Alumnae Theatre's 100th Season, and 30th New Ideas Festival

I am extremely excited to share that I am directing the world premiere of Ciarán Myers' new play Sweet Mama and the Salty Muffins as part of the New Ideas Festival at Alumnae Theatre. 

More on the play later...but before that, the festival are looking for volunteers! Alumnae are now in their 100th season, fuelled by members and volunteers, bringing new work to the stage. 

Stage Managers review this link  

Actors review this link for auditions
Rehearsals will begin January 30th and thereafter for the productions March 7-25. There are a plethora of ages, genders, types, etc to audition for across staged readings of longer works in development, and full productions, so plenty for actors to chew on. This is a non-union opportunity, but a great group of people. All auditions are for all plays, actors are grouped by age and gender so that directors can sit in on the groups relevant for their casting needs.

I am specifically looking for a female performer over 30 (really anywhere over 30 works, if it is the right person!) for a demanding one-hander that will be in full production. 


announcement. Autel @ FOOT Sounding The Inner Ear of Performance, University of Toronto

I'm extremely excited to share that my audio installation Autel has been selected to be a part of the annual Festival of Original Theatre (FOOT) at the University of Toronto's Drama Centre which runs Feb 2-5. This is the 25th anniversary of the conference, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the Drama Centre @ U of T.

This year's theme is "Sounding The Inner Ear of Performance" so my Autel piece, which I first showed at RADA in London, and subsequently at the Gas Station Arts Centre in Winnipeg is a great fit. 

So much of my own directing and creative work has focused on the power of sound as an active character in the theatrical experience, and I am honoured to have my work included among these amazing thinkers and creators. 

For more about the conference (you can still register) check out their website. 

More about Autel:
Autel is a performance installation piece first shown at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, March 2012, and subsequently shown at the Gas Station Arts Centre in Winnipeg from October to December 2012. It invites the viewer to experience their own ritual of identity, and examine this mask as they look at others, also performing a ritual of identity. The viewer should, after the experience, begin to question the authenticity of their own public identity, and those they encounter, along with the authenticity of the experiences they have for the remainder of the performances. What are they seeing? How are they responding? Are they responding in a specific way that they believe is correct, or that is for the benefit of others?

Inspired by the work of playwright Jean Genet and composed of a collage of his words and those of Antonin Artaud, Autel is an auditory experience which challenges social constructs of identity and the way we interact with art. 

review. Indigenous Dance Double Bill @ Native Earth Performing Arts

Toronto's Native Earth Performing Arts have embarked on a new journey, presenting a double bill of dance-based works as a departure from their traditionally theatre-based productions. The show consisted of two hour-long performances which differed quite considerably. 

The first piece, Luu hlotitxw: Spirit Transforming was a traditionally based performance set initially to drum beats and traditional singing. It morphed into the use of video and soundscapes, along with a highly theatrical usage of masks to tell a story of a young man who loses his way, and finds it again through reconnecting with tradition. While the story is captivating, and the choice to weave in the 3 methods of storytelling is interesting to watch, unfortunately the 3 languages of storytelling felt disjointed from one another, so it felt like there was a bit of guess work from the audience. That said, there were some beautiful moments of realization and surprise for the audience, so it is certainly a piece I would love to see continue to be refined. 

Karina Iraola in NGS (Native Girl Syndrome) - Credit Marc J Chalifoux

Karina Iraola in NGS (Native Girl Syndrome) - Credit Marc J Chalifoux

The second piece, NGS (Native Girl Syndrome) contrasted considerably. It was performed by two young women in a space littered with garbage and the contents of their carts. An abrasive and somewhat contradictory soundscape played counter balance to the images of these women who were sad and lonely, clearly isolated. As the piece progressed, there were some stunning images they created with the objects around them. In particular, as one dancer rolled across the floor in beautiful choreography, covered in a large clear plastic sheet, it was difficult not to have images of young womens' bodies being pulled from the river in my home town of Winnipeg. The work was challenging to watch, but highly necessary. My only qualm is dramaturgical; I felt the piece could have shortened just slightly, to increase its impact.