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Posts tagged ‘art’

Our Favourite SummerWorks 2013 Picks

It’s that time again! We’ve made a list, we’ve checked it twice. Check out Our Favourite SummerWorks 2013 Picks, in no particular order, to see what performances we’ve particularly dug so far, and think you should catch before it’s too late.

Is there a performance that you think we’ve missed? Let us know via Facebook or Twitter and we’ll be sure to check it out! Enjoy the last weekend of SummerWorks, Friends!

Delicacy

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Company: Theatre Brouhaha

Written & Directed by: Kat Sandler

Where: Lower Ossington Theatre

When: August 16th 12:00pm & August 17th 5:00pm

Delicacy is a sharp, honest and sexy comedy from Theatre Brouhaha that examines the breakdown of a steamy situation and the emotional mayhem that ensues as relationship landmines explode.

It’s fun, saucy, sexy and hilarious: everything you secretly want from a night at the theatre. The acting is suberb and we think it may be Kat Sandler’s best piece to date. A very fun night at the theatre, which left us questioning what we all really want from our romantic relationships.

Murderers Confess at Christmastime

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Company: Outside the March

Written by: Jason Chinn

Directed by: Simon Bloom

Where: Lower Ossington Theatre

When: August 16th 2:30pm & August 17th 12:00pm

From the company that brought us Terminus last year and Mr. Marmalade the year before, this is a searing and comedic production exploring the truly dire limits people are pushed to during the most joyous and stressful time of the year. Featuring amazing performances and beautifully adept direction. This production is rated 18+ for a reason. It’ll shake you.

Enough Rope

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Company: Enough Rope Collective

Author & Director: Collaboratively created and directed by the company.

Where: Lower Ossington Studio Theatre

When: August 16th 7:30pm & August 17th 10:00pm

We saw an earlier incarnation of this piece and loved it. A fantastic interactive piece – the actors get right in your face in this exploration of the artist and his/her struggle. Based on classic Kafka characters, it’s unlike anything most of us have ever seen before.

7 Important Things

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Company: STO Union and Canada’s National Arts Centre in Association with WAC (Wakefield Art Collective)

Author: Nadia Ross in collaboration with George Acheson

Where: Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace

When: August 16th 1:30pm & August 17th 9:00pm

This deeply personal show asks big questions about identity and the effectiveness of counterculture. This is a great mix of mediums used to tell a beautiful life story that hums with resonance to our current social landscape.

Sara Hennessey

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Who: Sara Hennessey, Petra Glynt, and Jon McCurley

What: Performance Bar Series, Comedy

Where: Lower Ossington Theatre Cabaret Space

When: August 17th – Doors @ 8pm, Show @ 9pm

This stand-up show at the performance bar promises to be gleeful, exciting, and absolutely engaging. This frenetic performance will only be happening once at the performance bar, don’t miss it.

girls! girls! girls!

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Company: Present Danger Productions

Author: Greg MacArthur

Directed by: Donna Marie Baratta & Jessica Carmichael

Where: Scotiabank Studio Theatre

When: August 17th 9:30pm

This bold, poetic performance will haunt you. What a dynamite first production for Present Danger Productions, which easily has them live up to their name. girls! girls! girls! is still lingering with us.

Family Story

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Company: Birdtown and Swanville

Author & Director: Aurora Stewart de Pena

Where: Gallery 1313

When: August 16th  7:30pm, August 17th 9:30pm & August 18th 2:30pm

Family Story is an exuberant, high energy trip through time as a young woman explores her family history. It’s full of strange and endearing characters, and the cast is filled with high energy commitment the entire time. It definitely puts the “fun” in “dysfunctional”.

Schützen

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Company: Original co-production by the Berliner Festspiele / Foreign Affairs, Tanztage Berlin and Sophiensaele in Berlin

Choreographer & Performer: Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt

Where: Scotiabank Studio Theatre

When: August 16th 7pm & August 17th 2pm

From Danish performance artist Cecilie Ullerup Schmidt comes Schützen. Schützen (a word whose double meaning is inherent in its entymology) is an exploration of the body as a weapon. In collaboration with sound designer Matthias Meppelink and the Berlin Festspiele, Cecillie takes the audience through her own research on the physical body of the modern day warrior from the drone pilots in Nevada to her own target practice in the Berlin shooting hall. Schützen is unique and hypnotizing. This international production lives up to its hype. Just go see it already.

