This week we are joined by representatives from this year's Undercurrents Festival. We will talk to them about their productions as some have a disability-related theme. Please have a look as the program is pasted below: undercurrents Festival 2020 TICKETS & PASSES “Pick Your Price” Pay-What-You-Can-Afford: $5, $20, $50, $75 We’re introducing a new pricing model this year; YOU choose! We have been working towards addressing access points to ensure everyone feels welcome in our spaces. Accessible pricing means you decide what price you pay for your experience with us at undercurrents - no questions asked. All festival tickets will be general admission, priced at $5, $20, $50, and $75, with no other discounts for student/senior/etc. See you soon! DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE Ten years? Already?!? undercurrents launched at the Great Canadian Theatre Company on a cold night in January 2011. It was an experiment, of sorts: a festival of “theatre below the mainstream” in GCTC’s intimate Studio Theatre, showcasing the best of Ottawa’s independent theatre scene. We wanted to support our indie creators, encourage touring outside of Ottawa, and provide a venue for stories you couldn’t see on other local stages. Did we know what we were doing? Not really. Is this something artists wanted? We hoped so. Was anyone going to come? Fingers crossed. Since that snowy January night undercurrents has grown and evolved to become an indispensable part of Ottawa’s theatre scene, and one of Canada’s most important independent theatre festivals – moving from GCTC to Arts Court, presenting over 60 shows, including 19 world premieres by local artists, and some of the best work by theatre makers from across the country. Not to mention the numerous scripts that have been read as part of New Play Tuesday, the visiting artists we’ve welcomed as part of our workshop series, the discussions and the new work developed through the under development residency program. Not too bad for our little experiment. But enough about the past! For this year’s festival we looked for shows that spark joy – either through form or content – as an antidote to the current news cycle and Ottawa’s dismal February weather (the world is a heavy place right now… couldn’t we all use some more joy?). With artists hailing from British Columbia to Newfoundland, undercurrents 2020 features an award-winning show from St. John’s; a storytelling show about adulting; a sci-fi comedy rock show; a post-apocalyptic survival lesson led by eighth graders; the story of Nazi-fighting surrealist artists and romantic partners, Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore; a clown show about alzheimers (no, really); and the Discovery series of works-in-progress. Thanks for joining us at undercurrents 2020. Here’s to the next ten... Patrick Gauthier Festival Director Show Listing: AWKWARD HUG An O Albatross Production Vancouver, Britsh Columbia 70 min | Rating: 14+ Created & Performed by Cory Thibert Created & Directed by Linnea Gwiazda Dramaturgy by TJ Dawe CONTENT SYMBOLS Abrupt Loud Noise Mature Language Sexual Content SHOW DESCRIPTION: In the summer of 2009, Cory Thibert was a quiet 19-year-old living in his parents’ basement. He was working as a server to pay his college tuition, spending time with his animal-loving girlfriend, and his band was hoping to play its first ever show. When the Ottawa Affordable Housing Unit informs his parents that they have to move out of the only home Cory has ever known, it sets in motion a series of events that uncover the truth about what has set his family apart, and forces Cory to find his voice…with a scream. With laugh-out-loud humour and heartbreaking honesty, AWKWARD HUG transports us to the discomfort of navigating adulthood for the first time. Through masterful storytelling and intimate reflection, Cory explores what constitutes “normal” in our world, and how having two parents with disabilities forces his family outside those margins. ★★★★★ “This spectacular coming-of-age story will make you laugh, cry and everything in between.” - Gigcity (Edmonton) WINNER - BEST STORYTELLING / SPOKEN WORD SHOW - VICTORIA FRINGE FESTIVAL, 2018 WINNER - BC TOURING COUNCIL AWARD - VANCOUVER FRINGE AWARD, 2018 WINNER - CRITICS PICK - NOW MAGAZINE, TORONTO, 2018 SCHEDULE: Arts Court Theatre FRIDAY, February 7 at 7:00pm SATURDAY, February 8 at 7:00pm SUNDAY, February 9 at 3:00pm Beth-Anne A Monica Bradford-Lea & Nicholas Leno Production Ottawa, Ontario 40 min | Rating: PG Created & Performed by Monica Bradford-Lea Created & Directed by Nicholas Leno Dramaturgy by Emily Pearlman Composition & Sound Design by Angela Schleihauf CONTENT SYMBOLS Audience participation SHOW DESCRIPTION: Middle part ponytail. Pony sweater. Meet Beth-Anne, a horse crazy girl who just wants to be loved and desired. She can’t work up the confidence to ask her crush on a date, and she