round, who tweaked the original production with Rouvan Silogix in Toronto).

Background. A version of this show opened at Crow’s Theatre in 2021 and was called: “William Shakespeare’s As You Like It—a radical retelling by Cliff Cardinal.”

If one delved into the website of Crow’s they would see the additional title of “The Land Acknowledgement.” The running time was 90 minutes according to the website.

Cliff Cardinal, dressed in black pants, a black t-shirt underneath which was an orange t-shirt (It was Truth and Reconciliation Day) and a black windbreaker, came out from behind the red curtain on stage and began by saying: “My name is Cliff Cardinal and this is my Land Acknowledgement.”

He was charming, smiling, impish, and angry. He was angry at what was happening to Mother Earth, because of pollution, or oil spills and all manner of ills. He hated land acknowledgements no matter who gave them. He had harsh words for the Catholic Church, the rich, (saying they didn’t work hard; a person who picked strawberries worked hard). He went on and on in a measured, theatrical way.  Where was As You Like It?  At about the 45 minute mark of this performance of what turned out to be a one hour show, Cliff Cardinal addressed that very question—where was As You Like It? He said innocently that there was none. He pulled back the curtain to show there was no scenery or even a hint of As You Like It a radical re-telling or otherwise. It was a trick. Cliff Cardinal as a trickster. And we were urged at the end of the show not to give away the trick.

In my review https://slotkinletter.com/?s=As+you+Like+It+a+radical+retelling+by+Cliff+Cardinal

 I felt Cliff Cardinal was giving the audience the finger. I said so in the review. All hell broke loose as a result. Lots of invective to me, (racist, irrelevant, worse) usually from people who didn’t see the show or read the review properly, or misinterpreted it or whatever; some positive comment; some discussion but lots of angry comment at a review that told what I was looking at. I did not play into the trick and the urging of ‘don’t tell what the ruse is.’ I said at the end of the review of the land acknowledgement: “as for As You Like It—I didn’t.”  Fascinating how many of my scribbling colleagues played into it. “As You Like It like you’ve never seen it!” Oh, PULLLLLLLeeeeeeeeeez. The result is that I got more hits on my blog because of that review than I have ever received for any other review. People wrote or called me and said they would not see the show because of the review. I insisted they go. They had to see it for themselves, they could not take my opinion as theirs. They had to see it. One of the mysteries of theatre criticism it seems is that I actually want people to go to the theatre and decide for themselves especially if my review is less than positive. Those folks went as I urged. They all loved it. I could not be more delighted. Another mystery of theatre criticism, we don’t have to agree. We have to be open for discussion. The show was held over twice; the first announcement was made on opening night, before any review; the second holdover was announced soon after the few reviews appeared. I was the notable negative one. Forgive the arrogance, but I am taking full credit for the second hold-over of the show because of the clamor of my review. Another mystery of theatre reviews? They get people to go to the theatre. At least mine seem to do that.

I saw that The Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa was programming the show. Now it was called: As You Like It: a radical retelling. There was no mention on the GCTC website of The Land Acknowledgement. It was still marketed as a radical retelling of As You Like It. Interestingly, Mirvish Productions has programmed something called The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It. I’m assuming it’s ‘the same show’ only without the trick marketing. I was intrigued. I decided to drive to Ottawa, to GCTC, one Sunday,  to see the show again, to see what I missed.

The Production. The GCTC lobby is fitted out with pastoral pictures that look like they take place in a forest. A character looks like he is a Joker of sorts, playing on that vision of As You Like It.  As I sit in my seat waiting for curtain time, I hear the sounds of birds tweeting and the lilting recorded voice of Ed McCurdy singing a variety of folk songs. It’s all in aid of setting us up for As You Like It.

(I ask the young man beside me why he’s come to this show. He says that he’s studying As You Like It in school and he’s reading the play and is interested in what Cliff Cardinal has to say. The young man rarely goes to the theatre. I ask the woman next to him—he doesn’t know her—why she’s come. She says that she’s Indigenous and she wants “to see him (Cliff Cardinal) smash this play” (presumably a play of the colonizers). I don’t say a word of information about the show to either of them beforehand, and we go our separate ways after, so I don’t ask what they thought.)

