Factory Theatre 's always been hot on new Canadian works. Now, beginning a hook-up with other play development centres across the country, it brings in works in progress from companies in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, British Columbia, Quebec and Alberta for a series of play readings called Reading Week (Trans-Canada Edition) .
Produced by Bill Lane , Factory's director of play development, the series includes Wanda Graham 's Kill Zone , about Canadian troops in a peace-keeping situation (today, Thursday, October 4) ; Miranda Huba 's House of KOSA , set in a prestigious couture house (also today) ; and Carolyn Gray 's The Confessional Of The Black Penitents , in which a VLT gambling addict rolls the wrong person for what she thinks will be easy cash (Friday, October 5).
The bill on Saturday includes a matinee of Alexis Martin 's Offices , in which the audience has a peek into the offices of a priest, detective, janitor, rabbi and shrink in connection with the disappearance of a man linked to a radical religious sect. It's translated from French by Bobby Theodore , whose translation of The Leisure Society was a hit at Factory a few years ago; he also provided the English version of The Sheep And The Whale for Cahoots last season.
Rounding out the series on Saturday is Writer's Block , by Eugene Stickland , a former Toronto playwright; he and his fellow York grads created some heady theatre here in the early 80s. He's since become a successful writer in Calgary, notably for Alberta Theatre Projects, run by former Factory head Bob White , who directs the reading.
Billed as "a delusional autobiographical fantasy," Stickland's piece examines what happens when a playwright-in-residence claims long-term disability when he can't do his job.
Some talented people are involved in the readings, including Tanja Jacobs , Lisa Codrington , Chapelle Jaffe , Anita Majumdar , Michelle Monteith , Nancy Beatty , Jim Jones , Maev Beaty , Sergio Di Zio , Michael McManus , Matthew Edison , Sarah Orenstein and Amy Rutherford .
That old Aboriginal trickster Weesageechack must be pretty tired. He's been hoofing it for two decades at Native Earth Performing Arts .
The company marks the 20th anniversary of Weesageechack Begins To Dance - its annual development series of multidisciplinary works - with four days of theatre, dance, music and more, beginning Wednesday (October 10).
Look for writer/performer Margo Kane 's Confessions Of An Indian Cowboy , based on Métis stories; Evening In Paris , a look at dance artist Molly Spotted Elk by the always-fascinating Muriel Miguel and performer Michelle Olson , and a series of presentations by young First Nations creators.
The last evening is paired with the launch of an album by the Rhymekeepers , urban artists continuing the oral tradition in rhyme.
Later in the series you can catch Laura Shamas 's family drama Chasing Honey , Santee Smith 's dance piece Woman In White , which looks at the life of the "other woman," and Drew Hayden Taylor 's God And The Indian , in which a priest and a former residential-school student have an unexpected reunion.
Running concurrently with the festival is a caucus involving the Indigenous Performing Arts Alliance and Native Earth, to discuss the future of Aboriginal arts.
Howling the beat
Have you ever heard Allen Ginsberg 's 1955 counter-poem Howl performed? The poet himself gave readings of the groundbreaking work, and of course published it. Musical ensemble The Art of Time launch their ninth season on Friday (October 5) with an evening of cutting-edge classical music, beat poetry and folk protest songs.
On the bill, along with songs by Woody Guthrie and Bob Dylan and George Crumb's chamber pieces Black Angels and Vox Balaenae (Voice Of The Whale), you'll hear actor Ted Dykstra reading the richly textured Ginsberg poem, set to music by Jonathan Goldsmith and performed by the composer at the piano, along with jazz trumpeter Michael White and bass-player George Koller .