In light of recent events, there’s no interview this week. Instead, host Phil Rickaby has some things on his mind.
DIVINE, performed by an all female cast, takes place in a dystopian Ontario: The Great Lakes are bone dry and the boreal forest has vanished under extreme arid heat. Bandits roam the desolate landscape searching ruined towns for the vanished element now sacred on the lips of women: water. Narrated by one of the only children left in the world, DIVINE follows a pair of scavengers searching for a mysterious water diviner, who’s rumoured to be able to talk to water, but they’re not the only ones…
DIVINE meshes art with activism while exploring a catastrophic future that feels all to imminent alongside current headlines decrying groundwater contamination, water advisories, and industrial pollution (particularly the current local drama surrounding the Nestle plant in Guelph).
DIVINE has partnered with the World Wildlife Fund’s Freshwater Program and the Wellington Water Watchers in the hopes of bringing greater audience awareness to the important cause of water right
Divine at Summerworks: http://summerworks.ca/artists/divine/
Pearle Harbour’s Chautauqua is a darkly comic, wildly immersive extravaganza – part cabaret, part tragicomedy, and part tent revival. Pass through the milky folds of Pearle’s beautiful Tent, and be sheltered from the inharmony of our troubled times. The world may be falling apart, but Pearle will show you there’s more that unites us than divides us.
Pearle Harbour is an all-American gal who’s sweet-as-pie and sharp-as-nails, Pearle Harbour was born on [information withheld], when America was still Great. During the War, she served as a stewardess aboard top-secret bomber missions, including [information withheld], and even [information withheld]!
An accomplished soloist – on the boards and in the sheets – Pearle has played to audiences at The RISER Project (Why Not Theatre), Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, Theatre Passe Muraille, Opera5, The Comedy Bar, The Wrecking Ball, Videofag, Nightwood Theatre, Pressgang Storytelling, Clay & Paper Theatre, The Gladstone Hotel, and countless cabarets, concerts, and clubs across Ontario.
Justin Miller is a Dora-nominated writer, actor, and solo performer. He has studied with internationally renowned performers, including Philippe Gaulier, John Turner (Mump & Smoot), Karen Hines (The Pochsy Plays, Crawlspace), Carlos Garcia Estevez, Katrien Van Beurden, and Denise Fujiwara. He is the co-founder of Pearle Harbour Presents, and is currently an artist-in-residence at Theatre Passe Muraille.
Theatre Topikos is proud to be bringing Wordplay to the 2017 Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August!
Wordplay is a dark comedy about a fag and his hag. No words are off limits between friends. Cut between their work environment and their debate, Jess and Nick, using dark humour (and a lot of naughty words) push the boundaries of their friendship as they question appropriate and appropriated word use within the dynamics of society and each other. Premiered at Toronto’s Gay Play Day 2014, remounted at the International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival in 2016. ‘Funny and thought-provoking, with mercurial dialogue and a sharp pop culture sensibility’ (Cate McKim, GayPlayDay). Nominated for Best New Writing (IDGTF). **** (TheOutMost.com).
Winner of the Critics’ Choice award at the 2016 Hamilton Fringe Festival, The Bathtub Girls is inspired by the first known case of sibling matricide in Canada. The murder took place in 2003, Mississauga, Ontario. Two sisters, egged on by their friends, drowned their mother in their family home’s bathtub, and expressed it to be a mercy killing. The play examines how three immigrants’ determination to rapidly assimilate into a Canadian suburb led to the destruction of their family, and the reformation of the girls’ lives. The play is a combination of movement-based story-telling, direct address, and verbatim, folkloric, and original writing.
Natalia Bushnik is an actor and storyteller originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and is a founding member of kairos. She is passionate about creating immersive, game-changing theatre that reveals underestimated voices in unexpected ways. Her past works include her original, one-woman show, Maybelle’s Guide To Maintaining Perfection, which was awarded Outstanding New Script, and Outstanding Acting Performance at the London-One Act Festival. kairos : The Bathtub Girls, (Winnipeg Fringe 2017, Hamilton Fringe 2016) Best Before: (Frost Bites Festival, 2016). Elsewhere : Problem Child (co-director, site-specific), Lady Plyant in The Double Dealer, Harriet/Kate in An Experiment With An Airpump (University Players), Lady Anne in Richard III, and Rosalind in As You Like It (University of Windsor). Natalia is the voice of Candy in the popular animated web series, PeopleWatching. Natalia was one of Nightwood Theatre’s Young Innovators 2016/17, and participated in Theatre Gargantua’s Emerging Artist Roundtable. She graduated with a B.F.A in Acting from the University of Windsor. Natalia has trained with the Saratoga International Theatre Institute Company, and took part in the Stratford Academy program.
