Boni does good
Franco Boni , the Theatre Centre 's artistic director, is the recipient of this year's Rita Davies Cultural Leadership Award , presented October 17 at the Toronto Arts Foundation Mayor's Arts Awards lunch.
The $10,000 award goes to someone who has demonstrated "creative cultural leadership in the development of arts and culture in Toronto."
It's a prize that Boni's deserved for some time. We first met him when he was fresh out of York University and apprenticing at Buddies in Bad Times. Since then, he's directed at Buddies and for indie companies, mentored youth at Buddies, run SummerWorks and introduced its juried system and moved on to helm the Theatre Centre, which presents some of the most adventurous work in the city.
An advocate of art that stems from a political consciousness, Boni is now trying to secure a permanent home for the Theatre Centre in the Carnegie Library, just west of the centre's current location at Queen and Dovercourt.
A few weeks ago, Factory offered a reading series of plays in development by writers from around the country.
Now the Tarragon collaborates with Écritures Vagabondes , an association that has given four francophone playwrights a three-week residency in Toronto and a chance "to explore the political, cultural and social realities of their host country, and the challenges faced by those living and writing in sensitive areas of the world."
We've benefited from the fruit of a previous residency, for Carole Fréchette , a founding member of Écritures Vagabondes, wrote Helen's Necklace while in Lebanon.
This year's participants are writers Marie Henry (Belgium), Elie Karam (Lebanon), Amr Sawah (Syria) and Joséphine Serre (France).
Excerpts from their works, in English translation, get a free reading tonight (Thursday, October 25), at the Tarragon.
Ten on top
Inspired to write a 10 minutes play?
Then the Inspirato Festival is for you. Featuring short works, the festival has its third annual outing next May.
Artistic director Dominik Loncar has put out a script call, with the proviso that the 2008 fest is the start of a six-year cycle of works that focus on the senses. This year it's the sense of smell.
The company offers 14 plays during the 10-day festival, usually seven a night.
Those playwrights chosen receive payment and are provided with cast and crew to stage their festival production. Application deadline is January 7. For more info, see www.inspiratofestival.ca, which also provides hints on writing a short theatre piece.