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New Ideas Festival at Alumnae Theatre

Dates

3/8/2017 - 3/26/2017

Theatre

Alumnae Theatre


70 Berkeley Street
Toronto,
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Tickets Info

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


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“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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 28, 2017
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.

THE SHOWS
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.

THE READINGS
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 www.alumnaetheatre.com or at the door (cash only)
Contact: Teresa Bottaro 416-846-7088 or alumnaetheatre@gmail.com
Follow: @AlumnaeTheatre #NIF2017

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