Robin Luckwaldt Ross is a theatre maker from the Ottawa Valley, and a founding member of kairos, as well as OPIA Theatre. She works to give power to the underestimated through performance. With kairos she has collaborated on the creation, direction, production, and performance of three original works: The Bathtub Girls, a duet with her creative partner, Natalia Bushnik, as part of Then They Fight’s development series, Then Speak, as well as 2016’s Hamilton Fringe, where it won the Critics’ Choice award. The Bathtub Girls will continue on to the Winnipeg Fringe Festival this coming July; Best Before:, a site-specific, short play for the Hamilton Frost Bites Festival; and Study of a Gambler in Neon, a solo masked piece which performed at the London One Act Festival, where it received the Adjudicator’s Award for Research and Matured Performance. With OPIA Theatre Collective, Robin originated the role of Rosaleen for the current production of Widow’s Wedding Dress, which toured through Southern Ontario, and has won three Brickenden Awards, with seven nominations. Other credits include Medea in The Edge Productions’ bash: latter-day plays, Juliet in Seven Siblings’ adaptation of Romeo & Juliet, Love Unbound, and Thetis in Patria Music/Theatre’s Asterion, where Robin also worked on set construction for three years. At the University of Windsor, Robin performed as Ernestine in The Anger in Ernest and Ernestine, Queen Elizabeth in Richard III, Lady Froth in The Double Dealer, Company in To Moscow, and Company in The Crucible. Robin is currently a part of Broken Soil’s Playwrights’ Unit, and has recently participated in Theatre Gargantua’s Roundtable program. She holds a B.F.A. in Acting from the University of Windsor. Her studies outside of University of Windsor include training with the Saratoga International Theatre Institute Company, and the Moscow Art Theatre School.
A Founding member of Triple ByPass Productions (Producer/Actor) – playing Denise inJohn Patrick Shanley’s ‘Savage in Limbo’ at Toronto’s Storefront theatre, Sandy in George F. Walker’s’The End of Civilization’ at Fraser Studio’s Toronto, Jo-Ellen in Eric Bogosian’s “Skunkweed’- InToronto’s 2015 Fringe Festival at Theater Passe Muraille, and Boochie in Stephen Adley Gurigis ‘Den ofThieves’ at Toronto’s UNIT 102.
Well versed in theatre, she has tackled such playwrights as, Timothy Findlay, Michelle Trembley andmost recently Mohammad Yaghoubi’s ‘A Moment of Silence’ – w/Nowadays Theatre Company/Summerworks 2016 Theatre Festival Toronto. Recent film and TV credits: ‘Conduit’ directed by Anastasia Cronkite,’Lakes’ directed by Tim O’Brien. ‘Shadow Animal’ -Paranormal Investigator.For The 48 Hour Film Project, producing,writing and acting in- 2014 “Lemonade” ,2015 “Strapped”, 2016 “Fumbled”Studied at Humber College’s Theatre Program, Seneca College, Fanshawe Theatre Program graduate and StraeonActing Studios alumni.
A professional actor of 15 years, Chris has been working in all facets of the industry whether it is theatre, film, television, voice and new media. He is a graduate of Second City’sConservatory and for the past ten years honed his skills as an actor and storyteller at Carter ThorStudios and later Straeon Acting Studios. Most recently Chris played the role of Paul in Stephen AdlyGuirgis’ ‘Den of Thieves’, Jerry in Eric Bogosian’s Skunkweed and Henry Cape in George F. Walker’s The End ofCivilization. He also made his directorial debut with the Canadian premiere of Freeway Strangler, which had asuccessful run in 2014. Other theatre credits include Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley, Neil Labute’s Bash –The Latterday Plays, A Clockwork Orange, Moat & Castle and the cult hit Coed Prison Sluts – The Musical. Some ofChris’ film and television credits include: Murdoch Mysteries, A&E’s The Breakout Kings, Rogue and the web seriesAsset which was screened in the LA, Vancouver and Toronto Webfests. He also voices multiple characters in theanimated series The Bagel & Becky Show.
Get up, go to work, come home…to what? Day after day, trying to be good, fighting incessant mundaneness; the facade of forced suburban niceness is fading fast.