The lights dim. Cliff Cardinal comes out—black pants, shoes, t-shirt, jacket, no orange t-shirt under the black t-shirt. I wait for him to say, “My name is Cliff Cardinal and this is my land acknowledgement.” He doesn’t say it. I wait for him to follow that with: “I’m angry.” Nope. He talks about the land on which GCTC is situated in vague terms, like every other land acknowledgement. He then says that he hates land acknowledgements. He hates them said by ‘settlers.’ He hates them said by Indigenous people. He has cutting words for the ‘woke,’ for those professing to be ‘allies,’ for the rich, for the destructive Catholic Church, pedophile priests, nasty nuns, lazy, care-less teachers, anything phony. He does have respect for hard-working strawberry pickers.  

He gently chides the Ottawa audience to keep up and see how what he is saying connects to the land. The land has rivers and streams polluted by industry. There are approximately 7,000 children buried in the land in unmarked graves on the property of former residential schools run by the Catholic Church. There are thousands of Indigenous women and girls missing from the land.

Cliff Cardinal’s piercing laser gaze firmly pins you to the seat, squirming. He’s not flicking his middle digit. It’s much subtler than that. He is an equal opportunity skewerer. He will make everybody squirm with his quiet, devastating truths. He follows every barb with an impish, ‘disarming’ smile, leaving you questioning every assumption you may have had about anything to do with Indigenous culture, colonialism, land acknowledgements and what you think might be true.

He has completely rethought his show, turned it inside out and upside down. He has expanded it, refocused his attention to every aspect of it and clarified various connections. He still has the trick of revealing there is no As You Like It, except as a play on words and he still asks the audience to keep the ruse and not tell. I don’t have such an obligation to the theatre company or the playwright. Revealing the trick doesn’t diminish the importance of this show.   

This is a land acknowledgement like you have never heard before. The result is bracing, brutal and brilliant.

I want every single person who saw William Shakespeare’s As You Like It—a radical retelling by Cliff Cardinal to see the show again in the revised version, as The Land Acknowledgement or As You Like It when it plays the CAA Theatre in March, presented by Mirvish Productions. And if you never saw it before, for whatever reason, see it! The change in the title accurately reveals what this show is about. It needs to be seen, heard, reflected upon, pondered and considered.

Plays at the CAA Theatre March 10-April 2

Running Time: 90 minutes.

www.mirvish.com

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Live and in person at the Tarragon Theatre, Mainspace, Toronto, Ont. Until April 24, 2022.

www.tarragontheatre.com

Written by Sean Dixon

Directed by Richard Rose

Set by Graeme S. Thomson

Costumes by Charlotte Dean

Music direction and sound design by Juliet Palmer

Puppet master and puppet designer, Kaitlin Morrow

Cast: Heather Marie Annis

Beau Dixon

Philippa Domville

Sophie Goulet

Phoebe Hu

Germaine Konji

Ahmed Moneka

Kaitlin Morrow

Kaitlyn Riordan

Terry Tweed

Daniel Williston

From the program information: “40,027 BCE (when the average human could count to five), a grief-stricken Homo-Sapien couple adopts a Neanderthal child. But language separates parents and child only to then separate mother and father – how do we love when we can’t communicate?

With that, a mythic journey of danger and sacrifice ensues to connect to the Neanderthals and to protect the child at all costs.

A heroic tale of clashing cultures and how the bonds of family are truly formed.”

Gorse (Beau Dixon) and his wife Mo (Sophie Goulet) have just lost their infant child and are naturally grieving. But Mo more than Gorse is feeling the pangs of losing the child. She wants and needs to be a mother. They find themselves in strange territory and witness a group of Neanderthals, that they refer to as “Pipers”, on their last legs. They seem to be dying in a group. The Pipers communicate in bird sounds of chirping, tweeting and other sounds. That is their language.

