Time for the annual Harold Awards , given to those individuals who've contributed either on or off the stage to the local indie theatre and dance community. The underground award, a celebration of the vibrant and the subversive in Toronto entertainment, isn't afraid to be mouthy.
That tone captures the award's namesake, the late Harold Kandel , who would have been 100 this year. Kandel, a big theatre fan, always sat in the first row and told the performers exactly what he thought of their work while it played out before him. It was both an honour and a little scary to have him in the audience.
In the tradition of the Harolds, last year's 14 winners choose and induct the new crop of artists and arts supporters, with a party and entertainment.
This year's Harold Awards take place Monday (May 29) at the Lula Lounge. The evening also includes the presentation of the Ken McDougall Award to an emerging director.
See One-Nighters in Theatre Listings.
Every once in a while it's okay to play with your food. Shadowland , the wonderful grassroots theatre group based on the Toronto Islands, heads back to the kitchen with The Essence Of Ambrose Ichor , a walkabout culinary show celebrating the life of fictional chef Ichor, who aimed to define Canadian cuisine but lost everything in the process.
Billed as a performance meal, the evening includes six courses of organic, free-range food as the audience wanders from one performance site to another, learning the history and philosophy of the adventurous Ichor.
The show is created by Shadowland's Anne Barber , Brad Harley and Clea Minaker , with culinary artistry by Luisa Milan and Lynne Stirling and hosted by Hume Baugh , Selina Martin , Minaker and Craig Stanghetta .
The company's already taken us to the kitchen in its previous production, last fall's intriguing puppet show The Lost Supper.
The two performances are sold out, but the company's next food-oriented show, Order of Good Cheer, runs in July.
After a year's breather, the Tarragon Spring Arts Fair returns with a packed weekend of free events as part of its 35th season. Readings, staged performances, playwrights presenting their own work, comedy and other entertainment are some of the offerings. Among the participants are Claire Calnan , Sean Dixon , Becky Johnson , Rick Roberts , Alan Dilworth , Joan MacLeod , Kate Lynch and Kate Hennig . Look for contributions by the Tarragon 's Spring Training Project , Carlos Bulosan Theatre , TheatreFront and the Wrecking Ball. See Opening in Theatre Listings.
Time for a theatrical wearing of the green, as Toronto becomes the site for the Acting Irish International Theatre Festival . Local community company and festival host the Toronto Irish Players kicks off the five-day event with a performance of Sean O'Casey 's The Plough And The Stars . The festival takes place in a different North American city each year, and this time around it brings together eight troupes from Winnipeg, Boca Raton, Milwaukee, Rochester, Chicago and Dublin. Look for works by Brian Friel ( Dancing At Lughnasa ), Martin McDonagh ( The Beauty Queen Of Leenane ) and others. All shows are at the Young Centre.
See Openings in Theatre Listings.
24 at the Fringe
Can you create a play in 24 hours? No Jack Bauer here, unless he's one of the items you have to work into the script for the Fringe's eighth annual 24 Hour Playwriting Contest . The festival accepts completed applications and the $25 contest fee (first come, first served) starting June 1 at 10 am.
Space is limited to 60 writers.
Those chosen have 24 hours beginning on the first day of the Fringe (July 5) to write a play that incorporates four objects, locations or situations given to them the evening of the kickoff.
First prize is $500 and a staged reading on the festival's closing night; second and third place get cash prizes.
For an application, call 416-966-1062 or download a copy from www.fringetoronto.com.