Didn't catch writer/performer Darrell Dennis 's Tales Of An Urban Indian a few years ago? It's a funny piece with a heart, and it's about to hit the road for a second time. First, though, there's a benefit performance for Native Earth Performing Arts on Saturday (February 19). See One Nighters, page 76, for details. The show began life in the company's workshop series Weesageechak Begins To Dance; Native Earth is currently looking for theatre and dance submissions for next year's festival.
Open to new works by native artists, the fest runs in September. Local creators as well as those from across Canada are invited to submit proposals. The selection committee is especially interested in work "that examines contemporary native challenges and experiences." Deadline is May 13. For more info, call 416-531-1402 or write firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interested in producing indie theatre but feel you could use some sage advice? You couldn't do better than attend Sunday's (February 20) Indie Trade Forum , presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA) in association with Buddies . There'll be workshops on grants, the business of producing, handling a budget and getting press coverage as well as bums in seats.
The event also marks the launch of the Theatre Artists Guild (TAG), a communication forum for production and design artists, and a marketplace in which you can browse for arts-savvy info. More info at One Nighters, page 76, or registration and schedule at www.tapa.ca.
Wolf a cub
Wolf , a physical theatre piece presented last week by the Wolf Co-op , is still in its infancy.
A fable about growing up, the 40-minute show focuses on a cub whose two older sisters lose her in a wood inhabited by a fearsome spectral figure. Co-written by director Thomas Morgan Jones and performer Josie Marasco , with choreography by Kerry Gage , Wolf still needs its characters defined and fleshed out, especially in their movements. As the cub, Marasco is clearly the company's best dancer, and her maturation in the second half proves some of the piece's best work. Jen MacDowell has some nicely spooky moments as the Spectre, and Imali Perera 's mother wolf is the sharpest of the characters.
But why give the story in program notes? Shouldn't the production itself be able to provide the narrative?
To be or not to be a mother is at the core of Spanish playwright Federico García Lorca 's passionate, poetic Yerma . The title character desperately wants a child, but while most of the other village women are fruitful, she remains barren. The George Brown production, directed by Richard Rose , relies on ritualistic, circular movements on a set (by Rose and April Vizcko ) of dry earth, hard stones and dry, leafless branches. As Yerma, Lindsay McMahon starts slowly but builds to a powerful finale in which the desperate woman acts with impulsive vengefulness. Some of her best scenes are with Eli Ham 's Victor, the shepherd who would give her what her possessive husband, Juan ( Louis Adams ), can't.
There's also a nuanced scene by the river where the women wash clothes while they gossip, compete and hand out guilt. Well paced, the episode shows the rivalries and feelings that lie beneath the seemingly placid village life. See Continuing, page 78.