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New Ideas Festival at Alumnae Theatre


3/8/2017 - 3/26/2017


Alumnae Theatre

70 Berkeley Street
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Shows $15; Readings PWYC at door (suggested min $10)
Phone: 416-364-4170

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News About New Ideas Festival at Alumnae Theatre

Nautanki Bazaar to Present Debut Production AN IMM-PERMANENT RESIDENT
March 06, 2020

Toronto based theatre company, Nautanki Bazaar will present its debut production AN IMM-PERMANENT RESIDENT. Written and performed by Neha Poduval & Himanshu Sitlani and directed by Miquelon Rodriguez, AN IMM-PERMANENT RESIDENT will premiere at the Theatre Centre as part of the RISER Project 2020 from April 12-19, 2020 with the Opening Night on Monday, April 13 at 7pm. (more...)

Canada's First Muslim Theatre Company Makes Toronto Debut
October 03, 2019

The Silk Road Institute, Canada's premier Muslim theatre company, presents the inaugural Toronto production of Rabiah Hussain's fresh and fierce British drama SPUN, a play about friendship, belonging and South-Asian identity taking place in the wake of the 2005 London terror attacks. On the heels of its Canadian premiere at Montreal's Centaur Theatre, SPUN, will tour to the Meridian Arts Centre (formerly the Toronto Centre for the Arts) for one night only, Saturday, October 12 at 7:30 PM. (more...)

Canada's First Professional Muslim Theatre Company Presents the Canadian Premiere of SPUN
August 27, 2019

For its second production since the company's 2018 inauguration in Montreal, the Silk Road Institute (SRI), Canada's first professional Muslim theatre company, presents SPUN. London-based writer Rabiah Hussain's debut play about South Asian identity in Western society had its world premiere in the UK at London's Arcola Theatre in June of 2018. This production of SPUN, directed by multi-disciplinary artist, Mercedeh Baroque, makes its Canadian debut at the esteemed Centaur Theatre, from September 18 to 28, 2019. (more...)

MOURNING AFTER THE NIGHT BEFORE Announced At The Toronto Fringe Festival
May 31, 2019

Two drowned girls, a perilous love triangle, a mother-less child and a child-less mother. Chloe Whitehorn's new play tackles the rippling impact of loss and the repercussions of drowning in every way a person can drown. Mourning After the Night Before premiered as a one act play at the Alumnae Theatre's New Ideas Festival last spring where it was praised as "Beautifully and sensitively written, it's haunting, darkly funny and mysterious.' (Cat McKim, Life With More Cowbell) (more...)

6th Annual FireWorks Festival Begins In November
October 23, 2018

Now celebrating our sixth year of introducing premier performances that will light a fuse through the FireWorks Festival. This year's three original scripts were developed and nurtured at the Alumnae Theatre through its New Ideas Festival and its New Play Development program. (more...)

September 13, 2018

And no other play boasts more style than Oscar Wilde's enduring classic The Importance of Being Earnest, which opens Alumnae Theatre's 101st season. (more...)

“The New Ideas Festival is an important one, and it’s right in our backyard. Would you go to Sundance if it were a streetcar ride away? Of course you would!” - Mooney On Theatre

TORONTO – Alumnae Theatre Company’s 29th annual New Ideas Festival, a three-week, juried celebration of original writing, works-in-progress, and experimental theatre, takes place from March 8 to 26 in Alumnae’s Studio Theatre (70 Berkeley St).

This year’s festival of 15 new plays promises to be an exciting and eclectic mix, with both established and emerging theatre artists among the over 100 participants. The festival acts as a theatrical lab for writers, directors and actors to practice and refine their art with the help of a live audience, who are invited to be part of the process by giving both spoken and written feedback following the shows.

As one playwright put it: “Being able to hear what the audience is responding to really does make all the difference to the play’s final draft.”