might not really have any friends. So, she decides to transform herself in an effort to become more desirable. And what’s THE most desirable creature? A horse, of course. Beth-Anne must become a horse. This hilarious solo comedy is created by Ottawa theatre artists Monica Bradford-Lea and Nicholas Leno. Creators of 2019 Prix Rideau Award nominated play-without-words Light(less), Beth-Anne is also a play that is highly physical, and features very few spoken words. NOMINEE - EMERGING ARTIST AWARD - MONICA BRADFORD-LEA, PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS, 2019 NOMINEE - EMERGING ARTIST AWARD - NICHOLAS LENO, PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS, 2019 SCHEDULE: Library Studio THURSDAY, February 6 at 8:00pm SATURDAY, February 8 at 4:00pm Cardinal An Aplombusrhombus Production Ottawa, Ontario 55 min | Rating: PG Created & Performed by Mitchel Rose and Madeleine Hall Directed by Mitchel Rose Sound Design & Composition by Julien Dussault Featuring Julien Dussault (guitar and piano), Scottie Irving (piano and accordion), Angela Schleihauf (oboe and English horn) Set Design by John Doucet Artistic Associate Andy Massingham SHOW DESCRIPTION: A clown show about Alzheimer's! No, really. Two clowns are in a tug of war over the omnipresent but invisible man. One as Memory, one as Disease. They illustrate the heartbreaking and hilarious realities at play when tug of war turns to capture the flag in a mind unraveling game at the hands of a crippling disease. Cardinal premiered at the 2016 Ottawa Fringe, where it was praised by audiences and critics alike, and won the University of Ottawa Emerging Artist Award. Taking place in the imagined space inside a person's mind, two performers depict an intimate battle between Memory and Disease as the latter lays her claim to the space, slowly transforming it from cardinal red to stark white. A trio of accomplished musicians join to perform a live rendition of an original score. “Cardinal is a powerfully affecting, clown-based journey into Alzheimer’s disease” - The Ottawa Citizen WINNER - EMERGING ARTIST AWARD - OTTAWA FRINGE, 2016 NOMINEE - EMERGING ARTIST AWARD - MITCHEL ROSE, PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS, 2017 NOMINEE - EMERGING ARTIST AWARD - MADELEINE HALL, PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS, 2017 SCHEDULE: Arts Court Theatre WEDNESDAY, February 12 at 7:00pm FRIDAY, February 14 at 9:00pm SATURDAY, February 15 at 3:00pm Crippled Presented by Power Productions St. John’s, Newfoundland 85 min | Rating: M Created by Paul David Power Performed by Pat Dempsey, Paul David Power & Matt White Directed by Danielle Irvine Dramaturgy by Robert Chafe CONTENT SYMBOLS Flashing Lights Mature Language Sexual Content SHOW DESCRIPTION: “Crippled”. That’s what the guys in Tony’s small community of Shale Harbour, NL used to call him growing up. The name stuck. Years later, Tony finds himself on the St. John’s waterfront at a crossroad. Tired of living with a disability, of being ‘the cripple’, and still grieving the death of his same sex partner three years earlier, Tony believes there’s only one way to escape a life he no longer wants to live. His mind is made up, until a stranger appears with other plans. “It is unapologetic because it is written around the very important fact that nobody with a disability has to apologize for their body or apologize for taking up space. And on top of that it is such a vulnerable and beautiful love story. [..] ★★★★★ would watch again a million times.” - Damsel in a Dress WINNER - OUTSTANDING PRODUCTION - FUNDY FRINGE FESTIVAL, 2017 WINNER - PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD - BEST THING TO HAPPEN IN THEATRE - OVERCAST MAGAZINE - ST. JOHN’S, NL, 2018 SCHEDULE: Arts Court Theatre WEDNESDAY, February 5 at 7:00pm FRIDAY, February 7 at 9:00pm SATURDAY, February 1 at 1:00pm Heartlines A RAFT Theatre Projects Production Ottawa, Ontario 85 min | Rating: M Created by Sarah Waisvisz Performed by Margo MacDonald, Maryse Fernandes & Scottie Irving Directed by Rebecca Benson CONTENT SYMBOLS Mature Language Sexual Content SHOW DESCRIPTION: What would you do for love? A journey from 1920s Paris to the occupied Channel Islands during WW2. Heartlines explores the artistic and political contributions of French-Jewish Surrealist artists Lucy Schwob and Suzanne Malherbe, also known as Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore. Partners in life and love, Cahun and Moore defy norms of art, gender, religion, and society with surrealist collages, photographs, and writing. But when Nazi Germany occupies their home, life must instead begin to imitate art. An inspiring story of overcoming hate to champion resistance and resilience. Heartlines is a world premiere from multi-award-winning playwright Sarah Waisvisz. AWARDS World Premiere! NOMINEE - EMERGING ARTIST AWARD - SARAH WAISVISZ, PRIX RIDEAU AWARDS, 