4 weeks until opening!

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Spotlight on The Hottentot Venus – Untold  and Lucila Al Mar

In the weeks leading up to the series, we are publishing a series of posts that spotlight the many different plays and events that will be part of TACTICS 2017. Read on to get the inside scoop on our programming!

We open in four weeks!!! Are you excited yet? Because I am! And I am especially excited to tell you a bit more about first two artists we are featuring in the series. 

On April 20, TACTICS 2017 will open with 8thGeneration Performance’s gorgeous production of The Hottentot Venus – Untold, created and performed by Jacqui du Toit. And the very next evening, we are hosting Lucila al Mar‘s live concert and celebration of the release of her debut album, Nada es para siempre // Nothing is forever. These women both inspire me so much with their incredible talent, the authenticity of their unique voices in story and song, their commitment to social justice through their art, and their dedication to artistic excellence. Seriously, I am deeply honoured to have the chance to feature them and deeply grateful to them for their powerful work. 

I first had the unlikely opportunity to hear about Jacqui’s piece about Sarah Baartman, the “Hottentot Venus,” on a road trip to Toronto. I had posted on kijiji for a rideshare, and I was delighted when the Jacqui who replied to my anonymous ad turned out to be the same Jacqui I’d met several times, but whose work I hadn’t had the chance to experience yet. On the trip, she told me she was working on a new storytelling theatre piece about this fascinating historical figure—one of the first indigenous South African women taken to Europe and put on display as part of a “freak show” in the early 1800s. I was absolutely fascinated, and the 4+ hours of that drive flew by.

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to see the production when it was first staged at the Origin Arts & Community Centre, an intimate performance venue that Jacqui co-owns in Mechanicsville, with sound designed by Thabani Malaba. And when the production moved to the Gladstone for a 2-night engagement, I was happy to see this important story have the opportunity to reach a wider audience and expand technically to include a lighting design by David Magladry. And now, Jacqui is bringing this show to TACTICS, this time with a longer run in the venue and even more artistic support including the addition of Directorial Consultant Laurie Fyffe and Stage Manager Louisa Haché to her fantastic team. And at the centre of all this is Jacqui’s beautiful writing and performance, which I am so excited to see on the TACTICS mainstage.

Lucila Al Mar

And on Friday, April 21, we’ll have the first of our interdisciplinary special events, and we are thrilled to be hosting Lucila Al Mar’s album release celebration in Arts Court Studio, right after that evening’s mainstage performance. Lucila is one of Ottawa’s most exciting up-and-coming singer/songwriters. She’s a powerful performer with a gorgeous voice and insightful (often bilingual) lyrics that come straight from the heart. She performed live music in Naomi Tessler’s play (off) Balance, which TACTICS presented last year, and her compositions and live sound design were a beautiful, often haunting part of the production. I’ve had the chance to see her perform her own music live several times, and I know she has been working meticulously on getting every track of her first album just right. She usually performs solo, so this will be a special chance to see her backed by a full band. After the concert, there will be an after-party DJ’d by Chico6Trece, and I couldn’t think of a better way to launch TACTICS 2017! 

Check out this live performance of Lucila’s song “24” on youtube

Now More Than Ever

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Spotlight on our evening of Theatre & Politics

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing a series of posts that spotlight the many different plays and events that will be part of TACTICS 2017. Read on to get the inside scoop on our programming!

I’m writing this post from Niagara-on-the-Lake at the end of the first day of rehearsal for Michael Healey’s new political satire, 1979, a co-production between the Shaw Festival and the Great Canadian Theatre Company. (I’m lucky enough to be assistant director to Eric Coates.) Both the Shaw Festival and GCTC are companies that are built on presenting theatre that provokes dialogue and examines our place in the world, so it’s a perfect fit for these two companies to collaborate on this new play looking at the end of Joe Clark’s very short tenure as Prime Minister of Canada. With the imagined words of Joe Clark, Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Flora MacDonald, Brian Mulroney (and others) echoing in my mind, not to mention the current political climate that is simply impossible to ignore,  it only makes sense to turn our TACTICS Spotlight to Now More Than Ever, our evening of Theatre & Politics on May 1st.

Now More Than Ever: Theatre & Politics, Monday May 1

Is democracy in crisis? If so, what can theatre artists do to inspire, educate, and entertain in a new era of uncertainty? Laurie Fyffe (Evolution Theatre) & Bronwyn Steinberg (TACTICS) invite you to attend a reading of George Orwell’s 1984, followed by the fourth panel discussion in our series Theatre Matters, a community discussion between Ottawa based theatre artists on topics of interest to theatre professionals.

