Centaur Theatre Presents 23rd WILDSIDE FESTIVAL
A new curator has stepped into the spotlight for Centaur Theatre's Wildside Festival, the boundary-blasting showcase of independent works from Quebec and beyond, appropriately billed as the "hottest two weeks of winter". For the 2020 edition, Rose Plotek, the former Associate Director of The National Theatre School's Directing Program, has selected eight trailblazing works, including Centaur's choice for the Best of the 2019 Fringe Festival, Vancouver's Multiple Organism.This year's delectable smorgasbord of provocative theatre embraces comedy, dance, bouffon, music, and storytelling ... sometimes all at once! Sarah Segal-Lazar will be doing double-duty as she remounts Don't Read the Comments, her 2018 Fringe Fest bouffon talk-show based on a true incident, and participates in the Offside as a featured musical guest. For R&B music lovers, Montreal's own Queen of Soul, Michelle Sweeney, pays tribute to the late, great Aretha Franklin with Her Songs, My Story, accompanied by fave Montreal pianist, Taurey Butler. Toronto's Alyssa Martin and her Rock Bottom Movement company bring the angst-ridden, surreal satire, Hollow Mountain, and sister Torontonian, Queer playwright and performer, Celia Jade Green, investigates sexual consent and violation in Wah Wah Wah. For one night only, Matt Goldberg returns with Confabulation, an evening of true stories told by ordinary people based on the theme of Games. For the first time in its history, the edgy festival will be presented at Centaur as well as at Théâtre La Chapelle, a venue known for its artistic eclecticism, where Cabal Theatre will perform its latest creation, Chattermarks. Many of the productions include engaging post-show talkbacks. "The creative diversity of Wildside and the multiplicity of audiences it appeals to grow steadily every year. We are so lucky to have such an accomplished theatre-maker as Rose [Plotek], who is so plugged-in to emerging artists that are exploring and stretching the limits of theatrical storytelling, and addressing issues that speak to a wide spectrum of adventurous theatre lovers. It's wild and wacky; bold and brazen ... it's just what everyone needs to jump-start the New Year."
- Eda Holmes, Centaur Theatre Artistic and Executive Director
Johanna Nutter once again takes the reins to program Offside, the musical side of the festival. All Offside events take place in Centaur's main floor gallery, following the final performance of the evening. This year's musical legends, to whom a slew of local musicians will pay homage on two separate Saturday nights, are Stevie Wonder (January 11th) and The Rolling Stones (Jan. 19th). Local graffitied hot spot, Barfly, is in the house again this year with Mark Goodwin & Guests on Friday January 10th and Sarah Segal-Lazar headlines the Thursday January 16th line-up of artists playing Mood Music.
On Sunday, January 12th, stick around for a short show in the Centaur gallery at 9 PM. Collectively created by Hooks and Crooks, TOMORROW is an immersive transmutation of Shakespeare's Macbeth as parable for climate change, and our relationship with a terrifying future, with text by Josh Johnston, Ryan Bommarito, and, of course, William Shakespeare himself.For an added bonus, Centaur's next mainstage production-Erin Shield's riveting Stratford Festival hit, Paradise Lost-will overlap with the Wildside Festival. "Erin's brilliant play and our Wildside selections definitely share audacious approaches to contemporary theatre", said Ms. Holmes. "Anyone attracted to Wildside will be equally entertained and challenged by Paradise Lost and vice versa. It's quite the intoxicating theatrical cocktail, without the hangover!" Get $28 tickets to Paradise Lost by presenting a Wildside proof of purchase at the Box Office. Please see below for the complete festival line-up. For exact dates & times, consult our website.