You throw away a rhubarb's top when you're preparing to cook it, but you'd never discard festival director Erika Hennebury, who's programmed some of the hottest indie artists for the fest's 30th anniversary.
"It's important to include an international component in Rhubarb, not only because those artists have an impact on local talent, but also because of the opportunity to make connections between creators from home and abroad, especially with the potential for touring," says Hennebury, Buddies' associate producer. "It's an important move toward cultural exchange and free trade of the artistic sort."
Visitors include New York's Taylor Mac in The Be(a)st Of Taylor Mac (February 5-8) and /dance/songs/ (February 18-22) by Public Recordings, conceived and directed by Ame Henderson, which brings together artists from Toronto, Montreal, Amsterdam, New York and Croatia.
"This year's Rhubarb is about work outside the mainstream definition of theatre, and even of performance," she adds.
"I think audiences will be excited by shows created by people usually associated with gallery spaces, visual arts and public lecture series that are a surprisingly compelling form of live exchange, as well as the several dance pieces that are part of the festival."