Announcing The 32nd Annual HIGH PERFORMANCE RODEO
Today, One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre announced the line-up for the 32nd annual High Performance Rodeo, Calgary's International Festival of the Arts. The wildly popular festival runs January 3 to 28, 2018 at eighteen venues throughout Calgary.
The Line Up for the 2018 High Performance Rodeo:
A perennial festival highlight, Calgary's most daring theatre ensemble One Yellow Rabbit, premieres Moon, Moon, No Moon. In this new song cycle, Denise Clarke and an ensemble of special guests perform pieces written by OYR Artistic Director Blake Brooker and David Rhymer in a meditation on the moon's significance to humans. The show will look at humankind's millennia-long relationship with the Moon, from embodiment as a god or goddess, to the way we mark time for ritual and agricultural purposes, through to use for propaganda during the cold war.
The Rodeo welcomes several international works to the Festival this year - particularly from Ireland with the assistance of Culture Ireland - beginning with Shannon Sickels' Reassembled, Slightly Askew, from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Reassembled, Slightly Askew is an autobiographical, audio-based artwork about Shannon's experience of falling critically ill with a rare brain infection and her journey of rehabilitation with an acquired brain injury. Audiences are immersed into 'Reassembled...' individually, wearing headphones while lying on hospital beds. The audio technology makes the sound three-dimensional, causing listeners to feel they are Shannon, viscerally experiencing her medical journey and re-integration into the world with a hidden disability. It is a story of terror, discovery, and humor, but above all, hope.
Coming to the Festival from Dublin, Ireland, is THEATREclub's I'm Not Here, by Doireaan Coady. Doireann is here and she wants to check if a few things are working. She's going to be doing a couple of songs, a couple of poems and maybe a few stories. Doireann Coady in her new show debuts as author as she sets off to stage an unstageable, impossible and beautiful act.
Also arriving to the Rodeo from Dublin is Dublin Oldschool, by Emmet Kirwan. Join wannabe DJ Jason on a chemically enhanced trip through the streets of Dublin, staggering from one misguided misadventure to another. Somewhere between the DJs, drug busts and hilltop raves, he stumbles across a familiar face from the past: his brother Daniel. They haven't spoken in years but, over a lost weekend, they reconnect and reminisce over tunes, trips and their city.
Theatre Junction, along with the Rodeo, presents Italy's Motus in MDLSX. MDLSX aims at going beyond categories - the artistic ones, too. It is Silvia Calderoni's road trip, who - after 10 years with Motus - experiments a Dj/Vj Set like format, in order to start an exploration around borders. Autobiographical bits and literary evocations come together, and MDLSX, by blurring fiction and reality, swings from Gender Trouble to Undoing Gender. Motus, founded by Enrico Casagrande and Daniela Nicolò,has just celebrated its 25th anniversary. Tickets are available exclusively through the Theatre Junction Grand Box Office, at theatrejunction.com or 403.205.2922.
Briefs Factory comes to the Festival all the way from Brisbane, Australia with their show HOT BROWN HONEY. Equal parts theatrical masterpiece and social activism, a stellar posse of phenomenal women smash stereotypes in an unapologetic celebration of our similarities and differences. Recipients of the 2016 UK's Total Theatre Award for Innovation, Australia's Helpmann Awards for Best Cabaret Performer, and Green Room Awards for Best Production and Best Design, HOT BROWN HONEY have lit centre stage at the most prestigious venues and festivals across the globe including Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Arts Centre, Brisbane Festival, Tiger Dublin Fringe, Auckland Pride Festival and Hull Freedom Festival to name a few.
The Rodeo partners up once again with Alberta Theatre Projects to co-present Empire of the Son by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (VACT). Former host of CBC's Roundup Tetsuro Shigematsu brings his one-man play of two generations of CBC broadcasters, and the radio silence between them, to the stage. Inspired by a series of audio interviews, Empire of the Son is a funny, emotional portrayal of parent-child/child relationships, and a reminder of no matter how far we journey out into the world to find ourselves - across decades and continents - we never stop being our parents' children.
The High Performance Rodeo is thrilled to present a Canadian classic with a new take in Salt-Water Moon, a Factory Theatre production touring with Why Not Theatre. David French's acclaimed script is re-imagined by Award-winning director Ravi Jain, with spellbinding results. The First World War is over and every day, the villages of Newfoundland are abandoned for a new life in the big city. Under the light of the moon, two former lovers meet to confront their past choices and contemplate a possible future-together. Factory Theatre's critically acclaimed smash-hit production comes back to ask the question, "Can you ever truly return home?"
Vertigo Theatre Partners with Crow's Theatre Presents to bring The Castleton Massive Production of True Crime to the Rodeo. Iconic Canadian ranter and rocker Torquil Campbell tries real-life conman Clark Rockefeller on for size, asking: what does it mean for an excellent fabulator to embody an excellent fabulator? And in the end, does an intricate con differ that much from a successful work of art? Torquil's dogged investigation and impersonation challenges us to find the truth in true crime and confronts our cultural addiction to a good story.