2016 Playwright-in-Residence at Great Canadian Theatre Company (GCTC), 2016-2017 SCHEDULE: Arts Court Theatre THURSDAY, February 6 at 7:00pm SATURDAY, February 8 at 9:00pm SUNDAY, February 9 at 1:00pm Home Sweet...Something A Litera Pro Production Ottawa, Ontario 50 min | Rating: G Created & Performed by Ayesha Chubb, Zaakirah Chubb & Ludmylla Reis CONTENT SYMBOLS Audience Participation SHOW DESCRIPTION: A dark room. A voice; “They call me Master v.8.71 beta. I’d like to welcome you all to our Escape Room.” Sixty minutes on the clock. Three women wake up in a place they don’t remember going to; they don’t know each other, but they know they have one hour to score as many points as they can to win their way out. How? By correctly defining their personal heritage, values and ethics. The real question: how do you beat a broken system? Home Sweet...Something is a new satire from Ayesha Chubb, Zaakirah Chubb and Ludmylla Reis about being forced to answer for who you are to find your freedom. SCHEDULE: Library Studio FRIDAY, February 7 at 9:30pm SATURDAY, February 8 at 2:30pm Honey Dew Me A theatre decentred Production Ottawa, Ontario 45 min | Rating: M Created & Performed by Kyle Cameron & Axandre Lemours Created & Directed by Luke Brown Sounds Design & Stage Management by J Hopkins CONTENT SYMBOLS Abrupt Loud Noise Mature Language Mental Health SHOW DESCRIPTION: 1960s Ottawa, Herbert and Tom are in love. Queer people are considered a threat to national security; they are spied on, interrogated, publicly outed, and fired from their jobs. As police officers working in the public eye, they’re on the lookout for places of refuge that accept them for who they are. Their colleagues are looking too. The Honey Dew Coffee Shop, on the corner of Rideau and Sussex, is a site of both freedom and danger: of true love and pure hatred. Honey Dew Me is inspired by true stories of the government-led persecution of queer people that occurred from the 1950s to 1990s, and in many ways continues today. “This political, cultural and historical account of what it was like to be a gay public servant in the 1960s in Canada is brilliant.“ - Apt613 SCHEDULE: Library Studio THURSDAY, February 6 at 9:30pm FRIDAY, February 7 at 8:00pm Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near-Post-Apocalyptic Future A SNAFU Production Victoria, British Columbia 75 min | Rating: PG Created & Performed by Ingrid Hansen, & Rod Peter Jr. Created & Directed by Kathleen Greenfield CONTENT SYMBOLS Flashing Lights Abrupt Loud Noise SHOW DESCRIPTION: Two grade-eights step on stage to present at a school assembly. Very soon, the students go off-script, barring the doors and hijacking the presentation to deliver an urgent message: they will be dead in an hour, the collapse of society has already begun, and they’re here to train you how to survive. What follows is “a wild, impressively choreographed romp featuring dance numbers, live music, and giant-scale shadow puppetry that is by turns hilarious, heart-rending and in small glimpses, beautiful. You won’t want to leave your seat.” – The Marble ★★★★★ - Onstage Ottawa ★★★★1/2 - Edmonton Journal AWARDS New Play Prize - Playwrights Theatre Centre & Vancouver Fringe, 2013 Best New Play - Victoria’s Critic’s Choice Awards, 2012 SCHEDULE: Arts Court Theatre THURSDAY, February 13 at 7:00pm SATURDAY, February 15 at 1:00pm SATURDAY, February 15 at 9:00pm Unbridled Futurism - A Sci-Fi Comedy Rock Show A makendoes Production Toronto, Ontario 55 min | Rating: PG Created by Nick Di Gaetano and Teddy Ivanova Performed by Nick Di Gaetano and friends CONTENT SYMBOLS Flashing Lights Abrupt Loud Noise Fog Mature Language SHOW DESCRIPTION: Captain Nick Di Gaetano is an astronaut from an advanced parallel Earth and the only known human being to travel at the Speed of Light. On his ship’s maiden voyage he encounters a Space/Time Anomaly and is sent hurtling into the unknown. Now, along with AI navigator Mission Control, he lives as an inter-dimensional refugee, phasing uncontrollably through infinite realities in search of a way back home to his wife and cat. Unbridled Futurism features original music, a live band, DIY Video and absurd characters from a Cat/Wizard to The Raccoon King of Toronto in a cosmically comic performance that explores what it means to be human among the vast and indifferent cosmos while letting us know that if you ever thought your life had no meaning - it does now. “Whether you’re a sci-fi guy or gal, or just a theatre goer looking for a truly original theatrical experience, buy your tickets to Unbridled Futurism right away. The raccoon wars might start tomorrow and you’ll be sorry you missed out.” ★★★★★ - On Stage Ottawa AWARDS Dora Award, Nick Di Gaetano, 2019 SCHEDULE: Arts Court Theatre THURSDAY, February 13 at 9:00pm FRIDAY, February 14 at 7:00pm SATURDAY, February 15 at 7:00pm
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