PROGRESS: An International Festival for Performance and Ideas

by Lynn on August 18, 2014

in The Passionate Playgoer

From a Press Release, August 17, 2014.

SummerWorks announces Progress: An international festival for performance and ideas.

SummerWorks is to produce a curated festival bringing international talent to Toronto

SummerWorks Performance Festival is thrilled to announce the creation of Progress, a new international festival for performance and ideas produced in partnership with The Theatre Centre (1115 Queen St W). This international multi-arts festival seeks to create a new global stage for performance in Toronto. It launches February 4-15, 2015.

The full festival lineup is set to be announced November 5, 2014.

Progress features 8-10 international and national presentations. Projects are selected by a group of rotating curators invited to participate in Progress by Artistic Producer Michael Rubenfeld. 2014 curators include: Michael Rubenfeld (SummerWorks), Shannon Cochrane (FADO), Ravi Jain (Why Not Theatre), William Ellis+Jordan Tannahill (Videofag), Mel Hague + Brendan Healy (Buddies in Bad Times Theatre), Franco Boni (The Theatre Centre), Ross Manson (Volcano Theatre) and the Interferencias International Artist Network. Curators are asked to present ideas that respond to the question of artistic progress and what that means to them.

“I gathered a group of the performance thinkers who inspire me and I asked them what they felt Toronto needed to move forward,” explains Rubenfeld, “the universal response was that we needed to find better ways to work together to have a larger conversation around performance ecology. And thus Progress was born.”

In addition to its international programming, Progress will create unparalleled artist opportunities in the form of practical training workshops and production development opportunities. The festival will help enable meaningful relationships between international artists in those practicing within the local Toronto ecology. Progress also intends to create space for SummerWorks artists to be featured as part of the program.

Confirmed pieces include Margarete (Janek Turkowski, Poland), The Messiah Complex (Michael Dudek, Canada), Interferencias Choreographic Program, The Hijab Monologues (Sahar Ullah, America) and the North American premiere of Marathon (Aharona Israel, Israel), which will embark on a cross Canada tour following Progress.

As with SummerWorks, the new Theatre Centre (1115 Queen St W) acts as the festival’s hub, with performances taking place at Videofag (187 Augusta Ave), Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander St) and other locations TBC.


I think it’s an intriguing idea. Personally I can’t get enough of theatre festivals. The curators of Progress are familiar with international companies and their work. I look forward to what they have in store

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