It may be the middle of winter, but it's not too early to start thinking about the two big summer theatre festivals, the Fringe and SummerWorks. As usual, Ontario participants in the Fringe (June 30 to July 11) are chosen by lottery. Organizers expect more than 120 theatre companies from Canada and around the world to be in the fest, the 16th held in Toronto.
Applications are now being accepted for the 60-minute, 90-minute and KidsVenue slots. The application fee is $600 plus GST; $500 for KidsVenue shows. Participants keep 100 per cent of box office revenues.
For an application, call 416-966-1062 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline is January 30 at 6 pm.
A month later, the 14th SummerWorks takes over the Bathurst/King area, with 40 productions on tap. This year's festival is again juried, with shows a maximum of 55 minutes. The focus is primarily, but not exclusively, on new Canadian work.
You can download an application from www.summerworks.ca. Those chosen for the fest will be posted on the Web site. Applications can be mailed to or dropped off at SummerWorks Theatre Festival, 1087 Queen West, Toronto M6J 1H3. The deadline is February 2 at 7 pm. Good luck - er, break a leg.
Know any recent Japanese plays? You might think of Godzilla, which Crow's Theatre produced last season. Godzilla first towered over Toronto a few years earlier in a reading co-sponsored by Crow's and the Japan Foundation. The two groups are again collaborating, this time on a reading of Masataka Matsuda's Cape Moon. A contemporary piece set on an island off the coast of Nagasaki, the work - translated into English by Mari Boyd - focuses on a brother and sister who've been close since their parents' deaths. But centuries-old customs and modern values come into conflict when one wants to marry and the other's ex returns to woo her.
Nigel Shawn Williams and Tamara Podemski head up a strong cast, which also includes Marjorie Chan, Steve Cumyn, Stephen Guy-McGrath and Susan Potvin.
In 2002 Steve Lucas proved that theatre doesn't have to be yoked to narrative or have a visible performer to arouse profound emotions. The designer/director's BREATH[e] took audiences into a striking and enclosed world defined by sight and sound. The show won a Dora for set design. Produced by Theatre 2.0, BREATH[e] travels this month to the London International Mime Festival for 10 performances. Hope British audiences will inhale and exhale along with the taped breathing of Jane Miller and, like Toronto viewers, drift along with and participate in the unusual theatrical experience. email@example.com