Party in the Green Room!


TACTICS, GCTC and the New Ottawa Critics invite you to join us for a Homecoming Party to launch “The Green Room,” a series of events for the whole Ottawa theatre community.

Ottawa Theatre Homecoming Party at GCTC on Friday, September 22 at 9:30pm

We invite you to join us after the Community Night performance of You Are Happy at GCTC for an Ottawa Theatre Homecoming Party! We can’t wait to bring our community together to welcome the new theatre season with drinks and snacks, a Critics’ Salon hosted by the New Ottawa Critics in the Fritzi Gallery (upper lobby), and we’ll even break out the ping-pong table and have other social games on hand. You know the best way to impress an Artistic Director is to beat them at ping-pong!

This event launches The Green Room, a new series of monthly events, coordinated by TACTICS in collaboration with different theatre groups across the city, for the entire Ottawa theatre community. A mix of social events like this one, professional development workshops and performance opportunities, the Green Room is a place for us to connect and grow—as individuals and as a community. Join us at the party to find out more, and to let us know what you’re looking for in the Green Room.


Summer updates


Hello and happy summer! It’s been a very exciting and productive summer for all of us on the TACTICS Steering Committee. Sarah, Megan and Matt have each been performing in different shows, and I’ve had the opportunity to participate in several different conferences, attend festivals and see tons of shows. And, of course, we continue to make plans for the coming year! 

Speaking of the coming year, we are very pleased to announce that the City of Ottawa Arts Funding Program is supporting our upcoming fourth season. They have supported us every year, and we are so thrilled that our colleagues in the city continue to value TACTICS and our contribution to the city. Thanks Ottawa!

And we wish to once again express our sincere gratitude to all who attended and supported our third series, and offer heartfelt congratulations to all the artists and arts professionals who were involved! This year was huge, with over 40 artists participating in our core programming of 7 shows, and more than 30 additional artists involved in our special events and other activities. We were so excited to be able to bring together so many talented and innovative artists, not only from Ottawa’s indie theatre community, but also from music, dance, and even the food scene! Our mouths are drooling thinking about the next time we get to try food made by the incredibly talented chefs we featured at Show Plates, and we can’t stop listening to Lucila Al Mar‘s album that was released the first week of the series. We’re still thinking about the performances and discussions around 1984, the Critics’ Salon, and the many fantastic talkbacks and post-show conversations for all seven shows. And we absolutely loved getting to be part of the development of new works from Ottawa creators in the Workshop Series alongside the full productions of the Mainstage Series, and we can’t wait to see those new works continue to develop. 

Soon after the closing of the series, I had the chance to travel to Charlottetown for the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre (PACT) annual conference as part of my Artistic Direction internship with the Great Canadian Theatre Company, where I got to learn about work and development/producing models from across Canada. In June, I attended the Republic of Inclusion conference on Deaf, Disability and Mad Arts coordinated by the National Arts Centre English Theatre, which was an eye-opening experience on the level of the feminist click or being woke to racial injustice. And in July I went to Segovia, Spain for the International Theatre Institute Worldwide Congress, where I joined the steering committee for the new Network of Emerging Arts Professionals of ITI. Each conference was a fantastic opportunity to open my mind and challenge my expectations. I met and learned from colleagues across the country and around the world, and I’m so excited to bring new ideas back to Ottawa and TACTICS.

As for my brilliant and talented steering committee, here’s what they’ve been up to. These shows are all going on right now, so see if you can check them out!

Matt’s Two Kind Boys Theatre had a new show in the Ottawa Fringe Festival and is reprising their hit show from the 2016 Ottawa Fringe, Rideshares and Ropeswings this weekend before they head off to Halifax Fringe. 

Sarah’s been performing in parks all over Ottawa in A Company of Fools’ fantastic production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which closes this weekend. 

And Megan is touring throughout the Outawais in Theatre Wakefield’s A Summer… A Fair by Ian Tamblyn. 

That’s it for now, but please stay tuned for news of future TACTICS shows, workshops and events coming soon!

Week 3: 1984, Workshops, Show Plates & girls!


Week 3 is in full swing—with special events, workshop performances, and 5 more chances to see girls! girls! girls!

May 1: Now More Than Ever: Theatre & Politics—a staged reading of George Orwell’s 1984, followed by a Theatre Matters community discussion at Arts Court Theatre. This is a benefit performance, with PWYC tickets at the door, and all proceeds going to Refugee 613.

May 4: Show Platesa new initiative to combine theatre and food, featuring a team of Ottawa’s most exciting independent chefs, led by Tarek Hassan of Gongfu Bao. This gourmet pre-show dinner precedes the evening mainstage performance of girls! girls! girls! Tickets available here.

