With Pride celebrations just starting up, there's lots of opportunity over the next several weeks to check out the work of queer artists.
One of the lesbian productions is Sappho... In 9 Fragments, a British show by Jane Montgomery Griffiths, directed by Jessica Ruano. The production, touring Ontario and Quebec, comes to Videofag in Kensington Market on Friday and Saturday (June 14 and 15).
The show blends politics and seductiveness in the tale of the classical Greek poet, looking both at her place in history and the problems with her younger lover, Atthis, as she muses on the subjects of passion and inspiration.
Griffiths's text blends Sappho's verse with a narrative that has Sappho, who's come back to life in our age as an prominent stage actor, becoming involved with a chorus girl in her show. Victoria Grove plays both women.
Look for lots of acrobatic sensuality in the work, in which Grove uses a kind of jungle gym of ropes and suspension bars to give an erotic physicality to the characters.
June 16 marks a special occasion for lovers of James Joyce and his epic novel Ulysses.
The book, tracking that day in 1904, follows central character Leopold Bloom around the city of Dublin; there are lots of metaphoric parallels between Bloom and the Greek hero Ulysses.
Joyce fans around the world celebrate the book on Sunday (June 16), with Toronto organizer Mary Durkan of Anna Livia Productions continuing the ReJoyce! festival she began 28 years ago.
There are a number of morning music and reading events in the Beach, followed by a Bloomsday brunch and, later that day, a live-streamed reading of the book on YouTube that will unite 25 cities around the world. The international reading is now possible since the book entered the public domain last year.
You're invited to dress in period Edwardian costume and be part of the recreation of a literary masterpiece.
For more info see this website or call 416-365-7877.
Théâtre La Tangente has a reputation for creative multimedia staging, an important element in the troupe's latest show, Americandream.ca/Chapter One.
The bilingual show, the first in a trilogy by Claude Guilmain, uses choreographed movement and video projections in the tale of three sibling baby boomers who gather with family to celebrate one's 50th birthday. Each of the characters holds a secret known only to the audience, but during the course of the show everyone's comfortable masks are stripped away.
Co-directed by Guilmain and Louise Naubert, the French-language production will be performed with a simultaneous English audio translation.
Stage direction of all sorts is the focus of a four-day event to be held at Humber College beginning Saturday (June 15).
The Directing In The Performing Arts Summit, a collaboration between Humber, Dalhousie University and Acadia University, includes a keynote address by director Charles Marowitz called Cinematizing Shakespeare.
There are also four round table discussions intended to encourage an open dialogue about the practical and theoretical aspects of the director's art. The topics to be covered are the director-producer and the actor-director relationships, directors and artistic collaboration, and the collaborative nature of opera production.
In terms of performance, the summit includes an interdisciplinary look at Robert Frost's poem Fire And Ice. Directors Charles Officer (film), Yvette Nolan (theatre), Michael Trent (dance) and Joel Ivany (opera) each offers a take on the evocative poem.
See directingintheperformingarts.com for more information.
Fu-GEN Theatre regularly grows new Asian-Canadian plays in its annual Potluck Festival of readings, among them Kim's Convenience, lady in the red dress, Pu-Erh, A Taste Of Empire, Brown Balls and Eating With Lola.
You can be in on the ground floor of an exciting new script at the 10th annual Potluck, which features emerging writers Gary Mok, Liam Morris and Vivian Or, working with director/dramaturgs Andrew Cheng, Jenna Rodgers and Jiv Parasram.
Readings are Saturday (June 15) and followed by a potluck feast. See listing.