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Photo: Laura Gauthier/Apt613

Theatre Review: The Ottawa Theatre Challenge 2019

By Laura Gauthier and Samara Caplan on March 28, 2019

Laura and Samara spend their days as non-profit unicorns and fill every spare minute exploring the world of musical theatre as BFFs (that’s Broadway Friends Forever).


We marked World Theatre Day the best way we knew how—by joining other Ottawa theatre nerds at a Company of Fools’ Ottawa Theatre Challenge. This was our first time attending, so last week we interviewed Nick Leno, company administrator for a Company of Fools, which got us excited and wondering what to expect.

The Rubber Chicken Award grows every year, as each winner adds a new piece to the Frankenstein-esque trophy. Photo: Laura Gauthier/Apt613.

This years challengers included last year’s reigning champs Toasted Theatre Company, as well as Dead Unicorn Ink, Pareidolia, Overnight Oats, Shortened Tale Productions, and We Just Live Together Right Now.

Just 48 hours prior to the event the companies met and were given three items of inspiration for their ten minute sketches. These included:

  • A social media post
  • The name of a host
  • A famous fictional ghost

The night opened with a reading of the World Theatre Address written by Sunny Drake (Commissioned by the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres), celebrating the power of the arts and storytelling which was especially insightful and inspirational, reaffirming our love for theatre.

The rest of the evening, also brought its own insights and inspiration—but on a different level. It was filled with stories of blood, muppets, fictional Bruce Willis ghosts, Satan, and included an incredible amount of pasta—it was a tight race! Along with the excellent hosting styles of Leslie Cserepy (who was so close to winning best host for the evening until a little girl from the audience swiped the title at the last minute) it was a night full of laughter, fun and excitement.

Rubber Chicken Award winners Matt Hertendy and Monica Bradford-Lea. Photo: Laura Gauthier/Apt613.

In the end, this year’s Rubber Chicken Award went to Pareidolia’s Monica Bradford-Lea and Matt Hertendy (who’s new play Swedish Furniture is set to open on April 5th) for their sketch “Final Jeopardy”.

We Just Live Together Right Now came in as the runner-ups with their pasta-videogame-mayhem inspired piece. The evening also brought in more than $800 for the Actors’ Fund of Canada, capping the night off as a success!

Fools’ next venture will be Romeo + Juliet coming to various parks around Ottawa this summer.


Visit fools.ca up-to-date on Romeo + Juliet and other upcoming productions by a Company of Fools.