George F. Walker’s ‘Adult Entertainment’ opens to a seedy room in a suburban motel. Max, a weary detective, finds himself back in this room with Jayne, a defence attorney, six months after they decided never see each other again. Why are they again, secretly meeting? For sex? To exchange information? To make a backhanded deal? Jayne used to care about her job, Max too, but now they’re just putting in time. Maybe they’ve just given up. Jayne mentions a young client of hers, whom she feels sorry for. A glimmer that perhaps Jayne still cares, but needs Max’s help to sway the case in her client’s favour.
Max’s gives his volatile partner Donny some instructions, not Donny’s strong suit. Donny is fighting his own demons, having an infinity for booze and hookers, yet still has a deep love for his estranged wife Pam. During an attempted reconciliation with Pam, Donny’s sloppy police work comes back to haunt them.
One action starts a chain of chaotic events that leads to Max, Donny, Jayne and Pam finding themselves in a situation far worse than any of them could have anticipated.
Cops, lawyers, husbands, wives, truth and lies. Sex, liquor, secret deals, fist fights and perhaps even love. You never know what your going to find behind the door of a motel…
Janelle Hanna is an actor, educator, and short sassy woman, and is thrilled to be premiering her first full length solo show Bad Baby Presents: Rules Control the Fun at the Toronto Fringe. This will be Janelle’s 5th Toronto Fringe appearance, past Fringe credits include: Eternal Friendship with a Spotless Smile (Patron’s Pick),Virginia Aldridge, BSc, Sitting in a Tree, and Fantastic Extravagance. Other credits include: Frankenstein Live (The Arts Engine), Knot Tied (Lab Cab Festival), Eligible(BravoFact), Neighbourhood Watch, The Duvet (Film Army), Swell Broad,Commencement (Convection Productions), Last Man Hanged, Ring Round the Moon, Pillar to Port Walkabout (Gairbraid Theatre), Anne of Green Gables (Stirling Festival Theatre). Janelle is a graduate of the Masters in Acting program at York University where she played such roles as Cordelia/Foole in King Lear, the Knight in The Knight of the Burning Pestle, Volumnia in Coriolanus, Alcestis in Alcestis, and Flute/Thisbe in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is also a graduate of the joint acting program at Sheridan College and the University of Toronto Mississauga (Theatre Erindale)
Bad Baby Presents: Rules Control the Fun
Bad Baby is a very talented and attractive actor. She wanted to be an actor so she could sleep in and kiss boys. This is her first Fringe show. She’s seen a lot of Fringe shows though. A lot. And she knows all the rules. All of them. With a total of 13 Toronto Fringe tent romances under their collective belts, the teams that brought you Almost, Again (Best of Fringe) and Eternal Friendship with a Spotless Smile (Patron’s Pick) are back with an all new Fringe adventure. Come see Bad Baby’s first Fringe festival hit!
At the Annex Theatre (736 Bathurst Street at the Randolph Centre for the Arts)
Friday July 7th – 1:15pm
Saturday July 8th – 9:15pm
Monday July 10th – 4:30pm
Wednesday July 12th – 7:30pm
Thursday July 13th – 12:00pm
Friday July 14th – 11:00pm
Sunday July 16th – 4:00pm
For tickets, please visit www.fringetoronto.com
Ardyth Johnson trained with mime artist Adrian Pecknold at The Manitoba Theatre School in Winnipeg and then received a scholarship with The Manitoba Theatre Centre to further her studies with Mime Unlimited School of Physical Theatre (Jacque Le Coq) in Toronto (graduate). Ardyth studied and graduated at Second City Conservatory, also master clown and buffoon with Philippe Gaulier, plus other masters of mime, corporeal mime, clown, slap stick and comedy. Ardyth she holds a B.A in theatre studies from the University of Winnipeg. Ardyth has toured throughout North America with Mime Unlimited, Theatre Beyond Words and many other companies. When Ardyth is not performing, she is busy teaching physical theatre all over Canada and Internationally.
Weirder Thou Art
North American humans you think William Shakespeare wrote Mac Beth ha, ha, ha..well we’ll tell you the truth (wink wink) who really wrote the play. Three bouffon women (if you want to call them that) put the weird in the Wyrd sisters. The bouffon search for humanity brings William Shakespeare on a reluctant journey from a living hell to acceptance.