In addition to the mainstage programming this year (girls! girls! girls! by Greg MacArthur, produced by the award-winning Cart Before The Horse Theatre, runs until May 6th), TACTICS has added a series of special events and workshop readings of new works. This week features 1984 tonight and Show Plates on Thursday.

This version of 1984 is adapted for the stage by Michael Gene Sullivan and features an all-star cast. Winnipeg actors Sharon Bajer and Cory Wojcik, currently starring in Brad Fraser’s Kill Me Now at the NAC’s English Theatre, join Ottawa favourites John Koensgen, Brad Long, Rebecca Benson, Sarah Finn and Barry Daley. The reading is directed by TACTICS Artistic Director Bronwyn Steinberg and is followed by Theatre Matters, a community discussion led by Laurie Fyffe with panelists Dr. Shirley Steinberg and Jacqui du Toit joining the actors.

“These panels are about encouraging the sharing of ideas among a broad spectrum of artists living and working in our community,” says Laurie Fyffe. “It’s a natural fit for this age in which the hounds of the Internet are spewing out alternative facts, and democratic institutions and governments around the world are being challenged. Against the backdrop of these larger political shifts, we’d like to engage these theatre practitioners and educators by asking how they respond theatrically to these times.”

Independent theatre meets independent chefs!

Show Plates is a five-course pre-show meal crafted by five of Ottawa’s most talented indie chefs. Your $65 ticket includes dinner & admission to the 8pm performance of girls! girls! girls! on the TACTICS mainstage.

Tarek Hassan (chef/owner Gongfu bao cart), rallied this crew of fellow food industry grinders with one thing in common: an appetite to do things their own way…

  • Kristine Hartling (Oz Kafe)
  • Myke Frank (Resident at Citizen)
  • Matt Gardiner (Bue Grasso)
  • Shawn Chodat (Shawn’s Fried Chicken & Alex)

Limited tickets available!

TACTICS Workshop Series

In addition to our mainstage programming, we have introduced the TACTICS Workshop Series for local creators to share their works in progress. These pieces each have two public presentations, usually before or after the mainstage performance. The Omnibus Bill and WANTING were both presented over the weekend; look out for UKnadian, when god was wolf and The Home Show this week.
by Amelia Griffin
May 2 at 6:30pm & May 5 at 6pm
‘UKnadian’ is a new contemporary dance-theatre solo choreographed and performed by Amelia Griffin on female cultural inheritance through the lens of her Ukrainian, and British Grandmothers’ identities.
when god was wolf
by Tim Ginley
May 2 at 8pm and May 6 at 5pm
Silence and secrets are the Parish family’s birthright. To break free of her family’s stranglehold Casandra Parish must face some ugly truths before hope is lost. But to every freedom a cost. When God was Wolf unearths humanity’s darkest roots and explores a family’s forfeiture in this taut Canadian Gothic drama.
The Home Show
by Evolution Theatre
May 3 at 6pm and May 5 at 6pm

The Evolution Theatre ensemble of William Beddoe, Jacqui du Toit, Laurie Fyffe, Jacy Pyl and Norah Paton explore the home front in a devised theatre creation.


girls! girls! girls! continues on the TACTICS mainstage

May 3-6 at 8pm and May 6 at 2pm

girls! girls! girls! opens Week 2!


The TACTICS Mainstage Series continues with

girls! girls! girls! opening tonight!

Cart Before the Horse Theatre

presents girls! girls! girls! by Greg MacArthur
April 27 – May 6

Cast: Megan Carty, Sam Dietrich, Maryse Fernandes, Mariah Horner & Gabbie Lazarovitz

Sound Design: Martin Dawagne
Lighting Design: Seth Gerry
Fight Director: Charles Douglas
Stage Manager: Caterina Fiorindi

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 Reena Virk in Victoria, BC and the Columbine massacre.

About the Company

Cart Before the Horse is committed to exploring the authentic teenage voice, with the goal of inspiring dialogue amongst young people and exploring how their world has been expressed by playwrights in contemporary theatre. Founded by Ottawa born and based emerging artist, Megan Carty, the company mounted its first production in January 2014 to sold-out houses and rave reviews. Their adaptation of Joan Macleod’s The Shape of a Girl was awarded a Spirit of the Capital Youth award, remounted for anti-bullying month, and went on to tour high schools and universities in the Ottawa and Gatineau area. Their production of Judith Thompson’s Perfect Pie was a part of TACTICS last year and was nominated for a Prix Rideau Award for Outstanding Production and won the Prix Rideau Award for Outstanding Direction (Paul Griffin).

