RHUBARB! FESTIVAL several dozen new works by Canadian artists. Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (12 Alexander). Opens Wednesday (February 6) and runs to February 24, Wednesday-Sunday 7:30 pm, new shows each week; Under 21 readings February 15 at 7 pm; Director Lab February 24 at 11 pm. $15 day pass, $20 week pass, $40 festival pass, $8 for 10 pm shows, Under 21 and Director Lab pwyc. For details, see listings, page 62. 416-975-8555.
the source by Rosa Laborde, directed by Ian Carpenter, w/ Shannon Barnett, Stephen Cochrane, Laborde, Janet Burke and Earl Pastko. February 6-10 at 9 pm.
what's the source of rosa la-borde's stress? Maybe the fact that she's doing double duty in a play called The Source. She's acting in it; it's also her first written script. No wonder she's taken to talking about herself in the third person."One day, the stage manager asked actor Rosa whether he could talk to producer/writer Rosa after the rehearsal," laughs Laborde, an Ottawa native who studied theatre at the Oxford School of Drama.
"It's been like having two different brains and not knowing which one to use," she says about the process.
Fittingly, confusion -- emotional and philosophical -- is at the heart of her play, which examines various solutions to societal discontent.
While training last year as a yoga teacher and immersing herself in spiritual texts like the Bhagavad-Gita and the Tao Te Ching, Laborde began wondering about reality and staying integrated.
"Is reality breathing in the lotus position on a mountaintop ? Or is it being at McDonald's at Dundas and Bathurst?"
The play, written in longhand in a series of notebooks, looks at society, "particularly drugs, plastic surgery and the ever-present quest for God or something higher."
A fine cast directed by Theatre Viscera's Ian Carpenter portray figures including a renowned psychiatrist (Earl Pastko) and a TV personality (VideoCab's Janet Burke).
"The play shows how several characters are affected by mysterious messages that crop up in the media," explains Laborde. "They discover their dependence on things. But I'm not pointing fingers. Things remain ambiguous."
New this year is a multimedia Installation series, changing weekly and featuring works by Julian Doucet, Canadia dell'Arte Theatre and multi-talented stage artist JP Robichaud, who contributes a piece of "performed sculpture" (every week, 8:30 and 9:30 pm).
Alex Bulmer (Smudge) takes the audience into a world of darkness in Killer Keller, tantalizing listeners with words and sounds (week two, February 13-17, 8:30 and 9:30 pm).
In Everybody's Whore, James Massri Chaarani unravels the problems of a young gay Muslim who's been thrown out by his parents and is trying to satisfy everyone, including a boyfriend twice his age (week two, February 13-17, 8 pm).