One of the Pipers is holding the hand of a young child (a girl I believe) and as the Piper dies, Gorse and Mo speak in a spare, rudimentary English and struggle to communicate with the child that they want to take her with them as their own. Gorse names the child ‘Chicky.’ Communication is difficult until they return home and Gorse’s mother, Gran (Terry Tweed), meets Chicky (Kaitlin Morrow) and immediately bonds with her and even seems to understand her sounds.

Communication for Gorse and Mo with Chicky is difficult. While Mo is maternal and eager to embrace and comfort Chicky, Chicky is wary and fearful. Gorse is just frustrated but so wants to do right by the child and be a good father. Gorse finds a challenging solution on what to do and in a bold move a kind of communication is created/discovered between differing groups to support, care for and love Chicky.

 Playwright Sean Dixon does not shy away from a challenge in his playwright. He has written about relationships and trees in The Orange Dot; carrying a painting over the Alps in A God In Need of Help; and a play about Jumbo the Elephant and his fraught life in Jumbo just to name three. But with Orphan Song he has created a herculean task of writing about adoption and parenting, communication when a common language is absent and co-operation between different peoples,  by setting it in pre-historic times and creating two separate languages. One language is nothing but sounds, noises, and what sounds like singing and chirping. The other language is rudimentary English and comes from an ancient set of just 200 words.  


From an essay written by playwright Sean Dixon for Intermission Magazine regarding Orphan Song: “I conceived of an idea for a play about adoption that would be set in prehistory, where the child was a Neanderthal and the parents were Early Modern Humans. I wanted to illustrate the challenge presented by the need to foster attachment, and then raise the stakes in a hostile environment. I then wanted to compound the problem by having my separate human species not share a common language, or even a language type. So I was giving myself the problem of creating two separate language types, whatever that meant. I wanted my humans to be easily understood by the audience, which meant using a form of English, but I wanted it to feel basic and ancient and elemental. I wanted them to be people of few words.”

While Dixon’s intentions are honourable in his setting himself such difficult challenges, I couldn’t help but wish that rather than dive so deeply into the language and communication of the characters, he also considered how the audience would perceive and contend withsuch a rudimentary language and not just be able to understand it.

Gorse and Mo and Gran are certainly people of few words. And while they are speaking rudimentary English and are easy to understand, their ‘sentence’ structure often seems a stilted jumble to our ears. While Dixon wanted this form of English to “feel basic, ancient and elemental,” one can’t ignore that often in popular culture English spoken by one whose native tongue is not English often makes them sound stilted and unfortunately objects of ridicule. And with only 200 words to work with, ideas and ‘thoughts’ become repetitive.

The cast performers with conviction and integrity. There is fierce passion and truth in the performances of Beau Dixon as Gorse, Sophie Goulet as Mo and Terry Tweed as Ma. The urgency in trying to communicate with Chicky, the frustration in not being able to and the tenacity to continue trying is so clear in these performances. The Neanderthal  (Piper) characters are created by life-sized white puppets attached to the actors manipulating them, either by tying them around their waists or attaching their feet to the feet of the actor. Kaitlin Morrow is the ‘Puppet Master and the designer for these brilliant puppets. And as Chicky, Kaitlin Morrow ‘played’ and manipulated the puppet with clarity and presence.

Richard Rose has directed this production certainly with a creative eye in establishing the simplicity of that time but also a time with a huge emotional sweep. Graeme S. Thomson’s set of three light brown cloth panels says everything about a desolate place. The creation of the mammoth at the end of Act I is inspired. Charlotte Dean’s costumes are functional suggesting that an animal was killed for its skin for warmth and protection. Juliet Palmer’s music/sound scape also established that danger could be in every corner.

A play about adoption, communication when language fails, and eventual co-operation for the care of a child set in pre-history times is certainly intriguing. I just wish that the whole thorny issue of how to communicate these deep ideas was not mired in ‘language’ that seemed to defeat the enterprise.  

Tarragon Theatre Presents:

Runs until April 24, 2022.

Running Time: 2 hours with an intermission.

www.tarragontheatre.com

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Lynda Hill was not going to let a pandemic stop her from producing The Wee Festival this year—it’s too important for young children and their parents.