TACTICS Workshop Series: Beginning Saturday April 29

In addition to our mainstage programming, we have introduced the TACTICS Workshop Series for local creators to share their works in progress. These pieces will each have two public presentations, usually before or after the mainstage performance. The first two pieces to be presented in the Workshop Series begin this week and they are:

The Omnibus Bill
by Darrah Teitel
April 29 at 4pm and April 30 at 7pm

Set in Bowmanville, Ontario in 1969,The Omnibus Bill is about midwives, abortion and sex work, and all the hypocrites who keep them illegal. Directed by Esther Jun and featuring Charles Douglas, Gabbie Lazarovitz, Michelle Leblanc, Brendan McMurtry-Howlett and Kristina Watt.

by Madeleine Boyes-Manseau
April 30 at 5pm and May 5 at 10pm

… in that unabashed, guttural and unladylike kind of way. A search through maternal ancestry, the spiritual legacies of ravenously hungry women and the ecstatic potential of our flesh.

Week 3: more Workshops + Show Plates18118907_10158498516120543_6340834893861737844_n

The Workshop Series will continue in Week 3, with 3 more new works by Amelia Griffin, Tim Ginley and Evolution Theatre. We’ll also be hosting a reading of 1984 and a panel discussion on theatre & politics on May 1, as well as Show Plates, a 5-course pre-show meal created by some of Ottawa’s best indie chefs. Tickets are limited for this event and are going fast, so get yours here!

3 shows left for Hottentot Venus – Untold


Only three performances left of our opening Mainstage Series production of The Hottentot Venus – Untold! 

Jacqui du Toit’s breath-taking solo play, The Hottentot Venus – Untold, opened our third season at Arts Court Theatre and plays Saturday at 2pm & 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. Matinee tickets only $15!

Launching our special events series, Ottawa musician Lucila Al Mar released her new album, Nada es para siempre // Nothing is Forever, Friday night to a packed house. Album available now!

Response to The Hottentot Venus – Untold

Critics and audiences love Jacqui du Toit’s retelling of the story of Sarah Baartman
New Ottawa Critics: “Reflections on the Past Give way to Reconciliations in the Future” by Ian Huffam

“The Hottentot Venus – untold is a very polished show that tells a heartbreaking story in a captivating way that lets us appreciate the horror of the situation while also looking forward to a future in which we can heal and move past the injustices done to a thousand and more other Sarah Baartmans, whatever continent they happen to be from.”  keep reading

Capital Critics Circle: Jacqui Du Toit sets fire to the Gladstone stage recreating her personal tribute to Sarah Baartman by Alvina Ruprecht

“Mme Du Toit actually summons the presence of this woman into our midst by producing multiple gripping performances and the result is an important moment of historical theatre.” (from her review of Jacqui’s performance at the Gladstone)
keep reading

“Superb performance by Jacqui Du Toit in #TheHottentotVenus @TACTICSeries til April 23 @artscourt. A show with a bright future” @LangstonPatrick

“A friend told me that I was in for a real treat seeing Hottentot Venus Untold for the first time. Such a powerful performance @TACTICSeries!  @BrianMCarroll

“I had the great privilege of seeing The Hottentot Venus at The Gladstone Theatre in August 2016 and wrote a Facebook post raving about this show and its creator/performer Jacqui Du Toit. What a talent. Do yourself a favour and see this show in its short run with Tactics 2017 Series Part 1.” Jessica Ruano

TACTICS in the media

Apt 613‘s Brian Carroll talks about how TACTICS invites communities to “come together and meet each other through the media of theatre, poetry, storytelling, dance, music and food.”

CBC‘s Sandra Abma calls The Hottentot Venus – Untold a “must-see cultural event.” Article includes a video excerpt of the show.

CKCU’s Friday Special Blend had Jacqui du Toit, Bronwyn Steinberg and Lucila Al Mar in studio to talk about TACTICS, the show and Lucila’s new album. Includes a live performance by Lucila of her song, “Twenty-four.”

Coming soon

Week 2: girls! girls! girls! and the Workshop Series

Coming up in week 2 of TACTICS, we have Cart Before the Horse’s new production of Greg MacArthur’s girls! girls! girls! and we launch our new Workshop Series with Darrah Teitel’s play, The Omnibus Bill and Madeleine Boyes-Manseau’s WANTING. Read more about the Workshop Series here.

Season 3 is here!


Season 3 has arrived!

