The Theatre Centre presents 2017/2018 programming

Credit: The Theatre Centre 

At one of their very popular community meals yesterday, The Theatre Centre made its first programming announcement for 2017/2018 with a continued focus on Residency work, supporting artists, and filling the role of culture and community hub for the neighbourhood and beyond.
 
The Theatre Centre, a nationally recognized live-arts incubator, is committed to nurturing artists, investing in ideas, and championing new work and new ways of working. The company fosters a culture of innovation by embracing risk and questioning traditional notions of failure and success.
 
The work of The Theatre Centre falls into five distinct categories: Creating, Producing, Presenting, Moving the Work, and Sharing. "I want to seed more projects by both emerging and established artists and I want to offer more of our space and our resources for artists to imagine new ways of working,”explains Artistic Director Franco Boni.
 
Creating
Currently in Residency at The Theatre Centre are theatre creators Ian Kamau, Hannah Moscovitch, Maev Beaty, Ann-Marie Kerr, and neurologist-in-residence Suvendrini Lena. Also in development are: Jani Lauzon (Tracy Wright Global Archive); Playwright in Residence Alanna Mitchell (Malignant Metaphor); interdisciplinary artist Deanna Bowen (in development with Mercer Union); Daniele Bartolini (in partnership with Istituto Italiano di Cultura); and Ahuri Theatre (This is the Point) which The Theatre Centre is re-investing in and continuing to develop for a second production in the building before setting out on tour. Over the next three years, six additional artists will be invited to join Residency.
 
“This Residency model The Theatre Centre has developed, and that I am so lucky to currently benefit from, gives credence to the idea that development takes time, that building a home for artists to grow and work to evolve is not about a conveyor belt of production but a ground for trying ideas, making connections, and becoming better at what we do.”
Heidi Strauss, Choreographer, Dancer,
The Theatre Centre Residency Artist – what it’s like (2014-16) 

 
Producing
The Theatre Centre is committed to producing the work created in residency. By relying on the artist and trusting in the process, the work is produced when it is ready, not at a pre-determined time. Other Theatre Centre productions this year will include Daughter, Adam Lazarus’ controversial Summerworks hit in November 2017; 40 Days and 40 Nights, a new work stemming from the Tracy Wright Global Archive by Daniel Brooks and Kim Collier in April 2018; Liza Balkan’s Out the Window, which was first developed at The Theatre Centre in 2012 and is the first co-production of The Theatre Centre’s and Luminato’s new partnership: The Residents Project in June 2018; and This is the Point, returning for a limited engagement in December.
 
This is the Point is a very important play for the awareness and inclusion of all people of all abilities. I’m so proud of this play, it is a kind of a life’s achievement for me.
Tony Diamanti, Playwright, Performer – This is the Point (2014-16)
 
Presenting
The Theatre Centre will also be presenting a number of shows and festivals this year: in partnership with Embassy of the Imagination (an exhibition featuring works created by the youths from Kinngait in Cape Dorset, focusing on printmaking practice) in October 2017; Live Art Development Agency and British Council (to bring some of England's greatest live art makers to Toronto) in November 2017; Progress Festival, in partnership with SummerWorks in February 2018; and Theatre Direct’s Wee Festival (an international arts festival dedicated to early childhood) in May 2018.
 
We often present national and international works that are being made on the edge of a practice. By bringing these live art and intimate works to the city, we're able to place the work of Toronto artists within an international context, both for audiences and artists."
Aislinn Rose, General Manager, The Theatre Centre

Moving the Work
Sea Sick by Alanna Mitchell, which was developed at The Theatre Centre and opened the new building in 2014, has toured non-stop since then, across Canada and around the globe. This summer the team will take the show on tour to Australia followed by a full Ontario tour in the fall in collaboration with Ontario Presents. The Theatre Centre has begun taking a more active role in touring shows developed in Residency, especially for artists with little to no infrastructure or history of touring, by building relationships with other presenters across Canada and the world.   
 
The experience of touring the work has been revelatory, and an opportunity I never expected to have with audiences. It's all about the conversations on the road and how the work continues to evolve as a result. It’s been an exercise in fascination.
Alanna Mitchell, Creator, Performer – Sea Sick
 
Sharing
The Theatre Centre is convinced that resources go further when you share them, a philosophy that informs their long-term relationship with Why Not Theatre, and the continued support of their RISER Project. 
 