Chantal is an artist and educator with a diploma in musical theatre from the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts. She has been behind the annual Oakville Holiday Pantomime for the past four years as co-writer, director, and choreographer. As a writer, director and producer, her work has been seen in several festivals including the Toronto and Vancouver Fringe Festivals as well as The Short Short Play Festival. The 2017 Toronto Fringe will be her third as writer/producer for “GREY”, previous years were her plays “Perceptions of Love in the Pursuit of Happiness” and “Quarterlife”. Selected acting credits include TV’s “About A Girl”, “Blood Ties”, and “Psych” as well as performing on stage in cabarets, musicals, and plays both in Toronto and Vancouver. Chantal works with drama students aged 12-95 through Sheridan College, Centre Stage Theatre School, and Shadowpath Theatre Productions, who honoured her with their Artist of the Year Award in 2015.
Twleve years ago Richard Buttle killed Jayden Alexander. Today is the day of his parole hearing where he must not only face his own history, but also the father of the boy he killed.
Jumping through time, the circumstances that lead to the crime begin to unravel. Who was really to blame?
In this new drama it becomes very clear that not everything in life is as black and white as one would like to perceive.
Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace
16 Ryerson Ave., Toronto, ON
Friday, July 7 – 8:00pm
Saturday, July 8 – 4:00pm
Monday, July 10 – 3:15pm
Wednesday, July 12 – 5:45pm
Thursday, July 13 – 12:00pm
Saturday, July 15 – 11:00pm
Sunday, July 16 – 2:45pm
The Seat Next to the King
Behind the door of a public washroom in a Washington, D.C. park, two lives linked to the country’s most influential figures collide when a white man seeking a sexual encounter meets a black male stranger. Winner of the 2017 Toronto Fringe FesIval New Play Contest, this bold, affecting piece tackles race, sex, the meaning of ‘manhood’, and the cost of reconciling each for two disparate human beings with a shared innate need. Featuring blistering performances by Kwaku Okyere and Conor Ling, The Seat Next To The King is directed by Tanisha Taitt.
The Seat Next to the King was the winner of the 2017 Toronto Fringe Festival New Play Contest
Tanisha Taitt – Director
Tanisha is a director/actor/playwright/arts educator/activist and accidental essayist. She has worked with Obsidian, NAC, The Musical Stage Company, Nightwood, BIBT and Soulpepper, and spent two seasons as a Resident Artist-Educator with YPT. Tanisha is a Drama mentor for tdsbCreates, a TDSB/TAC initiative that brings professional artists into classrooms to nurture artistic expression in students and teachers. She is an Anti-Oppression facilitator and Director of the Peace Camp program for Children’s Peace Theatre, an organization that teaches young people about conflict transformation through theatre. Also a singer and songsmith, she is a recipient of the Canadian Music Publishers Association Songwriters Award for excellence in songwriting. Tanisha spent 7 years as the Toronto and then the National producer for V-Day/One Billion Rising — the global movement to end violence against women and girls. In 2014, she founded Teenage Graceland, a youth theatre collective that challenges societal attitudes leading to gender-based violence. Tanisha was ‘Harolded’ in 2013 and in 2015, critic Lynn Slotkin bestowed upon her an inaugural “Tootsie” Award in the “They Can Do Anything” category. She is currently writing two musical theatrical works: FORCE, a musical about rape; and ERACED, which began when she heard the voices of unarmed dead black men singing to her in her sleep. Tanisha is the new co-host of The HUM Human Rights & the Arts podcast and will make her hosting debut this June. She is a two-time YWCA Woman of Distinction nominee for her commitment to artistic excellence and social justice.
Steven Elliott Jackson – Playwright
Steven Elliott Jackson was the recipient of the 2017 Best New Play at the Toronto Fringe for “The Seat Next To The King” and previously placed second in the contest in 2007 for “The State Of Tennessee”. He is the Artistic Director for Minmar Gaslight Productions as well as its family theatre company, 3 Little Bears Productions with his partner Todd Davies. Previous credits: Brothers And Arms (2010, Toronto Fringe Festival), The Dark Part Of The Snow (2011, Mount Marty College, Yankton, ND), Real Life Superhero (2012, Toronto Dance Theatre), The State Of Tennessee (2013, Theatre Passe Muraille), Rapunzel (adaptation, 2014, Toronto Kids Fringe/Stage Centre Productions), Threesome (2016, Red Sandcastle Theatre). Upcoming Productions: The Prince’s Big Adventure (Nov. 2017, Stage Centre Productions), A Question Of Character (Jan. 2017/ Stage Centre Productions), Real Life Superhero (Spring 2018, Brandon, MB) and currently he is developing Kick Start: Featuring the music of Lisa Loeb for a future reading.