Free Fallin' at the Theatre
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Free Fallin’ at the Theatre

On now at The Theatre Centre, Free Fall '12 is a festival that celebrates theatre "without a net."

Image by Jonathan Goldsbie.

Independent theatre in Toronto spans plenty of genres—documentary, physical, clown, musical, monologue, abstract, and so on. But one genre it always tries to steer clear of is “safe.” To many people involved in making live performances, the art form is at its best when audiences feel a little uncomfortable. And so Free Fall ’12, The Theatre Centre’s eight-day biennial theatre festival, is very appropriately named.

It opened earlier this week, so you’re already running out of time to catch some of the fest’s unique programming, featuring both international and local artists, who are putting on projects that take place both on- and offline. Here are a few highlights:

Route 501 Revisited
Jonathan Goldsbie (Toronto)
Tuesday, March 27 at 7 p.m., Saturday March 31 at 1 p.m.
Route 501 Streetcar

When City Hall reporter and Tweeter Jonathan Goldsbie was presented with a budget of $1,000 to put on a performance piece as part of Free Fall ’12, he had just one thought—to rent a streetcar. Blending this desire with his observation of commuters who spend more time interacting with their iPhones than they do with fellow passengers, Goldsbie came up with Route 501 Revisited. Members can hop aboard (for a ticketed, chartered ride on Tuesday night, and a free, public ride on Saturday) for a guided tour of Queen Street, conducted solely through Twitter and the hashtag #route501. No speaking allowed.

James Long and Maiko Bae Yamamoto in WEETUBE 5400. Photo by Gunther Gamper.

Theatre Replacement (Vancouver)
Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 28 at 8 p.m.
The Theatre Centre (1087 Queen St. West)

Even though YouTube commenters can sometimes seem like bottom feeders, they are, in fact, people just like us. (As terrifying as that is.) James Long and Maiko Bae Yamamoto of Vancouver’s Theatre Replacement remind us of this by taking YouTube comments and placing them within scenes more commonplace in daily life. Which could end up being horrifying.

DoggieWoggiez! PoochieWoochiez!
Everything Is Terrible! (Chicago)
Thursday, March 29 at 7 p.m., the Drake Underground (1150 Queen Street West)
Friday, March 30 at 8 p.m., the Drake Lab


Images of kittens make everything—from sweaters to online videos—exponentially more popular, that’s the rule. But Chicago’s Everything is Terrible, a VHS mash-up collective, is turning their focus onto the under-appreciated genre of videos featuring canines, by recreating Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1973 film The Holy Mountain with found footage of various dogs.