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Powerful performance highlights plight of immigrant women

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Rehearsal for New Country New Conflicts, a Forum Theatre play directed by Naomi Tessler and performed by clients of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa. Photo from artsoe.ca.Rehearsal for New Country New Conflicts, a Forum Theatre play directed by Naomi Tessler and performed by clients of Immigrant Women Services Ottawa. Photo from artsoe.ca.

Theatre, like art, is the working out of conflict, and can motivate, educate, inspire, and entertain. It can also move you to a new place, a new understanding, for the audience and performers alike. The New Country New Conflicts theatre performance put on recently by one of AOE Arts Council’s Art Place projects deals with alienation and the plight facing immigrant women in Ottawa. It explores everyday trials and tribulations newcomers to Canada face. Challenges at the employment office, in getting directions on the street and on public transit, and... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents festival: Marathon delivers less than it promises

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Merav Dagan, Ilya Domonov and Gal Shamai in Marathon. Photo by Doron Oved.Merav Dagan, Ilya Domonov and Gal Shamai in Marathon. Photo by Doron Oved.

As the undercurrents staff lets the audience into the Studio outside Arts Court Theatre, Marathon is already in progress. The audience seats itself around three runners who are circling the space. On the floor is a marker for the finish line of a marathon: 42.2 kilometres. But this is not merely a run, an athletic event. In this dance/theatre piece, the performers intersperse disparate icons of Israeli life: Hora, the celebratory folk dance; Hassidic prayer; shunning of shiksas (non-Jewish women); grenade attacks; Kibbutz communes; national service (“follow me”, “hold the... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents festival: Feckin’ Pirates is a boatload of fun

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Much Ado about Feckin' Pirates
featuring Margo MacDonald and Richard Gélinas. Photo by Pascal Huot.Much Ado about Feckin' Pirates featuring Margo MacDonald and Richard Gélinas. Photo by Pascal Huot.

If conflict be an essential element in good storytelling, then here be some fine stories indeed. Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates, the mounting of the improv piece by Richard Gélinas  and Margo MacDonald and directed by Al Connors, is as much a workshop in storytelling as it is a funny, absurd hour of improv theatre. The basic structure of the show is fairly straightforward: two bickering pirates have been banished by their captain to the crow’s nest and they have to stay there until they can learn to get along.... | Continue reading article

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Vagina Monologues – Februray 20 & 21 at Bronson Centre

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Photo courtesy of VDay Ottawa 2015.Photo courtesy of VDay Ottawa 2015.

“A muff?” says Emily Olding, when I ask her, on the coldest day of the year, what her vagina would wear if it could dress up. Emily is the co-director, with Di Golding, of VDAY Ottawa’s 2015 production of the Vagina Monologues. I am feeling winter’s dreary grip when I meet with Emily and producer Sandi Stoliar, but leave completely energized by both women’s infectious humour and passion. The Vagina Monologues is a play that tackles a somewhat delicate topic (no pun intended) in a way that is touching, funny,... | Continue reading article

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Vinx brought one-man show to Zola’s

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Vinx, live at Zola's. All photos by Terry Steeves.Vinx, live at Zola's. All photos by Terry Steeves.

“Music is a language. It’s another facet of the way we communicate, only with more feeling and passion. Theory, notes, technicality…throw those out the window.” – Vinx Vincent De’Jon Parrette, more popularly known as Vinx, brought his one-man show to Ottawa’s beautiful Zola’s Restaurant this past Thursday night. He gave us a taste of his past and present repetoire which encompassed nuances of jazz, soul, pop, funk, and other worldly delights. This latest tour is in celebration of his newest effort, An American Crooner, set to have been released on... | Continue reading article

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Take me with you, Nick Everett | Mauno at Mugshots tonight!

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Mauno perform in a Sackville living room.Mauno perform in a Sackville living room.

Post by Sarah Patterson. Halifax/Sackville-based three piece, Mauno and fellow Haligonian minstrels, Vulva Culture (60s girl-group vocals on Quaaludes), are currently working their way west-ward on an eastern Canadian tour entitled “Rolling in the Creep.” They’re scheduled to play in Ottawa along with locals, Baberaham Lincoln on Tuesday Feb 17th at everyone’s favourite haunted jail chapel tavern, Mugshots.  Spearheaded by Nick Everett (Budon, Nick Everett & Everybody), Mauno comprises two other notable musicians as well, namely Halifax’s Eliza Niemi and Sackville staple, Evan Matthews (Mouthbreathers, Yellowteeth). Listening to the few... | Continue reading article

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The darkly funny Marion Bridge is on at The Gladstone

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From left: Cindy Beaton (Louise), Shawna Pasini (Theresa), Robin Guy (Agnes). Photo by Jennifer Scrivens, Resonate Photography.From left: Cindy Beaton (Louise), Shawna Pasini (Theresa), Robin Guy (Agnes). Photo by Jennifer Scrivens, Resonate Photography.

130 minutes (including one intermission) / Drama | Parental Guidance The striking first impression of this production is how good the casting is. Robin Guy, Shawna Pasini and Cindy Beaton are immediately believable as sisters Agnes, Theresa and Louise. The MacKeigan sisters (hard-drinking actress Agnes, teetotaling nun Theresa and television-addicted, unemployed Louise) are gathered in their maternal home to prepare for their mother’s impending death from lung cancer. While the three sisters shared a common nurture, nature has given them dramatically different personalities. Their differences, with each other and with... | Continue reading article

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Librarian in Residence: #YOWHumanLibrary returns this Saturday

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A Metis Woman in conversation during a former Human Library experience in Ottawa.A Metis Woman in conversation during a former Human Library experience in Ottawa.

Jessica Green is a book addict and library card holder since the age of 3. She’s a librarian at the Ottawa Public Library and currently the Apartment613 Librarian-in-Residence, sharing a compendium of literary thoughts and tips. On February 21st, you can participate in one of the most unique library events: the Human Library. The fourth edition of the popular event will happen in library branches all across the Ottawa Gatineau area as for the first time, the Bibliothèque municipale de Gatineau is joining in this event along with the Ottawa... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents festival: Punch Up needs to be punched up

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Tim Walker (left) and Colin Munch in Punch Up. Photo by Zaiden.Tim Walker (left) and Colin Munch in Punch Up. Photo by Zaiden.

Theatre Brouhaha from Toronto pitches their creations as “theatre for the HBO generation” and as “pitch black comedy”. This play by writer/director Kat Sandler won both Best of Fest at the 2014 Toronto Fringe Festival and Patron’s Pick.  So I was expecting to laugh a lot at Punch Up.  But I didn’t.  Neither did my theatre/life companion, who is known for having one of the loudest most infectious laughs in Ottawa.  But others in the audience did laugh a great deal, even at the jokes which were not supposed to... | Continue reading article

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Get down and dance for a local fundraiser!

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Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Dance DirectivePhoto courtesy of the Ottawa Dance Directive

Legendary soul singer James Brown knew how to put life in perspective.  ”The one thing that can solve most of our problems is dancing,” the father of funk once said. With this lovely thought in mind, let’s cue next week’s innovative fundraiser by the Ottawa Dance Directive that is scheduled for Saturday, February 21.  Taking place between 11 am to 5 pm, the charity event will consist of a day-long series of dance lessons. “You can buy a day pass for a flat fee of $45 and join any class during the day,... | Continue reading article

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