Usually, Lynda Hill, the fearless Artistic Director of The Wee Festival (Arts and Culture for Early Years), produces the festival composed of children’s-based productions from various countries, over several days. Having in-person attendance is impossible this year. But streaming on-line has provided a fascinating alternative. It affords an opportunity to bring companies from far and wide that might not have been able to because of financial constraints and travel logistics. Companies were eager to provide filmed versions of their productions instead.

And while there is a note with each description of each event indicating the appropriate age of the child, that might vary with a digital viewing instead of in person. The parent is the best judge while observing how the child engages with the show.

There are 11 events of performances, films and instillations to enjoy. They are (with comments from the press information):

A Bucket of Beetles

Papermoon Puppet Theatre (Indonesia)

“Follow Wehea on a journey through the rainforest in search of the rare Rhinoceros Beetle!”

Cyclo

Campañía Aranwa and Comedia Köln Theater (Chile and German)

“A musical and visual feast celebrating the cycles of life and the seasons.”

Taama (Journey)

Théâtre de la Guimbarde & Soleil Theatre (Burkina Faso)

“Friendship is forged across languages and cultures through music.”

H₂O

Helios Theatre (Germany)

“A mesmerizing performance installation about water and all its wonders.”

The Cozy One-Man Band

Company La Mue/tte (France)

“Astonishing experimental puppetry meets virtuosic music concert”

My Silly Yum!

Jot & Tittle (Montreal)

“A delightful tabletop puppet adventure in mushroom picking!”

Tweet Tweet

Femmes du feu (Canada)

“Come fly with two colourful birds in this aerial circus treat.”

(note: a WeeFestival favourite, certainly for me, that is being repeated digitally)

Old Man And The River

“WeeFestival (Canada)

“A heartwarming and hilarious tale of friendship and change.”

DreamScape (At Home)

ThinkArts (India)

“A visual and audio journey through sensory-rich worlds”

Grass Films (Sunny Days and Insect Hands)

Second Hand Dance (England)

“A double-bill of dance for young children inspired by the great outdoors.”

Ticket information: https://weefestival.ca/2021-box-office

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021

From the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York City.

Streamed for Free: www.roundabouttheatre.org

Rarely done plays that are important as part of The Refocus Project.

CUS PROJECT.

ROUNDABOUT REMOTE

The Refocus Project’s free play-reading series will serve to elevate rarely produced and formerly marginalized theatrical voices from communities underrepresented or historically overlooked in the American theatre.

RACHEL
BY ANGELINA WELD GRIMKÉ (1916)
DIRECTED BY RTC RESIDENT DIRECTOR MIRANDA HAYMON

Available May 4-May 7

I GOTTA HOME
BY SHIRLEY GRAHAM DU BOIS (1939)
DIRECTED BY STEVE H. BROADNAX III

Available May 7–10

DIVE IN.

Throughout the coming weeks, dive into the project through our digital resource guide, panel discussions, historical information, education tools, and much more. LEARN MORE.

Join us for a special online Community Conversations event on Wednesday, June 2 at 6:00pm EST. Roundabout’s Community Conversations aim to foster reflection, conversation, and connection, striving to deepen an experience with the play and each other. REGISTER HERE.

BLACK THEATRE UNITED

We are pleased to offer The Refocus Project virtual presentations free to all. To support the work of BIPOC artists and help influence reform on the national stage, please consider a donation to Black Theatre United today.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021.

MISS SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR

Six Characters in Search of an Author. Luigi Pirandello. Adapted by Edward Storer.

BUY AUDIO DRAMA NOW

The curtain rises on stories left unfinished. During a routine rehearsal, six strangers show up unannounced declaring themselves fictional characters who would like a word with their author. Finding humour in the absurd, their family drama unfolds in a conflict between illusion and reality. Pirandello’s metatheatrical masterpiece navigates the human search for meaning and the personal desire for control. Read the Playbill.