1984 Script

This special event begins at 6pm on Monday, May 1st with a staged reading of Michael Gene Sullivan’s adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984. I’m particularly excited for this event, as I will be directing the reading. This script is a harrowing adaptation of the classic novel (which recently completely sold out on Amazon—hmm, I wonder why.) It’s a highly theatrical adaptation, with the playwright/adapter specifying that as the actors play multiple characters and reenact scenes from Winston’s story, it should be without the use of video and projection. Sullivan explains that “the emphasis of this adaptation is not technology, but how humans become machines.” This text lends itself extremely well to a reading, and I’m excited to have a chance to dive into it with a cast of Ottawa actors.

Following the reading, we’ll shift into a community discussion, the fourth instalment in our Theatre Matters series curated by Laurie Fyffe and myself. We’ll invite several panelists and the community to respond to the play and also to expand the conversation to reflect on the role of theatre and art in our current “era of uncertainty.”

Both events will be Pay-What-You-Can, with all proceeds benefiting Refugee 613. You are invited to join us for either the reading, the discussion, or both!

And by the way, if you are interested in getting involved, either as an actor in the reading or a panelist/facilitator for the discussion, please send me an email at tactic.series@gmail.com for more information!

I’m so looking forward to this event, and to engaging with our community on these essential and timely questions. And in the meantime, I’m soaking up all the inspiration of being in rehearsal for 1979. Seriously, we need this now more than ever.

Looking back and looking forward

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Wow, it’s been a busy week since we had our launch party. The artists are of course hard at work on their shows, while we on the steering committee are busy with things like production schedules, marketing plans and…. continuing to add content to our new website!

In fact, we’ve just added a new HISTORY section listing all the shows from our first two seasons with some images, information, accolades and reviews. Take a look!

And in the next few weeks, we’ll keep adding updates on this year’s shows and special events, so check back to see what our artists are up to. This will also be the first place you can hear about the amazing line-up of chefs serving up our special pre-show dinner “Show Plates” on May 6th, and this is where we’ll announce how to get involved with events like the Creators’ Exchange and our evening of Theatre & Politics.

The website at artscourt.ca/tactics has also now been updated with our full schedule and tickets are on sale there for both Mainstage Series productions. And of course, you can always connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and look for us soon on Instagram!

Looking forward to being in touch and seeing you at Arts Court in April and May!

 

TACTICS 2017 line-up announced!

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Thank you so much to everyone who attended our 2017 Series Launch Party! We had a wonderful time mixing and mingling with artists and supporters. We also enjoyed stiff competition in the TACTICS theatre game show!
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This spring, we’ve got two mainstage productions, five works in progress by local creators and a series of interdisciplinary special event programming, running April 19 – May 6, 2017 in Arts Court Theatre. Tickets for the mainstage shows are now available for purchase at www.artscourt.ca. We are also pleased to be launching our new website right here at tacticsottawa.com. Check here for details on all our shows, and we look forward to seeing you at Arts Court this April and May!

TACTICS 2017 Series Programming

Mainstage Series

These  productions by innovative Ottawa artists will each have a full run in Arts Court Theatre.

The Hottentot Venus – untold

by Jacqui du Toit, presented by 8thGeneration Performance

April 19 – 23

An original theatrical storytelling based on the life and death of Sarah Baartman, one of the first indigenous African women from the Khoisan clan to be taken from her home in Cape Town, South Africa and put on display as a “freak” show at 225 Piccadilly, London in 1810. (details)

girls! girls! girls!

by Greg MacArthur, presented by Cart Before the Horse

April 26 – May 6

Four young teenagers seek brutal revenge on the winner of a gymnastics competition and go on a hunt for her red ribbon.

A gritty drama written in response to the events surrounding the brutal death of ReenaVirk in Victoria, BC and the Columbine massacre in Colorado, USA. (details)

TACTICS Workshop Series

These works in progress by Ottawa creators will each be presented twice during the series.

The Omnibus Bill by Darrah Teitel (details)

WANTING by Madeleine Boyes-Manseau (details)

UKnadian by Amelia Griffin (details)

when god was wolf by Tim Ginley (details)

HOME/Less by Evolution Theatre (details)

TACTICS Special Event Series

Diverse programming at Arts Court Theatre and Studio around our theatrical productions including an album release concert, a staged reading and panel discussion, workshops, a pre-show pop-up dinner, creators’ exchange, and more!  (details)

Photos by Andrew Alexander

TACTICS 2017 Launch Party

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TACTICS (Theatre Artists’ Cooperative: the Independent Collective Series) will be announcing our 2017 programming this Sunday, February 26th at 6pm.

Join us in the Courtroom at Arts Court (Elevator A to the 2nd floor) for a celebration of innovative independent theatre in Ottawa!

This season launch is a spirited introduction to the 2017 artists and will feature an introduction to the full lineup of programming, including mainstage productions and the new TACTICS Workshop Series of works-in-development by Ottawa theatre creators, as well as other special event programming.

After the announcements, stick around to mingle with the artists and join in for our signature
“TACTICS presents Boot Camp” live game show!

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