Foe for all
If you like your theatre intimate, check out writer/director Risha Yorke's Foe, presented by draft89 in the living-room-sized Hub 14.
Part art installation, part performance art, the piece explores the idea that everyone is a liar: some do it openly and acknowledge the fact; some fool themselves as well as others.
Six figures - the mother, the lawyer, the con artist, the conspiracy theorist, the compulsive and the everyday liar - sit or stand at stations around the room like exhibits in a gallery. Most of them deliver direct monologues about their lives and philosophies; some of the material is predictable and repetitious, while the acting is variable.
Con artist Jennifer Neales and everyday liar Daniel Sadavoy, who know how to hold an audience with their voices as well as their words, get the best material and give the best performances.
The stories that Neales tells are the most creative, ranging from a shell game involving the Eiffel Tower to a new celebrity-inspired theme park aimed at the rich and wannabe-famous. Sadavoy's speeches involve us in a way that others don't; his character talks about guilt but still enjoys his acknowledged indiscretions.
There's good energy, too, from Mladen Obradovic, whose distrustful conspiracy theorist is the only character able to roam around the room and try to make a change in his life.
Tessa King's got a pretty full theatrical plate. She moved here from Australia less than a year ago, but she's already written and produced the SummerWorks show One Last and snared two important positions.
King is the recipient of the 2007-08 Urjo Kareda Residency Grant at the Tarragon, where she'll work in collaboration with staff and artists in the theatre's two script development programs, WorkSpace and the Playwrights Unit.
At the same time, she'll be helming the Paprika Festival, the under-21 program for writers, actors and behind-the-scenes people that's nurtured young talent so well.
The developmental programs at two theatres celebrate big anniversaries this year, and the programs both look to grow in innovative directions.
The Alumnae Theatre's organizing its 20th New Ideas Festival, a juried three-week showcase of new work set to run in March and feature some 15 works in progress. Chosen writers have access to dramaturgical support. For criteria and submission information see www.alumnaetheatre.com. Deadline is September 15.
After a year off, Buddies is bringing back its always-exciting Rhubarb Festival, which encourages artists to take risks and explore various facets of performance creation in a safe, critic-free atmosphere.
Although script-based works will be accepted, Buddies encourages more experimental submissions in contemporary theatre, conceptual dance, performance art, new media, installation art, hybrids and cross-disciplinary collaborations.
For this year's 30th Rhubarb, the company seeks works of various styles and lengths. Submissions for the Cabaret and the Chamber can be up to 25 minutes long. There'll also be a mini-stage, with one-to-five-minute events for a small audience in a small space, and the solo stage, with one-to-two-minute performances or installations for an audience of one.
In addition, Rhubarb has an environmental section, with happenings and interactive performances or installations around the theatre.
All works must be original and not previously produced.
You can get an application and submission guidelines at www.buddiesinbadtimestheatre.com. Deadline is September 14.