21 times three
Here's a chance to check out some young talent directed and mentored by established Toronto artists.
Rep 21 , a new company made up of acting grads from North Bay's Canadore College theatre arts program, hits town with three shows in four days. The trio of plays deal with 20-somethings trying to define themselves in an urban environment.
Rod Carley directs Stephen Jeffreys 's The Libertine , based on the life of the Earl of Rochester (you might have seen the Johnny Depp film version), featuring Jeff Miller and Hume Baugh . The show plays twice, July 25 and 28.
Running in rep with The Libertine are single performances of Jessica Goldberg 's Refuge, in which a young woman cares for younger sibs after their parents abandon them (July 26), and Nicky Silver 's The Altruists, a look at a group of dedicated radicals whose ideals are put to a practical test (July 27). Geoffrey Pounsett directs the former, Shari Hollett , the latter.
Young artists' calls
Two companies want to develop the skills of budding creators.
Carlos Bulosan Theatre , whose works reflect a new generation of Filipino-Canadian artists, is looking for members for its novice Play Creation Unit . Participants work with professional theatre people to cultivate and explore their creative voice. Each member devises a short piece to be presented next February in the company's showcase of new works, Tales From The Flipside .
Send a letter discussing your interest in the program and an idea you'd like to develop into a theatre piece, as well as a one- or two-page submission of creative writing in any form.
Deadline is August 3. Send to email@example.com or by mail to Carlos Bulosan Theatre, 167 Augusta, Mailbox A, Toronto M5T 2L4.
Canadian Stage continues its BASH! Artistic Development Program , in which its eight members meet regularly to examine their own work and vision with members of Canadian Stage's artistic, production and administrative teams.
Members attend Canadian Stage shows and talkbacks and are mentored by a senior artist attuned to his or her professional needs and goals. Other events are also part of the season.
The company is looking for indie arts professionals, including multidisciplinary artists, who have experience creating and/or producing performance work and are eager to exchange ideas with like-minded creators.
Think George F. Walker sets all his plays in a motel or Toronto's east end?
Yes, that's true for recent shows like Better Living, Escape From Happiness and Problem Child, but early pieces often had fictional or exotic locales.
Take Rumours Of Our Death , a 1980 play set in an unnamed kingdom where the monarch warns of imminent war, his queen has visions and zombies walk the streets.
Staged and Confused artistic director Michael Murphy admits that he had trouble tracking down the dark satire. It hasn't been performed in Toronto since its debut under Walker's direction.
"Its resonance today is remarkable. The king resembles Bush, leading a country into war for the flimsiest of reasons. In fact, one striking line in the play is, 'The reason for war is no one's business. '"
With its jabs at arts funding, terrorists and foreign takeovers, Rumours also speaks to a contemporary audience.
"The play has the bleak, deadpan comedy of a Wes Anderson movie, like Rushmore or The Royal Tenenbaums.
"If you develop solid characters, you don't have to worry about the work's absurd comedy -- it'll play itself," notes Murphy, who's previously helmed the troupe's productions of Gross Indecency and Amadeus.
The director points to the "youthful playfulness" of Walker's early works, which he contrasts with the naturalism of his later scripts. It's a quality Murphy wants to capture with his young company.