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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Theatre

undercurrents: Monstrous blends storytelling to dance in search for cultural belonging

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Sarah Waisvisz in Monstrous. Photo by Christopher Snow.Sarah Waisvisz in Monstrous. Photo by Christopher Snow.

Miscegenation (noun): the interbreeding of people considered to be of different racial types. Sarah Waisvisz travels a murky, muddled and miss-remembered heritage in Monstrous a world premiere performance at undercurrents that blends storytelling to dance in Waisvisz search for cultural belonging. Premiering during Black History Month this work comes at an opportune moment offering insight into the baggage carried by many North American’s in relation to cultural identity. Monstrous explores, from mostly a personal perspective, the lost history of stolen and exiled people whose birthright was clouded by the impact... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents: Getting to Room Temperature one-person show about dying

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Robert Bockstael. Photo from roomtemperaturecollective.com.Robert Bockstael. Photo from roomtemperaturecollective.com.

Fringe theatre by its very name explores characters and topics frequently marginalized.  Getting to Room Temperature adheres to this tradition in Arthur Milner’s one-man show recounting the struggles that accompany the decline and death of his mother Rose. Based on Milner’s experience with his mother Rose’s death the work was inspired by her pursuit of assisted suicide when incapacitated by a lung infection in her early 90s. Part personal story, part lecture the play follows a natural progression from childhood reflections on the “noble” death of Inuit elders once commonly... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents: Forstner and Fillister build laughs as well as furniture

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Photo by Barbara Havrot.Photo by Barbara Havrot.

The title of this play is Forstner and Fillister Present: Forstner and Fillister in: Fosterner and Fillister. If that makes you laugh, you will like this play. If the use of punctuation concerns you, you’ll probably still like this play. This is a play that it’s hard not to like. Those who have fond memories of the Red Green Show will recognise its influence here immediately. The show features two brothers, played by Will Somers and David Benedict Brown, who plan to teach the audience about woodworking. A good plan,... | Continue reading article

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undercurrents: Mouthpiece a silent scream made audible

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Photo by Brooke Wedlock.Photo by Brooke Wedlock.

Jared Davidson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Apt613. Follow his Twitter for more. The opening night of undercurrents closed with Mouthpiece, a play from Toronto’s Quote Unquote Collective, and a play whose title only hints at the social commentary that bursts forth from this performance in new and important ways. It is the kind of play that provokes a reaction—in some moments, anxiety, in others, triumph. The play is an examination of femininity in the modern context, replete with meta-theatrical excursions, such as the reciting of the... | Continue reading article

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An uncommon combination of cartoons and cabaret + ticket giveaway

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Mimi Violette and Unetelle as Patty and Selma. All photos from the Facebook event page.Mimi Violette and Unetelle as Patty and Selma. All photos from the Facebook event page.

Mer Weinhold is an Ottawa-dwelling writer, editor, book reviewer, and costuming enthusiast. You can follow them on Twitter. Watching The Simpsons was a staple of my youth. Back when broadcast TV existed, we got two syndicated episodes every weekday evening on CFMT and CityTV (three episodes if one of my siblings climbed on the roof and wiggled the antenna until Global came in). These days, burlesque shows are a staple of my “let’s go out tonight” plans — always a variety of creative performances set to a range of music.... | Continue reading article

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What’s On Stage: Brad Long, a trial in passion

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Brad Long in Dream On. Photo by Andrew Alexander.Brad Long in Dream On. Photo by Andrew Alexander.

Brian Carroll of Apartment613 interviewed actor Brad Long. You’re nominated as Outstanding Actor for the Prix Rideau Awards for Re:Union. How did you get involved in this production? Brad Long: Sean Devine, who is the writer/director of Re:Union, and Artistic Director of Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre, came and saw a performance of We Glow that we did here in Ottawa before we went on tour. He loved the show. He’s someone who wants to shake things up here in Ottawa, in some really interesting ways. He reached out to me and said, “Re:Union is going up... | Continue reading article

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Eric Coates picks four must-see performances at undercurrents

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Sarah Waisvisz in Monstrous. Photo by Christopher Snow.Sarah Waisvisz in Monstrous. Photo by Christopher Snow.

Post by Eric Coates, Artistic Director of the Great Canadian Theatre Company. Full disclosure: my personal picks for undercurrents are all projects that GCTC has supported, in one way or another, so it makes sense that I want to highlight them. I’m like a hockey parent cheering for my kid’s team, and woe betide anyone who crosses me. In fact, I’d like all of the critics to wear referee shirts to the performances so I can hurl my opinions at them in the hope of influencing their reviews. I’d never... | Continue reading article

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Love Letters a good play for thoughtful lovers

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Images courtesy of The Gladstone Theatre.Images courtesy of The Gladstone Theatre.

American playwright A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters is an epistolary play.  Epistolary plays – plays based on the exchange of letters – reside in a small niche in the world of theatre.  You may be familiar with plays such as 84 Charing Cross Road and Les liaisons dangereuses.   Using only dramatically read letters, Love Letters traces the complicated relationship between two people – Andrew (Andy) Makepeace Ladd III (the talented Pierre Brault) and Melissa Gardner (CBC broadcaster Lucy van Oldenbarneveld) – from age 7 to almost 60. Andy and Melissa are children of... | Continue reading article

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Shakespeare for people who don’t like Shakespeare

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Tristan D. Lalla, Quincy Armorer and Kayvon Kelley in 12th Night. All photos courtesy of the National Arts Centre.Tristan D. Lalla, Quincy Armorer and Kayvon Kelley in 12th Night. All photos courtesy of the National Arts Centre.

A year and a half ago, Jillian Keiley, the Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre, asked Calgary’s Old Trout Puppet Workshop to collaborate on a production of one of Shakespeare’s most loved comedies – Twelfth Night.  However, she wanted them to imagine the play without puppets.  As the Old Trouts say in the program, “We don’t typically design shows with actual living actors in them” but they decided to take the plunge.  I’m glad they did.  Their abundant creativity has given us a delightful production.  First... | Continue reading article

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The Crucible: Sock ‘n’ Buskin’s latest is something of a trial

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Photo courtesy of Sock 'n' Buskin Theatre Company.Photo courtesy of Sock 'n' Buskin Theatre Company.

Joseph Hutt is a freelance writer and editor in Ottawa, and a radio host on CKCU. You can find links to his various endeavours on his website, at www.cuppajoebooks.com. I absolutely loved Sock ‘n’ Buskin‘s performance of Dr. Faustus, so when I was offered the chance of seeing their most recent production, The Crucible, I was stoked for another fun-filled evening. While it kept with the interesting theme of demonic temptation, I was not so easily seduced by this production. The Crucible takes places in the midst of the Salem witch trials,... | Continue reading article

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