Theatre Calgary and the One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre present Onegin, by Amiel Gladstone and Veda Hille, based on the poem by Pushkin and the opera by Tchaikovsky. This passionate retelling of a Russian classic will blow your mind. Innovative and in-your-face, this is musical theatre at its best. A runaway hit in Vancouver last season, Onegin is undeniably charming and unreservedly sexy. Don't let this lover get away.
Lunchbox Theatre and the Rodeo co-present the award winning Calgary actress Michelle Thrush in her one-woman show Inner Elder. Inner Elder takes audiences on a journey of transformation through laughter and real life memories as Cree artist Michelle Thrush explores her own inner elder. Using a delicate blend of Bouffon and Indigenous Clowning this performance offers a heightened experience in the theatre and an extraordinary vision of our world.
The High Performance Rodeo presents an unsettling and darkly funny new solo piece with Extremophiles by Georgina Beaty, produced by Downstage. After a spontaneous pregnancy epidemic in 2020, only Margaret gives birth - to a very unusual baby. She and her offspring are quarantined in the North, which is now a desert. April, an eager anthropologist, arrives to chronicle this unusual family's struggle to survive and becomes more entangled than she ever anticipated. Playwright/performer Georgina Beaty has created a strange and beautiful dystopia to evoke unsettling truths about where our planet may be headed.
Local disability theatre company Inside Out Theatre gets physical and political with Make Love Not Art, an unlikely romantic comedy. A renowned visual artist is beloved for her daring nude portraits that display her unique and tiny body for all to see. Everyone says her photos are beautiful, but is that the same as calling her sexy? Written and performed by Elaine Lee and Col Cseke, Make Love Not Art brings voyeurism, self-exploitation and the need to be seen to the Rodeo.
Inside Out Theatre also presents Spina Bifida - Front to Back at the Festival, an exhibition by Photographer Steve Kean about how people with disabilities inhabit their bodies. For each subject, Kean produces two images - a traditional portrait on a white background to introduce the viewer to the subjects and a second image of the subject's back. Spina Bifida - Front to Back is as much about the dignity of people as it is about the condition.
The festival welcomes Toronto's Buddies in Bad Times Theatre's production of Black Boys, a raw, intimate, and timely exploration of queer male Blackness. Created in conjunction with Saga Collectif, Black Boys is created from the lives of three people seeking a deeper understanding of themselves, of each other, and of how they encounter the world. As they explore their unique identities on stage, they subvert the ways in which gender, sexuality, and race are performed.
Vancouver's Boca Del Lupo is asking Canadian playwrights and screenwriters the question: what is the most urgent conversation you think everyone should be having? Then, they ask them to write it, and audiences to have it. Red Phone is part theatre show and part social intervention. The experience takes place between two beautifully-crafted, fully enclosed phone booths outfitted with a curly corded, red phone and an integrated teleprompter. An operator prompts two participants to engage in a conversation written by a Canadian playwright. Red Phone is a one-of-a-kind performance.
Also coming to the Festival from Vancouver is Foreign Radical, produced by Theatre Conspiracy. Foreign Radical invites 30 participants into an intriguing theatrical game that explores security, profiling, freedom of expression, and privacy in the age of cyber-surveillance. Mobile throughout the performance, the participants collaborate, compete, investigate, debate, and spy on each other. Depending on personal and group responses, participants witness different perspectives on the action, gathering evidence from dramatic scenes and documentary media that colour their views and how they play the game.
Toronto's QuipTake & Pandemic Theatre come to this year's festival with Daughter, an award-winning one-man show about toxic masculinity, by Canada's Bouffon-King Adam Lazarus. Both hysterical and disturbing, Daughter plays in the liminal space between autobiography and fiction. It is a darkly satirical piece about a father stuck in a moment of confusion - raised in patriarchy, confronting his new identity as a patriarch/father, and not knowing how to operate in the world.
Also coming in to the Rodeo from Toronto is The Shoe Project, a writing and performance workshop where immigrant women tell the stories of their journeys to Canada. Shoes accompany us on all our journeys. They say who we are, where we come from and where we are going. Writing and performing their shoe memoirs allows members to be heard in the Canadian mainstream. These powerful stories are bridges carrying us all to deeper understanding.
Sarah Conn and Allison O'Connor bring Trophy to the Rodeo from Ottawa-Gatineau. Comprised of a cluster of tents, Trophy lights up the Calgary Municipal Building and the +15 Skywalk as a pop-up city of stories. Inside each tent, encounter a person who tells the true story of a moment in their life when everything changed.Move through the city of stories, visit as many tents as you feel drawn to.
The High Performance Rodeo's festival favourites are back. Downstage returns to Martha Cohen Theatre with the always popular 10-Minute Play Festival. Pillory Calgary's Betty Mitchell Theatre Awards with the satirical Veronicas, a fast-paced, celebration of the people who make theatre in Calgary. Raise a glass to the talented, the beautiful and the sh**-disturbing theatre artists we adore. We'll celebrate every last one of them - in 30 seconds each. And again this year, ProArts@Noon offers free Wednesday noon-hour performances in the historical downtown Cathedral Church of of the Redeemer. This year ProArts presents concerts by The Oberon Guitar Trio, Tim Williams & Jossy Gallegos, and Frank Racknow & The Black Seamore.