Posts tagged ‘Wrecking Ball’

October 20, 2013

Sunday Roundup – October 20

Shows closing, events happening, shows opening – a good week!


Last matinée for Dinner at Seven Thirty today and your last chance to see it. I’d say that it was easily one of the most physically beautiful shows I’ve worked on in a while – and I worked with Opera Atelier for years.

The Rise of Online Video

You Can Sleep When You’re Dead opens this Thursday – part choose your own adventure, part be terrified in Campbell House, it’s a reminder that Halloween is upon us and though there are many Halloween offerings, I am pretty sure this is the only one that is not just a play, and not just a haunted house – it’s a fantastic combination of both. Go see.

Wrecking Ball #15 Presents… For Russia With (Gay) Love

dirty butterfly from the folks at Bound to Create goes into previews on the 30th – it’s an incredibly powerful piece by Jamaican playwright Debbie Tucker Green and the B2C folks are giving it a thought-provoking re-envisioning from their smash hit run at the 2011 Toronto Fringe. Get some tickets.

Siminovitch Prize will be announced tomorrow night – need I say more?

Happy Sunday!

October 18, 2013

Wrecking Ball #15 Presents… For Russia With (Gay) Love

wb15Because Theatre Rusticle’s Dinner at Seven Thirty is happening at Buddies in Bad Times (only til the 20th!), I’ve been working a fair bit with the fine folks who populate that venue. Buddies has always been a favourite and now even more so.  On their behalf I offer you:

Wrecking Ball #15 Presents…For Russia With (Gay) Love

Presented in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre

Inspired by Zee Zee Theatre’s “NYET: A Cabaret of Concerned Canadians” taking place in Vancouver on the same night!

 Canada’s hottest Queer and Allied artists perform a Perestroika of “non traditional (artistic) relations” for one night only in protest of Russia’s new anti-gay legislation.

In May 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin ushered in new anti-gay legislation that has received public outcry worldwide.  The Wrecking Ball stands in solidarity, presenting new work by esteemed queer and allied playwrights from across the country including:

Ronnie Burkett, Dave Deveau, Catherine Hernandez, Shawn Macdonald, Daniel MacIvor, Sonja Mills, George F. Walker and Marcus Youssef.

Directed by:  Steven Bush, Esther Jun, Erica Kopyto, Moynan King,
Sue Miner
and Gein Wong

And Performed by some of Toronto’s hottest actors!

Special sneak-peak performance by The Gay Heritage Project (Damian Atkins, Paul Dunn and Andrew Kushnir)

Join The Wrecking Ball and Ally, Zee Zee Theatre, in a ONE NIGHT ONLY nation-wide protest to ring through to the bells of St. Petersburg!

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre 
| 12 Alexander Street, Toronto.
Box Office opens at 12:30pm
Show starts at 8:00pm.
Pay what you can. No advanced sales.
Proceeds from this event will go to the Actors’ Fund of Canada

About The Wrecking Ball

In Wrecking Ball #15, a selection of Toronto’s most relevant and daring playwrights will have one week to create a play, and directors and performers will have one week to rehearse works connected to the Issue of Russia’s new (and escalating) anti-gay policies and the questions and issues it has raised.

Founded by director Ross Manson and playwright Jason Sherman in 2003, The Wrecking Ball has been the premiere event in Canada for showcasing political works for a decade. As the birthplace of new plays by Hannah Moscovitch, Michael Healey, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Erin Shields, Judith Thompson, Colleen Wagner, David Yee, Bea Pizano, Tara Beagan, and Sky Gilbert to name a few – there is no other event like it challenging theatre artists to respond to and address the vox populi.

On the occasion of the previous two Federal elections The Wrecking Ball went National; with ‘Wrecking Balls’ hosted by theatre artists in most major cities across the country.

In both 2008 and 2011 these pan-Canadian dramatic responses to our politics garnered widespread national media attention. The Wrecking Ball is no longer a Toronto phenomenon, but an autonomous theatrical movement joined by a desire to explore current political questions, issues, desires and dreams upon the stage.

June 21, 2012

On Family vs Public

It has been a strange 48 hours.  On Wednesday night the Wrecking Ball played to a sold out house as the final of eleven encounters at the Edward Bond Festival.#wb13 focused on Bond and his work.

“For the past decade Edward Bond has focused heavily on what he calls The Third Crisis: the intensive injustice of authority in our present capitalist society. He had been investigating how language, ideas and humanity are being co-opted for rational capitalist means. Bond writes of people being “asleep” to injustices committed around them by being lulled into complacency through both apathy and the media.”
wrecking ball website

And at around the same time, Artistic Director Ken Gass was being shown the door at Factory Theatre – a door that is quite frankly there because of him.

If this were a movie, there would absolutely have been cut shots alternating between the Wrecking Ball and I assume, the Factory Theatre. This is not a movie.

Ken has spoken to the media with his side. Factory has issued a press release with theirs. It does not contain a satisfactory answer to the barbaric YAWP of WTF? that is resounding through the theatre community tonight.

I had a chat with someone about “the public’s right to know” today, an idea which  of course has increased thousandfolds in the last decade. And it’s increased at lightning speed with the advent of social media.  (Quick link –Using Social Media In A Crisis). And that’s why a press releases sometimes says nothing. I know – I’ve been the person to have to write that type of release. Not enviable work, and you do the best you can under the circumstances.  Unfortunately, saying nothing doesn’t help a situation like this for those who want to know why something so seemingly impossible has happened.

Maybe the “public” doesn’t need to know. Fair enough. But here’s my issue with that. Whether we are referred to as an “industry” a “community” a whatever – we are essentially a family. And I don’t mean cheesy Partridge style family where all is ever sunny. We see each others work and work with each other in hours and conditions most would find insane. We fight, and argue, and laugh, and drink too much and go to team softball games. We share remnant ad space and discounts, and talk to each other and learn. We know each other, we know who we should know, and let me introduce you to someone you should know.

That’s not the “public”. That’s family. And I do think a family maybe has a little more “right to know” that some random public guy who does not know Ken’s contribution to Toronto theatre, to its artists, its playwrights.  I don’t think it’s too much to ask.

My two cents. I am sure details will continue to come out – I can’t imagine they will make this look any better, or they would have come out immediately. But I do wonder what is going on in Toronto theatre these days.

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