Playwrights Canada Press holds a (theatre) star-studded reading event for their spring 2013 book launch. Among the authors reading from their work are Michael Healey, playwright of Proud; MJ Cruise, reading from her play Separate Beds; and Daniel Karasik, whose newest play The Biographer opened May 2.
Written and directed by Maya Rabinovitch, I Will Not Hatch! features a cast of 10 actors telling the darkly comic story of how a number of passengers react when their airplane begins losing altitude. It’s a remount of their earlier Fringe show, which sold out house and earned praise in both Toronto and Winnipeg.
Weekly musical theatre cabaret SINGular Sensation is marking some birthdays. Host/producer Jennifer Walls’ birthday is within a few days of Gabi Epstein’s, so the two triple-threats (both appearing in Stratford’s Springworks Festival this month) are celebrating together. Perhaps regular guest star Chris Tsujiuchi will sing “Happy Birthday” to them, as he did for a patron last week. Other guests this week include cast members of Angelwalk Theatre’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, and Kelly Holiff (From Justin to Kelly, Rent).
When’s the last time you attempted to reconceptualize the dimensions of space? If it’s been a while, you might consider checking out a new exhibition called I Thought There Were Limits, which aims to do just that. This particular exhibit is unique in that the artwork forms a relationship with the site itself (in this case, the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery). The work on display is brought to you by curator Julia Abraham (as part of the MVS degree in Curatorial Studies at the University of Toronto). The artists include Karen Henderson, Yam Lau, Gordon Lebredt, Kika Thorne, and Josh Thorpe.
For someone well known for her expressive and awwww-inducing drawings of pugs, U.K.-based illustrator Gemma Correll came to her love of the animal late. “I was always a cat person growing up, so I think the pug was like my gateway dog,” she said at Magic Pony, an art and design shop on Queen West that is currently hosting The Mr. Pickles Fan Club, the first Canadian exhibition of her work.
For the 2013 edition of the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, artistic director Bonnie Rubenstein didn’t choose her exhibits based on the festival’s theme. Instead, she let the exhibits choose the theme.
The city-wide Contact Photography Festival always features a great number of exhibits that are well worth your time, but one you don’t want to miss is “In the Playroom.” This award-winning (and controversial) series from Jonathan Hobin (whose work draws from the darker side of childhood imagination and storytelling) explores the idea of the “impossibility of a protective space, safe from the reach of modern media.” Opening reception is on May 2 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
In theatre, it’s one thing to have an idea. It’s another to actually see the idea through. And it’s another thing entirely to see it happen a second time.
“It’s nerve-wracking because we’re not new anymore, so it’s not as easy to get people excited about it as it was last year when it was a new and shiny thing. Like, ‘Are those scrappy kids going to pull it off?'” says Alex Johnson, project director of The Playwright Project, which is about to launch its second edition. By “those scrappy kids,” Johnson is referring to the collective of independent theatre companies that joined forces last year to create The Tennessee Project, a week-long festival that toured a series of Tennessee Williams one-act plays through seven Toronto neighbourhoods. The idea was that each play would perform in a new venue each night, but that those venues would be familiar places like bars, restaurants, or community centres, and the crews would not only perform in neighbourhoods (from North York to Greektown to Roncesvalles), but would volunteer for local projects and organizations as well. It was an ambitious gamble for a bunch of young theatre-makers frustrated by a lack of time and resources to stage their own work. But according to Johnson, it was a resounding success.
The Toronto Comedy Brawl is in the middle of a growth spurt. Despite humble beginnings, Ian Atlas’ amateur competition has grown from 64 participants to, this year, a few hundred.
A fragile young woman obsessed with an old mechanized box containing an ancient (and possibly deadly) artifact calls upon a clairvoyant, a paranormal investigator, and a parapsychologist to assist in unlocking its secrets. No, it’s not a new AMC series, or an upcoming summer blockbuster—it’s Visitations, the new immersive-theatre experience by The Mission Business, creator of last year’s epic bio-horror theatrical extravaganza, Zed.TO.
As with Zed.TO, the audience is very much at the heart of the action in Visitations, exploring rooms, decoding messages, solving puzzles, and trying to prevent a catastrophe—or perhaps being used to bring one about. The more you bring to the experience, the more fun you’ll have in return.