EXPLORE THE 9 OTHER PLAYS FROM ITALY TO ROUND OUT YOUR AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PLAYS EXPERIENCE

Tickets are Pay-What-You-Choose, and audiences enjoy unlimited access to the audio drama from the premiere date until June 30, 2021. You will receive an email on May 5 with a link to log into your account and listen to an embedded audio file through your computer or device. To purchase a Passport Subscription and enjoy all eight productions, CLICK HERE.

Complimentary access for Front Line Workers  and members of our Free 25 and Under program sponsored by Sun Life. 

Thursday, May 6-9, 2021, at 7:30 pm.

 

A Singer Must Die begins streaming on Thursday! Join us on May 6th as we pay tribute to the inimitable Leonard Cohen. This is the final concert in our 20/21 Virtually Live season of free online concerts. Featuring highlights from our 2018 show, we explore Cohen’s extraordinary artistic legacy. See below for the full artist lineup and program highlights, as well as a special video preview.  
  A Singer Must Die will be available for FREE streaming on YouTube at this link from May 6th, 7:30pm EST through May 9th, 7:30pm EST. Bookmark the streaming link in your browser for easy access when the event goes live!  

Be sure to RSVP below to add us to your calendar and receive event reminders.    Share your experience by live-tweeting on Twitter (@artoftime) and posting on Instagram (@aotensemble) using the hashtag #aotvirtuallylive!     STREAMING LINK   CLICK HERE TO RSVP     PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS

Come Healing
Arr. by Andrew Staniland

Dance Me To The End Of Love
Arr. by Steve MacKinnon

A Singer Must Die
Arr. by Gavin Bryars

I’m Your Man
Arr. by Kevin Fox

Closing Time
Arr. by Jim McGrath

Who By Fire

Boogie Street

Arr. by Bryden Baird

Treaty
Arr. by Andrew Staniland

Anthem
Arr. by Andrew Downing

And more!

All songs by Leonard Cohen.     PERFORMERS & ARTISTS: Andrew Burashko, piano
Joseph Boyden, reader
Ian Brown, reader
Robert Carli, saxophones
Sarah Harmer, singer
Steve Heighton, reader
Gregory Hoskins, singer
Marni Jackson, reader
Sheila Jaffe, violin
Amy Laing, cello
Steven Page, singer
Joseph Phillips, bass
Rob Piltch, guitar
Sarah Slean, singer
Madeleine Thien, reader
Tom Wilson, singer

LIGHTING DESIGNER:
Kevin Lamotte

PRODUCTION MANAGER:
Arwen MacDonnell

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Monday, April 19, 2021.

From the Mint Theatre.

A PICTURE OF AUTUMN

April 19- June 13

“N.C. HUNTER’S BEAUTIFUL, SHAMEFULLY NEGLECTED COMEDY WAS PERFORMED ONLY ONCE IN LONDON IN 1951, AND RECEIVES ITS AMERICAN PREMIERE HERE… IT’S ABOUT AN AGING, ONCE PROSPEROUS FAMILY LIVING IN AN AGAING, ONCE GRAND MANOR, AND THE ECHOES OF CHEKHOV ARE UNMISTAKABLE, IF SUBDUED AND ANGLICIZED. IT’S A BIG, GENEROUS PLAY, EXQUISITELY WRITTEN, BOTH FUNNY AND TOUCHING.”

The New Yorker

A Picture of Autumn made its debut on February 11, 1951 in a one-night ‘try-out’ performance presented by the Repertory Players, at the Duke of York’s Theatre on London’s West End. Despite promising reviews, the play was never picked up. Instead, Hunter enjoyed great success with his plays Waters of the MoonA Day by the Sea and A Touch of the Sun, which dominated the West End throughout the fifties. Meanwhile, A PICTURE OF AUTUMN gathered dust until our acclaimed production—the play’s first in over 60 years.

Helen Cespedes and George Morfogen in A PICTURE OF AUTUMN by N.C. Hunter, directed by Gus Kaikkonen. Photo by Richard Termine.

To read the program, or learn more about the play and production, visit our Production Archives.

To see Video of our EnrichMint Speakers, visit our EnrichMint Video Archives.

PRO

Wednesday, April 21, 2021.

From Soulpepper.