The Life of Jude

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Company: Falling Hammer

Author: Alex Poch Goldin

Composer: Jesse LaVercombe

Director: David Ferry

Where: Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace

When: August 16th 6:30pm & August 18th 1:30pm

We haven’t seen a show like The Life of Jude in a long time. It’s a huge ensemble piece (21 cast members) that spans over decades encompassing song, simple but ever changing sets and video media. Very well directed, and some unexpected full frontal male nudity, so hey, go see it just for that.

This Wide Night

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Company: Wide Night Collective

Author: Chloe Moss

Director: Kelli Fox

Where: Factory Theatre Mainspace

When: August 17th 5:30pm

Actress Maggie Blake and Canadian renowned playwright/actress Kristen Thomson explore a riveting relationship between two women post prison. They were able to bring forth a sense of realism to the stage, allowing the audience to see a true slice of life. It was real, raw and such honest work, exploring a genuine human connection between two people. This play makes you question whether or not these women were truly free when released from the confines of the jail or from their unstable friendship.

Morro and Jasp on the Nature of Relationships

Article by: Morro and Jasp
Photos by: Jackson Klie
Styled by: Mahro Anfield
http://www.morroandjasp.com

On the interpretation of ‘feelings’ as they pertain to the understanding of being ‘involved’ in, as, or with a society upon which the dependence of ‘another’ is debated and discussed OR How many licks does it take to get to the centre of a Tootsie Pop?

Morro and Jasp sit, sisterly, pondering the nature of relationships – theatrical, theoretical and thematic.  They often sigh before speaking, and pause before pronouncing their opinions.  They are very much, as the French say, “a la carte”.
JASP: Morro, tell me the honest truth – how do you feel about me?
MORRO: Without you I am not a thing, I am no thing, I am a lone tree in the forest and therefore not really there. Je suis la tristess!!!! Je suis la pizza without la sauce.
JASP: Really?
MORRO: Or maybe I’d be really excited to finally not have to report to anyone but secretly I’m too chicken-shit to find out if that could be true- the risk is too great. Take cover troops. Stay protected!!!
JASP: I see.
MORRO: And what about you Jasp? What are your feelings on this subject?
JASP: I think feelings are one of, nay, the most important things we have. They’re the only thing we have really. Every morning I wake up and write a journal entry about how I feel; from the dreams I had the night before; how my day is going to go; how hungry I am (hunger is after all, a feeling), etc.
MORRO: (sarcastically) Fascinating.
JASP: (ignoring her) Sometimes I think my sister is the only one who really knows me, yet she doesn’t know me. We share the same blood but different souls. I yearn for the day I will find the one who shares a soul with mine and we can lick to the centre of the proverbial Tootsie Pop together (No offense, Morro).
MORRO: None taken.
JASP: What are your thoughts Morro?
MORRO: I was pondering the other fortnight and upon my musings I imagined a world in which there were no farms. How horrible an utterance was this that a tear I did shed from my left eye. My right eye does not release fluids so readily. Imagine a city without a farm. Don’t’ actually imagine it , that was a rhetorical question. But think of it, what would we eat? I once sat under a tree at Riverdale Farm with my tootsie pop and let two drops of said liquid fall from mine eye (still the left one). Without a farm never can one indulge in such a delight. What was the question again? Jasp, it’s your turn.
JASP: My feeling about the actual topic, not about farms, is that relationships are so impossible because people place the importance of logic over feelings and emotion. People think logic is important, but it’s an illusion. There is no logic, our feelings are really all that guide us. That’s the only reason I don’t have a boyfriend. Boys want to think they can be independent and resist my charms. But the reality is that I am so romantic that it’s hard for people to handle.
MORRO: Boys are not the topic either Jasp.
JASP: (with conviction) I believe in romance films and novels. They are my religion, if you will, and people are intimidated by the feelings I bring out in them so they run away. Their logic tells them it’s not “normal” or “practical” to feel such strong romance in this day and age. An age of course cyber-dating and cheap pornography. But old-timey romance is alive and it burns like a fire within me. (You can find my profile on Plentyoffish.com)
MORRO: Oh I get it, you’re like a chicken with it’s feet cut off.
JASP: No.
MORRO: Your life is like the sound of two hands clapping, loud but lonely, and without me you’d be —
JASP: No, you’re not listening.
MORRO: I see, I see. What you’re saying is you can’t judge a book by its colour, that life is like rolling moss, it gathers, and then gets stoned.
JASP: MORRO!
MORRO: I know Jasp, It’s always darkest after the dawn.
JASP: Whatever.
MORRO: (singing) Feeeeeelings!  Nothing more than feeeeelings!!!
Jasp gets up and leaves. Morro continues to sing until she notices Jasp has left, then is silent, with no one to hear her, she becomes still.

