Travelling the World
Now that World Stage is an annual event, we look forward to a tour of the globe - at least an artistic tour - without having to leave the city.
The 2008 festival, which runs from January to May, includes eight companies from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom.
The fest is bookended with Australian shows, Back to Back Theatre 's small metal objects , a site-specific piece about two ambitious executives (January), and Circa 's The Space Between , a mix of dance, contemporary circus and rock music (May).
Also part of the dance card are Peter Chin / Tribal Cracking Wind 's multimedia Transmission Of The Invisible , which looks at preserving Khmer culture in the aftermath of genocide (February), regular T. O. visitors Bill T. Jones / Arne Zane Dance Company with Chapel/Chapter (April) and New Zealand's all-male Black Grace with Grassroots Tour , a fusion of contemporary movement and traditional Pacific performance (April).
Two other local companies present under the World Stage Banner: the latest Opera To Go of short works by Tapestry New Opera Works (February) and the Theatre Centre 's experimental, interdisciplinary performance series FreeFall (March).
Rounding out the schedule is UK troupe Spymonkey's Cooped , a comedy of murder, love and mistaken identity (March).
For more information see www.harbourfrontcentre.com .
Summer fest changes
Look for new faces at both the Fringe and SummerWorks this year.
After helming the Toronto Fringe for nine years, executive director Chuck McEwen heads back to Winnipeg in December to take over the Winnipeg Fringe. A search will be held to find his replacement. In the meantime, producer Bridget MacIntosh takes on McEwen's duties.
Too bad McEwen can't be around for January's Next Stage Theatre Festival , an offshoot of the Fringe and the first time the festival will host a winter series.
Over at SummerWorks, Keira Loughran , who's been artistic producer for several seasons, has become coordinator of new play development at the Stratford Festival . SummerWorks is seeking an artistic producer for the 2008 festival, starting immediately.
Applicants should submit, by e-mail only, a cover letter (including salary expectations) and resumé, no more than three pages. Those selected for an interview will receive a more detailed package about the festival prior to a 45-minute meeting with the board. Submission deadline is December 7 at 5 pm (local time). Interviews will be held December 15.
Send applications to email@example.com .
But the show must go on, even with new people in key roles. It's time to start thinking about submissions to both SummerWorks and the Fringe .
The August SummerWorks has two deadlines. Applicants from outside Ontario should apply to the Canadian Pavilion; deadline is December 14. For those within Ontario, deadline is February 1. Application forms are available at www.summerworks.ca.
This year's Fringe runs from July 2 to 13, and applications are now available for the ninth annual new play contest, sponsored by Exclamation Productions in association with macIDeas.
Plays must be new, original works by permanent Canadian residents, not previously produced (but may have been workshopped). They must run no more than 90 minutes. One entry per playwright.
The winner receives a cash prize as well as a slot in the festival; two runners-up receive a cash prize. Entry fee is $25. Deadline is December 3 or when 80 applications have been received. Get applications at www.fringetoronto.com. For more info call 416-966-1062 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have trouble deciding what to buy for Christmas presents? Maybe you can pick up some of your presents at Theatre Columbus's 17th annual fundraising auction .
You'll find designer clothing, food baskets, art work, books, theatre tickets and a mystery bottle sale.
The event is Monday (December 3) at the Gladstone . Cover is $10.
Caught the last performance of The True Tragedy Of Richard The Third, the anonymous play that inspired Shakespeare's version of the tyrannical ruler.
Staged by the U of T's Poculi Ludique Societas and the Graduate Centre for Study of Drama, the piece continues the PLS's investigations into the performance practices of the Queen's Men, a troupe whose work influenced the young playwright from Stratford-upon-Avon.
But the show proved to be more than an academic exercise in how the Queen's Men rehearsed and staged their productions; it's also a vibrant piece of theatre, with a cast of 14 playing nearly 60 parts.
In the title role,Jason Gray holds the audience's attention whenever he's on, though this earlier version of the story doesn't give Richard as much stage time ? or as ironic a tone ? as the Bard does.
One of the characters who's key here but absent from Shakespeare's play is Shore's Wife, the mistress of King Edward. A lesson in the fickleness of fate, she goes from a court position of pride and power to a street beggar, cursing the beauty that drew the king to her. In the hands ofJill Carter, Shore's Wife ? she's given no first name here ? is moving in her fall from high fortune and powerful in her anger at those who deserted her.
While there's no Lady Ann or cursing Margaret in the text, it's no surprise, given the company that originally presented the work, that the evening ends with a paean to Elizabeth I.
More experiments, please. Stagings like these, with such resilient texts, fill in some of the dark shadows of English theatrical history.