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March-April 2018

How one company brings theatre to Vancouver’s Deaf population

Theatre Interpreting Services aims to make theatre inclusive for all

Kevin John Siazon

It’s 2015, and the light come up on a dark stage at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre in New York City. Two young women stand on opposite sides of an empty mirror frame. As one waves her arms in the air creating shapes to convey her curious thoughts, the other begins to sing, giving those signed […] More »
September-October 2017

Toronto’s VideoCabaret brings your history textbook to life with wit and charm

Behind the scenes of the city's historically inspired stage shows

Allyson Aritcheta@ariCheddar

Walking into a small room, I am greeted by an usher as songs about Louis Riel and Canadian identity foreshadow the upcoming play. I take my seat across from the centre of what I assume is the stage. Scarlet curtains frame a black window made to look almost as if you are peering into a […] More »
May-June 2015

Puppet masters

Sean Flinn

The wonderfully non-human retelling of a Canadian novella on stage IT’S A STORY that needs to be retold. “The Faustian bargain is a classic hook,” says Gil Garratt, referring to Derek McCormack’s 2008 novella The Show that Smells. Garratt is adapting the book for the stage via Clawhammer, the small company he founded in 2011 […] More »

FTW Friday: Ugly Button Productions

Simon Treanor

Sometimes, when I think of theatre, I’m tempted to imagine aristocrat types wasting time and money to watch something more than a little pretentious. (And, sometimes, I’m right).  And certainly, there’s a nagging impression of theatre nowadays that it’s for an older generation, and that the problems are no longer relevant. Which is why I […] More »
May-June 2011

This45: Susan Crean on Aboriginal theatre company Native Earth Performing Arts

Susan CreanWebsite

I joined the board of Native Earth Performing Arts, in Toronto’s Distillery District, several years ago, and quickly discovered the best perk of the office is watching a performance evolve through rehearsal. Seeing the actors figuring out their moves together, adjusting dialogue, and dissecting the meaning of the play, and then witnessing opening night when […] More »
March-April 2011

Interview: Silicone Diaries playwright-performer Nina Arsenault

Paul McLaughlinWebsite

Nina Arsenault has spent a fortune changing her appearance from male to female. The 37-year-old used to work in the sex trade, but now supports herself as a playwright, performer, and motivational speaker to queer youth. Her one-woman show, The Silicone Diaries, recently had a second highly successful run in Toronto, was later performed in […] More »
January-February 2011

Always known for its commerce, Calgary’s got culture too

Allison McNeelyWebsite

Calgary is not a place to stay. A cultural wasteland with a boom-bust oil economy where hard workers can make their money before moving to a “real” city with “real” arts and culture—but not a place to stay. This is an all-too-common belief about Calgary. But skeptics should take a closer look at the Heart […] More »
January-February 2011

Interview: Berend McKenzie confronts the language of hate with “nggrfg”

Sarah BarmakWebsite

Nggrfg. For most people, the title of Vancouver actor and playwright Berend McKenzie’s play is nearly unsayable. But for McKenzie, naming his one-man play after the two slurs that plagued his childhood is the best way to understand and neutralize hatred. Audiences seem to agree: his play was a hit at the Edmonton and Vancouver […] More »
July-August 2010

It’s not TV. It’s George F. Walker

Emily LandauWebsite

After decades of populist programming, serialized television has blossomed into an auteur’s medium over the last decade. This new golden age is marked by subtle characterization and complex narrative: American cable networks such as HBO and AMC have pioneered the revolution with series like The Sopranos, Mad Men and The Wire. Here in Canada, playwright […] More »

Verbatim: Interview with Cloud 9 director Alisa Palmer

Graham F. Scott

In today’s Verbatim, we’ve got a transcript of my interview with Alisa Palmer, director of Cloud 9, currently playing in Toronto at the Panasonic Theatre. Cloud 9 is British playwright Caryl Churchill’s 1979 play that masks a scathing critique of English colonialist notions of sex, gender, and race beneath a fast-talking and often absurd family […] More »

Listen to This #005: Alisa Palmer, director of Cloud 9

Graham F. Scott

In today’s edition of Listen to This, I interviewed Alisa Palmer, who directed the production of British playwright Caryl Churchill’s landmark play Cloud 9, currently on stage at the Panasonic Theatre in Toronto. Cloud 9 is a hilarious satire on colonial-era notions about sex and gender, and how those ideas have crumbled over the years. […] More »