– fin

Mirvish-Gehry Envision Massive Redevelopment at the Heart of Theatre District

October 12 2012

By: Noah van der Laan

It’s curtain call for the Princess of Wales Theatre. On September 29, 2012 it was announced that the 2000-seat theatre, barely twenty years old, would likely be demolished in favour of a multi-purpose complex conceived by David Mirvish and designed by architect Frank Gehry. The project envisions an extensive re-development of the King Street West ‘Theatre District,’ stretching from John Street to the Royal Alexandra Theatre.

The ambitious project is centered on three 80+ storey condo towers, which Mirvish refers to as “sculptures for people to live in.” A primary feature of the development is the inclusion of a free public gallery for David Mirvish’s extensive contemporary art collection, gallery and classroom space for the Ontario College of Art and Design, retail facilities, and over 2,600 condominium units.

The project is the first major proposal for the re-development of Toronto’s evolving entertainment district, and despite the scale, is destined to create a new vibrant cultural corridor at street level. The new design proposes a series of large sculptures, a green-roofed podium, and the creation of a new public space to compliment David Pecault Square located across the street. Bordered by the TIFF Lightbox to the west and the Royal Alex to the east, and with Roy Thompson Hall located across the street, the King Street West strip will become an awe-inspiring entertainment hub.

Further, the project will provide an opportunity to redesign the drab streetscape and improve the public realm. With an influx of so many residents, infrastructure development is a must. In the process of upgrading sewers, gas, and electrics, the city will have the chance to reorient King Street and, based on the vision of the Entertainment District’s Business Improvement Association (BIA) Master Plan, should widen sidewalks, add separated bike lanes, restrict vehicular traffic and prioritize public transportation.

Frank Gehry is a major contributor to this vision. As a native Torontonian, it’s about time that we provide him with a canvas to showcase his work. His extension of the AGO located at the top of John Street was subdued during that project’s community consultations by neighbours who desired to maintain the particular architectural vibe of the streetscape.  King West, on the other hand, provides a perfect niche for transformative architecture, neighbouring fellow skyscrapers and cultural institutions.

The loss of the Princess of Wales is unfortunate. At the time of its construction, it was the first privately owned and financed theatre built in Canada since the Royal Alexandra was built in 1907, and the first such to be built in North America in over thirty years.  David Mirvish commissioned a series of murals by American abstract–expressionist painter Frank Stella. The paintings — 10,000 square feet — cover the entire interior and are believed to comprise one of the largest mural installations of modern times.

Yet the Princess of Wales no longer attracts the row of queued tourbuses it once did. Productions tend to run shorter lengths as seat vacancy has increased. Toronto’s big box musicals have been ravaged due to the post 9/11 increase in border security, in addition to the string of millennial recessions.

Don’t mourn quite yet however, The Princess of Wales marquee will remain lit for some time. The Mirvish/Gehry project has yet to submit an application to the city of Toronto for zoning approval, at which point the plans go through a community consultation.

FRINGE! FRINGE! FRINGE!

The day has finally arrived! A very happy ‘Opening’ to one and all! Keep an eye out for our nifty postcards at all of your Toronto Fringe locations in the next few days and give them to your friends. Then join us after at the beer tent for a drink and get a button! Ou lala!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter! for all of our goings-on and let us know what you think is a must-see this Fringe ’12!

Also, for all things FRINGE T.O. check out their website here.

See you there, friends!

– Hallie

Video Art Funhouse Necropolis a Must-See

By Andrea Leigh Pelletier

As any of my friends will tell you, I am a huge proponent of video art. I fell into it by accident in my final year as photography major. It was a new experience that allowed my mind to explore new forms of visual expression. Then it became a habit—I was filming my friends while they slept, and myself, alone in my apartment. Perhaps my love of video art was born out of my exhaustion with still images, and an inner yearning for a new experience. I started playing with projection and installation; it became my goal to not only produce a visual piece of art, but an immersive, all-encompassing world in which to experience this art.

With still images, I sometimes feel as though “the jig is up,” DSLRs are now commonplace and even your kid brother knows his way around Photoshop. Photographic images have saturated our world like never before because the everyday person understands their construction more thoroughly.

Installation-based video art pulls us in to an ever-changing audio-visual world, not only presenting us with beautiful and enigmatic imagery, but also surrounding us in the world of that imagery. Have I sold you yet? Good. Because right now in Toronto, there is a show I need you to see.

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