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PLAYS
EIGHT-WEEK GUIDED TOUR OF THE GLOBAL THEATRICAL CANON

Soulpepper Theatre Company is incredibly pleased to announce the release of a new collection of artistic programming: Around the World in 80 Plays, an eight-week global adventure of audio dramas, in-depth documentaries from CBC Ideas, and cultural celebrations. Audiences across the country, and around the world, are invited on a rich theatrical global guided tour with works from Canada, Russia, Italy, Argentina, India, Iran, Jamaica, and NigeriaAround the World in 80 Plays departs April 21, 2021, landing in new destinations weekly. Subscription passports, single tickets, and information available at soulpepper.ca/80plays.

The eight-week global adventure begins:

April 21, starting at home here in Canada with Margo Kane’s inspiring play Moonlodge, a story of self determination, resilience, and the colonial tragedies that shape our society today, directed by Jani Lauzon. From there audiences are transported to Russia to enjoy Anton Chekhov’s masterpiece,

April 28. The Seagull, (Russia) which was just weeks away from premiering at Soulpepper this time last year, once again directed by Daniel Brooks.

Dates closer to the time:

Luigi Piandello’s metatheatrical play Six Characters in Search of an Author, directed by Daniele Bartolini. Italy.

The Walls From Argentina’s fearless playwright Griselda Gambaro comes, directed by Beatriz Pizano, to warn audiences about the dangers of turning a blind eye in the fight for justice.

Hayavadana by Girish Karnad, Travelling onward to India, in a piece produced in association with Why Not Theatre, Girish Karnad’s witty play fuses ancient mythology with contemporary sensibilities, directed by Miriam Fernandes.

The Parliament of Birds by Guillermo Verdecchia, From Iran.  directed by Soheil Parsa, adapted from the Persian poem, The Conference of the Birds, by Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar.

She Mami Wata & the PxssyWitch Hunt. Jamaica, by playwright, director, and performer, d’bi.young anitafrika fuses memoir, music, and myth while embodying Jamaica’s decolonial traditions of African-storytelling-derived dub poetry and dubbin.

Death and the King’s Horseman destination of Nigeria on June 9, audiences are invited to experience Wole Soyinka’s Nobel Prize-winning play based on true events, produced in partnership with the Stratford Festival, and directed by Tawiah M’Carthy. 

Toronto is uniquely poised to celebrate the rich tapestry of stories and cultures that make up this city, and Around the World in 80 Plays will celebrate over 60 artists coming together to share their stories, their culture, and their art. Each audio drama features a full cast, original sound design, and is recorded and produced by award-winning audio producer Gregory Sinclair (CBC Radio, Audible). 

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 PLAYS

From the CREE & SAULTEAUX NATIONS representing CANADA
MOONLODGE
By Margo Kane
Directed by Jani Lauzon

Hope, healing, and hitchhiking. Taken from her family by the government, Agnes grew up away from the support of her community. Unable to change her past, Anges follows  the voice inside her, journeying across America to where the women gather, helping her find herself, her history, and her family. An inspiring story of self-determination, and the colonial tragedies that shape our society today.

Moonlodge is performed by Samantha Brown. Sound Design and Composition by Wayne Kelso.

Content Warning: This play contains scenes of sexual violence and distressing situations.

Moonlodge premieres April 21, 2021.

“Margo Kane’s play Moonlodge was written at a time where there were very few, if any, stories by Indigenous writers on our stages. This is a story of Indigenous children torn from families, stripped of cultural understanding and identity, searching for answers, navigating the harmful and stereotypical images of in popular media, but mostly it’s a story of resilience and the incredible mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers who continue to survive with humour, dignity, and honour so that our children have a future,” said Jani Lauzon, Director.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021, 7:00

From Young People’s Theatre,

Right Here, Write Now Online Play Festival (21 and 23). Three short plays by contemporary playwrights Tai Amy Grauman, Marie Beath Badian and Luke Reece are live-streamed on those dates at 7PM, followed by a Q&A with the playwright. All of the info is here in case you want to take a look: 

https://www.youngpeoplestheatre.org/shows-tickets/right-here-write-now-2/

Thursday, April 22, 2021. 7:30 pm

Postcards From My Balcony.