“The Theatre Centre has been such an important home for me as an artist. Nowhere in the city have I been given the kind of support that The Theatre Centre has given. Alongside The Theatre Centre, my company Why Not Theatre has grown exponentially, being given the space to create experimental work as well as innovative producing models, both of which have improved the quality of art and producing in Toronto. I will always be grateful to The Theatre Centre as the first place to believe in me and instill the confidence to create bold, political and subversive work.”
Ravi Jain, Artistic Director, Why Not Theatre

For more information, visit theatrecentre.org/

Toronto Masque Theatre’s final season is a chance to celebrate

Credit: Toronto Masque Theatre

For 13 seasons, Toronto Masque Theatre has been one of the few companies in the world devoted to producing and creating masque, an art form that brings music, dance, and theatre onto a single stage. Our critically acclaimed productions – now numbering over 60 – have featured works ranging in repertoire from the late Renaissance to new works that reinvent the art form for multicultural Toronto in the 21st century.

In March of this year, Larry Beckwith announced he was stepping down as artistic director of the company. Because Toronto Masque Theatre and the work it created was so much a product of Larry’s vision, the board decided it was fitting – despite the company being in robust financial health and enjoying a recent string of sold out productions – that TMT should also conclude at the end of the 2017/18 season.

In thinking about the season ahead, Larry had the following to say:

I’m filled with so many emotions as I introduce you to our final season. I’m humbled to present many of Canada's leading performing artists – some TMT regulars alongside some new faces. I’m heavy-hearted as I contemplate the end of a magnificent journey. But above all, I’m excited to present to you an entertaining season of music, theatre and dance that I’m sure will demonstrate the accomplishments of this unique company and its place in the performing arts in Canada. I look forward to a year of celebration . . . of beauty, of life, of art.

2017/18 Mainstage Series: at a glance

Dido and Aeneas / Aeneas and Dido

(Henry Purcell, 1687 / James Rolfe, 2007)

20 & 21 October 2017, 8:00 p.m. Pre-show event at 7:15 p.m. each evening 

Jeanne Lamon Hall, Trinity-St. Paul's Centre, 427 Bloor Street West

Virgil's tale of the tragic love between Dido, the Queen of Carthage, and the Trojan hero Aeneas is told from two very different perspectives in this powerful double bill. Starring Krisztina Szabo, Alexander Dobson, Andrea Ludwig and Jacqueline Woodley.

The Peasant Cantata / All the Diamonds

(Bach, 1742 / various)

8 - 10 February 2018, 8:00 p.m. Pre-show event at 7:15 p.m. each evening

10 February 2018, matinee 2:00 p.m. Pre-show event at 1:15 p.m.

Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, 106 Trinity Street, near the Distillery District

Our mid-winter visit to the historic Enoch Turner Schoolhouse will warm your soul: a fresh take on Bach’s secular cantata followed by an eclectic cabaret performance of torch songs, lieder, melodies and madrigals. Starring Patricia O'Callaghan and Giles Tomkins.

The Last Chaconne: A Celebration

12 May 2018, 8:00 p.m. Pre-show event at 7:15 p.m.

Jane Mallett Theatre, St. Lawrence Centre for the Performing Arts

On the stage where it all began, a star-studded array of singers, actors, dancers and instrumentalists comes together for a one-night-only celebration.

Our 2017/18 Salon Series

Our popular salon series returns with live performance and discussion. Beverages and light snacks served along with a cash bar. Salons take place at The Atrium, 21 Shaftesbury Avenue.

Canada in Words and Music: A Commemoration

25 September 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Drawing on the writings and music of some of our greatest artists, we celebrate the many voices and perspectives on the story of Canada.

Peace on Earth: A Christmas Salon

17 & 18 December 2017, 7:30 p.m.

Guest singers and instrumentalists celebrate the season with carols, songs and instrumental works, including a rare performance of excerpts from The Birth of Christ by Clarence Lucas.

The Means of Grace: Seven Monologues on Music

23 April 2018, 7:30 p.m.

Larry Beckwith shares a personal narrative - in turns poignant and humorous - on the transcendent power of music. Directed by Derek Boyes, and featuring special guest performers.