Buying theatre and dance tickets just got easier, and, if you're a student, sometimes cheaper. T.O. Tix, the discount ticket booth at Dundas Square, now offers tickets online as well. Ticket sales have increased over the past year, returning a substantial amount to the performing arts community. For more information about the new Web site, check out www.totix.ca, which offers (as does the booth) discount day-of-performance tickets and full-price tickets to various Toronto events and attractions. The group running T.O. Tix recently changed its name from the Toronto Theatre Alliance to the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), reflecting its membership of theatre, dance and opera companies. Mirvish Productions is offering discount tickets for its shows, aimed at high-school, college and university students with valid ID. At www.studentgreenroom. com , students can purchase cut-rate tickets for Mamma Mia, Cats and, next month, Da Kink In My Hair.
Actor, director and performers' rights advocate Sandi Ross is getting the recognition she justly deserves. Diversity World Heritage, a non-profit organization devoted to community and international development through pluralism and civic participation, recently awarded Ross a prize for her contribution to Canadian theatre and for being a role model for women in the arts. Ross has performed in Canada for over two decades and spent three seasons at Stratford. Her current project is an update of Beyond The Mainstream, a talent directory for visible minorities, First Nations and disabled performers.
It's really exciting to see a new generation of theatre artists strutting their stuff. That happened at Ryerson Theatre School in director Liza Balkan 's production of Bertolt Brecht 's The Good Woman Of Setzuan . Balkan's inventive direction nicely laid out the script's moral enigmas and added a comic thrust to the Brechtian style. At one point an angry actor, told by the stage manager in mid-scene that the company couldn't smoke even though the script called for it, stopped the action and opened a window to indulge in a cigarette. Sarah Dryden did an impressive double turn as title character Shen Te, forced by circumstances to become her own fictional male cousin Shui Ta. Dryden was warm and generous as the former, cold and flat-toned as the latter. Among the other strong performers in the large cast were Riley Gilchrist as her fickle lover, Sophia Walker as Shen Te's sensual landlady and Anousha Alamian , Christopher Fowler and Alexis Taylor as a trio of gods - in this version, Persian, Christian and Hindu - who unintentionally but blindly cause problems for Shen Te. The trio of deities, becoming more and more comically forlorn as the show progresses, got lots of well-earned laughs.
Interested in creating radio drama? The CBC and the ReelWorld Film Festival are sponsoring a radio drama training workshop for ethnically diverse writers and directors from all media who are new to CBC Radio. Six writers and as many directors will be chosen for the workshop, which is limited to people living in Toronto and vicinity. Applicants should submit a letter stating their reasons for wanting to participate, along with a resumé and, if possible, a short sample of recent work. For more information and to send applications, write radiodrama@ cbc.ca and put Beyond The Sound Barrier on the subject line; supporting material should be mailed to Beyond The Sound Barrier, CBC Radio A&E, Box 500, Station A, Toronto M5W 1E6. Deadline is December 15.