New Ideas Festival was founded in the late 1980s by Molly Thom and Kerri MacDonald “to develop new talent and new theatrical ideas.” Many practicing artists over the years have participated in the festival, including Florence Gibson, Dave Carley, Emil Sher, Mark Brownell, Sue Minor, Shirley Barrie, Jordan Hall, Norman Yeung and Erin Shields. Next year marks the festival’s 30th anniversary, which will be celebrated as part of the theatre company’s 100th anniversary, making Alumnae the oldest continuously run theatre company in Toronto.

Week 1:
Rosemary Doyle, artistic director of Red Sandcastle Theatre, puts on her playwright’s hat to give us Call, an exploration of a world that’s always “on call.”
Andrew Batten, who is usually found speaking lines rather than writing them, looks at what it means to be human in all its diversity through a Hamlet lens in Or Not to Be.
Michael Kras, winner of the 2016 Hamilton Fringe Festival Audience Choice Award for #dirtygirl, shows us a young female prisoner struggling to stay connected to her husband and infant daughter in Teach Her My Name.
Artist and educator Alicia Payne, currently serving as vice president of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, confronts aging and illness in D Cup as her characters romp through the lingerie section of a large department store.

Week 2:
In The Red Lacquered Box, veteran journalist and photographer Burke Campbell takes us to nineteenth century Paris where a tragic incident shocks polite society.
The past and future collide in Montreal poet Michelle Glennie’s Parallax when a colonizing mission to Mars enters a time warp.
Rosemary Doyle looks at why we say things and why we don’t in Y, her second play in this year’s festival.
Bobby Del Rio, creator and showrunner of IRL the Series (on Bell Media’s FibeTV1) and playwright of The Trial of Ken Gass, pokes fun at token diversity in Professionally Ethnic, in which an “ethnic” actor faces a dilemma when a white artistic director offers him a chance at stardom if he is willing to play an ethnic stereotype.

Week 3:
Turning his hand to playwriting, Dale Sheldrake, supervising ADR editor for MGM/History’s hit show Vikings, gives us Beat, a play that explores a woman’s state of shock after a near fatal crash that leads her to confront herself and her demons.
Winner of the 2017 Hamilton Fringe New Play Contest, playwright Andrew Lee returns to the festival again this year with The Ballad of Sadie Wong, where the hardboiled detective novels, punk rock dreams and poetry of two very different women intersect in a tender and stormy coffee shop romance.
Two long-time friends reflect on their mortality in actor Connie Guccione’s first play Who Knocks?
In The Hungriest Woman in the World, Shannon Bramer, poet and playwright who has works forthcoming from BookThug and Groundwood Books, explores what happens to a couple when one of them is work-obsessed and preoccupied, leaving the other to wander alone into a topsy-turvy world.

March 11:
In her play Riverkeeper, Edmonton playwright Katherine Koller, known especially for her trilogy of land-works plays about industry and Alberta families, evokes the journey of a 60-year-old woman in a future time as she reflects on her environmental activist parents and the present day river they champion.

March 18:
Who You Callin Black Eh? is a coming of age play about colour and is being developed over the course of the festival by Rita Shelton Deverell. Rita is the recipient of two Geminis and the Black Women’s Civic Engagement Network Leadership Award and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2005 for her pioneering work in broadcasting.

March 25:
First developed by Toronto playwright Catherine Frid during her sojourn as artist-in-residence at Osgoode Hall Law School, Thistlepatch tells the story of Toronto child psychologist Dr Flora Danziger, who in the 1970s worked with journalist Victor Malarek, then working for The Globe and Mail, to expose the tragic events that led to the suicide of a teenage girl while in juvenile prison.

NEW IDEAS FESTIVAL – March 8-26, 2017
Alumnae Theatre Studio, 70 Berkeley Street (at Adelaide)
Showtimes: Wednesday to Saturday 8 pm; Saturday & Sunday matinees 2:30 pm
Saturday readings at noon (March 11, 18, and 25)
Talkbacks after the Saturday matinees and readings
Tickets: Shows $15; Readings PWYC at the door ($10 suggested minimum)
Buy online at or at the door (cash only)
Contact: Teresa Bottaro 416-846-7088 or
Follow: @AlumnaeTheatre #NIF2017

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