Nestruck on Theatre: How the Drive Competition enlivens theatre and dance scenes across the nation

Open this image in gallery:

Toronto’s Canadian Stage is bringing in The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Becomes from Australia’s Ibsen Prize-profitable Back again to Again Theatre. Penned and done by actors who are neurodivergent, it’s a engage in that asks whether the introduction of artificial intelligence will lead all people to sooner or later tumble into that class.Handout

Say what you will about the Thrust Festival in Vancouver – and my colleague Marsha Lederman, in a column today, shares that some have redubbed it the “Push Around Festival” since of the contentious cancellation of The Runner – at the very least the West Coastline city nevertheless has an avant-garde/intercontinental theatre, dance and performance accumulating to get individuals riled up.

In Toronto, by contrast, whole worldwide festivals have been cancelled to no uproar at all. The when-mighty Earth Phase competition that started at Harbourfront Centre in 1986, and later on grew to become a series, little by little petered out right before lastly coming to an end in 2018. The young Progress Pageant, a partnership amongst the Theatre Centre and SummerWorks, has not been resurrected considering that the pandemic.

The Luminato Competition, in the meantime, goes on with reduced assets that led it to concentrate almost exclusively on Canadian operate very last yr.

Fortunately, for these of us stuck in Hogtown, what has developed out of Toronto’s pageant-lite scenario is that lots of of the community theatre and dance providers only current touring work in January and February fairly than make a festival of it – choosing up shows that are by now on the highway to or from Force, or perhaps the Large Overall performance Rodeo in Calgary (currently operating to Feb. 4) or the cancelled, then swiftly revived Beneath the Radar pageant in New York (at the moment operating to Jan. 21).

This week, Toronto’s Canadian Phase is bringing in The Shadow Whose Prey the Hunter Gets to be from Australia’s Ibsen Prize-winning Back to Back Theatre forward of its Thrust Festival operate. Penned and executed by actors who are neurodivergent, it’s a enjoy that asks no matter whether the arrival of synthetic intelligence will direct all people to ultimately fall into that classification. The Toronto dates are Jan. 18 to 28, when the Vancouver in-man or woman dates are Feb. 1 to 3. (Those latter performances, as well as a person on Feb. 4, are available to stream online, much too.)

Other Thrust programming is moving in the reverse path. L’amour telle une cathédrale ensevelie, an opera-theatre piece established in Montreal that tells the tale of exiled Haitian families from the Haitian/French company Nous Théâtre, performs in Vancouver on Feb. 3 and 4, ahead of browsing Théâtre Cercle Molière in Winnipeg from Feb. 8 to 10, and then heading to Crow’s Theatre in Toronto from Feb. 22 to 25. (It is offered in French and Haitian creole with English surtitles)

In the meantime, Deciphers, a dance piece developed by Naishi Wang and Jean Abreu about the complexities of communication that mixes together Chinese folk dance, Brazilian dance designs and spoken word, plays at Force from Jan. 26 to 28, then at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto from Feb. 8 to 10, followed by runs in Montreal (Feb. 14 to 17) and Ottawa (Feb. 22 and 24). Total details are at Jean Abreu Dance.

What’s on at Force this 7 days

If you are not 1 of people boycotting the festival for cancelling The Runner (or boycotting it for getting as well sluggish to cancel The Runner), there’s some intriguing programming to be located in its to start with week. Sound of the Beast, from writer/performer Donna-Michelle St. Bernard, is up from Jan. 20 to 23 I reviewed a model of the demonstrate at Theatre Passe Muraille back again in 2017, but the poetry-ahead piece about the fraught romance involving police and communities of color has no doubt progressed given that then.

There is also asses.masses, a “custom-designed video clip activity about labour, technophobia and sharing the load of revolution, created to be performed from commencing to end in a dwell theatre” that I’ve been kicking myself in the you-know-what for lacking when it was at the Theatre Centre in Toronto in the slide.

What is on at the Substantial Efficiency Rodeo this week

Prominent exhibits in the course of 7 days a single of the Calgary pageant include Kid Koala’s household-pleasant hit The Storyville Mosquito (Jan. 17 to 19), Scott Thompson as Buddy Cole in King (Jan. 18 to 21 find Brad Wheeler’s interview with the Kid in the Corridor listed here) and the provocatively titled The Immaculate Perfection… (Jan 17 to 20) from the BodyCube Arts Collective. It “revolves close to the last calendar year of high school for a group of pupils who devote their time smoking cigarettes, crying and touching each other in the gender neutral lavatory.”

Shavians invade Shakespeare’s birthplace

Some noteworthy information from out of the Royal Shakespeare Corporation in England’s Stratford-on-Avon this week, where new co-creative administrators Daniel Evans and Tamara Harvey have just unveiled their very first time.

Tim Carroll, creative director at Ontario’s Shaw Festival, will be directing Othello with the wonderful Canadian-ish actor and Montreal Canadiens lover John Douglas Thompson actively playing the title position. Shaw associate creative director Kimberley Rampersad, meanwhile, will be directing and choreographing a new adaptation of The Crimson Footwear.

What accounts for all this creative movement from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Stratford-upon-Avon? When Carroll labored at the Globe Theatre in London, he was a mentor to Harvey, and the two have held up their friendship. In fact, she was around to take a look at the Shaw Pageant past 12 months. Here’s to setting up bridges.

A few other demonstrates of observe opening this week on line and in Ontario

Frances Koncan’s Room Woman is streaming across the place from Jan. 17 to 28 courtesy of Winnipeg’s Prairie Theatre Trade. I interviewed Koncan about the display very last calendar year in this place.

Edmonton’s Catalyst Theatre’s The Invisible: Agents of Ungentlemanly Warfare would make a end at the Grand Theatre in London, Ont., from Jan. 16 to Feb. 3. The Globe and Mail reviewed the musical when it was in Calgary in 2019.