It's not unusual for a playwright to perform his own work -- think of Daniel MacIvor, Guillermo Verdecchia or Daniel Brooks. But switching roles is rarer when it's the director who moves into the spotlight.
We're curious to see how Mark Cassidy fares as one of the two performers in the latest version of Five Fingers. Robin Fulford's visceral, poetic play about a crumbling relationship was first workshopped environmentally a few years ago under director Sarah Stanley. Cassidy -- best known for his work with Threshold Theatre -- later led the hit SummerWorks 2001 version, but this time around steps onto the stage with Suzanne Hersh.
Want some more shifting of roles? Wendy White, who designed both the SummerWorks show and the current one, also shifts to the director's chair. See listings for details.
sizing up dwarf
Size is a relative thing. Check out the workshop version of Dwarf, writer/director David Rotenberg's response to Swedish writer Per Lagerkvist's novel. The original is narrated by the title character, a figure at a medieval Italian court who recounts the evils and darkly comic events he sees around him.
Sharing the role onstage are Rae Ellen Bodie, who's 5-foot-8, and Marvin Hinz, who breaks 6 feet.
The theatrical skill is there, too. Hinz has done some memorable work and next month is part of The Laramie Project, while Bodie is one of Toronto's under-utilized acting talents. The large cast also includes Bruce Clayton, Jacklyn Francis, Matt Gordon and Wayne Ward. See listings for details.
Yeah, it's snowy outside and we're just getting into the winter theatre season. But it's also time to start thinking about next summer's two big theatre festivals, the Fringe and SummerWorks. Both are currently accepting applications.
The Fringe, now in its 15th year, runs July 2 to 13, with more than 120 productions in 10 downtown theatres. The fest's looking for 60-minute, 90-minute and KidsVenue shows.
Chosen companies -- Ontario participants are selected by lottery once applications are in -- get seven performances (eight for a KidsVenue show) and keep all of their box office revenues.
Deadline to submit an application is January 31. For information or to request an application, call 416-966-1062 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
SummerWorks blossoms this year -- August 7 to 17 -- as a completely juried festival, a move that will likely increase its overall artistic quality.
This 13th edition of SummerWorks will feature over 35 productions chosen by committee. Shows are 55 minutes long, max.
If you need reassuring that opera's anything but elitist, check out Opera 101, the laid-back series that finds a charming host (Loving Spoonfuls' David Gale) chatting up opera pros. This Friday's (January 10) informal do includes Nicholas Muni and soprano Frédérique Vézina, director and performer respectively of the acclaimed return production of Jenufa, skedded for the Hummingbird from January 25. NOW Lounge (189 Yonge).