Calling all clones
Director Daryl Cloran needs a cloning machine to keep up with all the demands on his talent. Artistic director of Theatrefront, Cloran opens the Equity Showcase season tonight (Thursday, October 12) with Caryl Churchill's fascinating gender-bending, time-shifting Cloud Nine. And the same night, his excellent production of I Might Be Edgar Allen Poe - which played Toronto last season - opens at London's Grand Theatre, again with Christopher Morris. And next? A Theatrefront production of Our Country's Good, followed by a new play still in the works.
There's a new mayor at Second City. Steven Morel is taking over as the artistic producer of the comedy venue, replacing Lynn Okkerse. The talented actor/director/writer has taken part in such hits as The Drowsy Chaperone, Hello... Hello and various Second City shows. Guess he won't have time to star in any more lucrative Tim Hortons commercials.
Meanwhile, the new Second City mainstage show, titled Harry Putter And The Lawsuit Of Doom, opens October 26.
Usually the lights go down when the show starts. In Jan Komarek's Anatomy Of Beauty, though, which ended a short run October 7, audiences were led into a dark theatre by a flashlight-wielding Komarek. Then, as our eyes adjusted to complete darkness, he began working his luminous magic.
Underscored by Rainer Weins's culture-hopping guitar music, the ultra-male look at women and their bodies provided enough haunting moods to live up to the company's name, Sound Image Theatre.
One powerful sequence evoked a sideshow of female flesh, while others looked at disease and aging. There was less of a satisfying narrative arc than in previous works, but dancers Melina Puley, Charlene Tarver, Claudia Moore, Francine Gagné and Livia Daza-Paris carved out individual scenes with care.
Have a new one-hour script you think audiences can't resist? The Toronto Fringe Festival holds its second annual New Play Contest, a juried event whose winner gets a slot in next summer's Fringe and whose two runners-up get cash prizes. Submissions must be new, original work not previously produced, and the writer - a permanent Ontario resident - must not have received funding to create or workshop the 60-minute (or less) piece. Submissions must be typed and single-sided; one submission per writer. Entrance fee is $25.
Scripts will be accepted between November 20 and December 15, or until 80 applications have been received. For more info or an application, contact the Fringe at 344 Bloor West, suite 507, Toronto M5S 3A7, by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 966-1062.
Back in 1985, probably only VideoCabaret heads Michael Hollingsworth and Deanne Taylor had the vision to foresee a multi-decade theatrical history of Canada. Now, a dozen plays later, the company is remounting The History Plays - collectively known as The Village Of The Small Huts - in repertory, beginning next month with Legends Of New France and followed by Legends Of The British.
Plans are to add shows to the repertory cycle over a five-year period, both locally - a new venue is being created at the Cameron House - and on tour. A series of wacky, fast-paced, sometimes trenchant comments on our past and the people who shaped it, the cycle deserves another go-round.
If you're a female writer between the ages of 18 and 29 and feel the lure of the stage, Nightwood Theatre can feed your craving.
Write From The Hip is a series of weekly workshops and hands-on seminars in writing skills and professional play development. Participants create a new short script to be workshopped and staged in next spring's Groundswell, the company's play-development series.
Send a writing excerpt - three pages max - and a cover letter to Lisa Silverman, Nightwood Theatre, 9 St. Nicholas, sixth floor, Toronto M4Y 1W5. Deadline is November 24. 944-1740.