You don't have to travel to catch some class acts from around the globe. The ninth annual World Stage theatre festival is set for next April, and Harbourfront Centre's just announced some participating companies. For the first time, there's a multicultural South African component called Indaba (the Zulu word for gathering place), featuring a pair of strikingly unusual pieces in rep (Yiimimangaliso: The Mysteries, based on a medieval British cycle of Bible plays, and Georges Bizet's Carmen). Also on the bill are A Woman In Waiting, Thembi Mtshali's autobiographical look at three generations of Zulu women, and Pamela Gien's The Syringa Tree, about the relationship between a black and a white family in 60s South Africa.
Among the Canadian works are the Quebec group Carbone 14's La Bibliothéque; Calgarian Cheryl Foggo's Heaven, offered by Obsidian Theatre; Gagarin Way, staged by Crow's Theatre; Kafka In Love, staged by Autumn Leaf Performance in the Hart House swimming pool; and Tapestry New Opera Works' Facing South, performed in a downtown warehouse. Among the remounts are the award-winning The Overcoat and Necessary Angel's first hit, the environmentally staged Tamara.
We're not complaining about the Ute Lemper concert that's also scheduled -- the woman's an awesome talent. But after several concerts here in the past few years, she's hardly a novelty. How about introducing us to a new musical talent?
More international companies will be announced next month, when tickets will go on sale.
Been wondering where some of the best local stage actors have gone?
Some of them spent the summer and fall taping The Eleventh Hour, a new hour-long drama series on CTV. You can catch regulars like Waneta Storms, Shawn Doyle, Scott McCord and John Neville in scripts that are more emotionally nuanced and character-driven than many TV shows and have -- this is a good thing -- few neatly tied-up storylines. Story editor, by the way, is playwright Sean Reycraft. The first few episodes used the talents of Maggie Huculak, Yanna McIntosh, Janet Burke, Bruce Vavrina, Stewart Arnott, Fiona Highet, Holly Dennison and John Gilbert.
Have some thoughts on issues relevant to African Canadian playwrights, black theatre in Canada or its relationship to theatre of the African diaspora?
The U of T's University College hosts a conference as part of the AfriCanadian Playwrights' Festival next April -- part of World Stage -- and is looking for papers to be delivered and later published in Canadian Theatre Review. Abstracts (500 words max) will be evaluated by a group of scholars and theatre practitioners. Deadline is January 15. Send submissions to Djanet Sears, AfriCanadian Playwrights Festival, University College, U of T, 15 Kings College Circle, Toronto M5S 3H7, or send via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more info, call 416-978-7413.
There's also a call for entries for the 2003 Canadian Jewish Playwriting Contest, sponsored by the Jewish Theatre Committee of Toronto and the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre. The show must have Jewish content and not have been produced commercially, and the author should be Canadian or have a strong Canadian connection. The prize is a professionally directed, staged reading. Deadline is March 3. For more info, call 416-924-6211 or check out www.milesnadaljcc.ca.