Common Boots wordmark - white lettering and wings on a light blue background.   Come raise a glass!
A sneak preview of a new short film
A  moving Image of Alex Bulmer centre screen. She looks off, pensively,  into the distance. Alex is white, with short sandy coloured hair and wears a white hoodie. Around her head white tissues magically float up into the air. Above her head, the following yellow words flash: “Common Boots Theatre Presents Postcards from my Balcony”.  In the bottom  half of the screen, more words appear: “Written and Performed by Alex Bulmer. Directed  by Leah Cherniak. April 22nd, 7:30pm”. The moving image plays on repeat.      April 22nd, 7:30- 8:45pm   REGISTER     We’d love you to come to our party! Raise a glass to a sneak preview of the short film Postcards from my Balcony. Written and performed by Alex Bulmer and directed by Leah Cherniak, with editing and cinematography by Ben Roberts, animation by Cristal Buemi, and sound design and original composition by Deanna H. Choi.

Watch the film – all 10 ½ minutes – and tickle your ears with live music from special guests Deanna H. Choi and John Millard (what joy), artful conversation, and jokes (likely not artful).

Travelling, sneezing, writing and tweezing – Postcards from my Balcony follows blind writer Alex Bulmer as she returns from the UK to Canada while a pandemic erupts. She writes postcards under quarantine – little big thoughts sent out to the world. 

Register below – admission is free (donations always welcome)!
We suggest, if you have them, bring your best headphones.
Hope you can make it!
Alex, Leah, and The Common Boots Team     Who Made Postcards from my Balcony – the film?
Writer and performer – Alex Bulmer
Director – Leah Cherniak
Cinematographer and Editor – Ben Roberts
Cinematography Assistant – Aidan Barnes 
Production Designer – Cristal Buemi
Animators – Cristal Buemi and Alba Mediba
Sound Designer and Original Composition – Deanna H.
Choi
Original song:  Above the Birds by John Millard

This film was made possible thanks to generous funding from the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Originals program,
Red Dress Productions, Common Boots Theatre and numerous generous private donors.     Register!   This gathering is free, but registration is required. Sign up today!  

Thursday, April 22, 2021, 7:00 pm

From Young People’s Theatre

Right Here, Write Now Online Play Festival (21 and 23). Three short plays by contemporary playwrights Tai Amy Grauman, Marie Beath Badian and Luke Reece are live-streamed on those dates at 7PM, followed by a Q&A with the playwright. All of the info is here in case you want to take a look: 

https://www.youngpeoplestheatre.org/shows-tickets/right-here-write-now-2/

Thursday, April 22, 2021, 7:30 PM

The Royale

FREE – BEGINS APRIL 22!

THE ROYALE

PRIVATE REELS: FROM THE LCT ARCHIVE

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PRIVATE REELS: FROM THE LCT ARCHIVES will allow audiences the opportunity to experience past, award-winning LCT productions in full.

Broadway on Demand / Directions

Recorded during a performance with the resulting excerpts used for promotional purposes, it was never intended that the productions would be shown in their entirety. The newly edited footage of the performances will give viewers the opportunity to revisit or discover these LCT shows in full.

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Blue line.

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THE ROYALE show poster

THE ROYALE 

Begins Thursday, April 22 at 7pm ET

Streaming FREE on Broadway on Demand

When is a play about a boxer not really about boxing? When it’s the 2016 Obie and Drama Desk Award-winning THE ROYALE! The play is about the life of the outsider in America as much as it is about charismatic African-American boxer Jay “The Sport” Jackson. The stylized and stunning conception of Marco Ramirez was realized by director Rachel Chavkin.

Stream our production of THE ROYALE (2016, Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater), by Marco Ramirez, directed by Rachel Chavkin, featuring McKinley Belcher IIIKhris DavisMontego GloverJohn Lavelle, and Clarke Peters.  

86 minutes runtime.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Watch a brief montage of scenes from THE ROYALE. Register above to stream the full production!

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