Most theatre companies go into rest mode about the middle of December, except for those opening shows early in the new year. Cahoots Theatre , though, channelled its artistic resources into an exciting end-of-year three-performance workshop production of Ahmed Ghazali 's The Sheep And The Whale , translated by Bobby Theodore .
Set on a Russian freighter in the Strait of Gibraltar, the piece looks at the yearning for a new life and the impossibility of leaving the old one behind. Its characters - including French passengers, an African stowaway, Moroccan refugees both alive and dead - are all troubled souls.
The poetic, shimmering text highlighting their concerns was aided by director Soheil Parsa 's nuanced staging and fine performances by a cast that included R. H. Thomson , Tracey Ferencz , Rami Posner , Jim Warren , Karim Morgan , Andrew Bunker and Julian Richings.
The company plans a full production next season. Given this initial offering, it should be a don't-miss show.
Want to catch a young company defining its mandate? Column 13 Actors Company premiered last year as the Dark-Thirty Project, ambitiously mounting a Canadian double bill of The Soldier Dreams and Habitat. Now the renamed group - members have come out of the acting and creative ensemble programs at York - offers the Canadian premiere of John Patrick Shanley 's Where's My Money? The company is working toward a collective artistic vision, with the focus on acting and promoting Canadian artists. This recent play by Shanley (Danny And the Deep Blue Sea, Moonstruck) is a dissection of marriage seen through the sometimes surrealistic lives of three couples. Jonah Allison directs. See listings.
Big Apple news
How are Canadian theatre artists faring in New York City these days? Following its Toronto run, da da kamera 's Cul-de-Sac , featuring Daniel MacIvor and directed by Daniel Brooks , played in Manhattan in December, while actor and clown Derek Scott is performing in the fun-filled Slava's Snowshow , which has run a few times in Toronto; Scott's not only part of the ensemble but also alternates in the lead role with the production's Russian creator. Upcoming? Toronto Dance Theatre opens a run in mid-February, and Parallel Exit artistic director Mark Lonergan premieres his latest, a wordless "dance-theatre stage cartoon" called Powerhouse . Inspired by the films An American In Paris and City Lights, it goes up at the end of January.