Dear friends and supporters of TACTICS,

The time has finally come! We are extremely excited to announce that the third season of TACTICS officially opens tomorrow (Thursday, April 20) and runs through to Saturday, May 6. This year’s festival contains more programming and interdisciplinary artists than ever before, and it’s all packed into just two and a half weeks. Arts Court is sure to be bustling with important work from some of the city’s most innovative creators, and we hope you will all come out to support these inspiring indie artists.

If you would like to read more about what is in store, take a look at this preview piece written by Brian Carroll of Apt 613:

And here is an in-depth look at at this year’s amazing lineup of the mainstage shows, works-in-development, and special event programming. Tickets and show times are available at

Mainstage Series:

8th Generation Storytelling presents
The Hottentot Venus – Untold
Created and Performed by Jacqui du Toit
April 19 (preview)-April 23

An original theatrical storytelling based on he life and death of Sarah Baartman. This one-woman performance follows the story of one of the first indigenous African women from the Khoisan clan to be taken from her home, Cape Town, South Africa and put on display as a ‘freak’ show at 225 Piccadilly, London in 1810.

Cart Before the Horse Theatre Company presents
girls!girls!girls! by Greg MacArthur
Featuring: Megan Carty, Sam Dietrich, Maryse Fernandes, Mariah Horner, Gabbie Lazarovitz
April 26 (preview)-May 6

Although fictional, this play was written in response to the events surrounding the brutal death of Reena Virk in Victoria, British Columbia and by the Columbine Massacre in Colorado, USA. The playwright was moved “not only by the terror struck into the lives of the victims, but also by the unrecognized struggles of the killers—the distorted yet human face of social rebellion and boredom, recklessness, and control.”

Workshop Series:

The Omnibus Bill
By Darrah Teitel, directed by Esther Jun
April 29 at 4pm and April 30 at 7pm

Set in Bowmanville, Ontario in 1969, this piece is about midwives, abortion, and sex work, and all the hypocrites who keep them illegal.

By Madeleine Boyes-Manseau
April 30 at 5pm and May 5 at 10pm

…in that unabashed, guttural, and unladylike kind of way. A search through maternal ancestry, the spiritual legacies of ravenously hungry women and the ecstatic potential of our flesh.

By Amelia Griffin
May 2 at 6:30pm and May 5 at 6pm

Contemporary dance-theatre solo on female cultural inheritance through the lens of the creator’s Ukrainian and British Grandmothers’ identities.

 when god was wolf
By Tim Ginley, directed by Rebecca Benson
May 2 at 8pm and May 6 at 5pm

To every freedom a cost. when god was wolf unearths our darkest roots, exploring a family’s forfeiture in this taut Canadian Gothic drama.

 The Home Show
By Evolution Theatre
May 3 at 6pm and May 5 at 6pm

William Beddoe, John Doucet, Jacqui Du Toit, Laurie Fyffe, Mishka Lavigne, and Norah Paton explore Homefront in a devised theatre creation.

Special Event Programming:

Lucila Al Mar Album Release Party
Friday, April 21 at 9:30pm

A celebration of her new album, Nada es Para Siempre//Nothing is Forever. Live performance by Lucila and her band. After party DJ’d by Chico6Trece

Now for than Ever: Theatre & Politics
Monday, May 1

Is democracy in crisis? If so, what can theatre do to inspire, educate, and entertain in a new era of uncertainty?

6pm staged reading of George Orwell’s 1984
8pm Theatre Matters panel discussion

Show Plates
Thursday, May 4 at 6pm

A multi-course meal created by some of Ottawa’s best indie chefs, led by Tarek Hassan of Gongfu Bao. Ticket includes admission to 8pm performance of girls!girls!girls!

Critics’ Salon
Thursday, May 4 at 9:30pm

A post-show conversation hosted by the New Ottawa Critics.

Creator Exchange
Saturday, May 6 at 11am

10 playwrights meet 10 dramaturgs/directors in this free event in partnership with PGC and LMDA. To register, please contact Nicole at

In progress


Spotlight on the Workshop Series

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!

By Matt Hertendy, TACTICS Steering Committee 

Artists retreat 1

Photo by Andrew Alexander at the TACTICS Artists’ Retreat

In progress: the perpetual state of getting ready. As a playwright and creator this is a stage I find myself in more often than not. So, when initiatives like TACTICS introduce a Workshop Series, it makes this boy very very excited!

Season 3 of TACTICS will see new work by local creators given rehearsal space, technical support and an audience to get some eyes on their work very early on; truly a gift for the creative process. This instalment of the weekly blog previews the Workshop Series, and why you should be as excited about it as I am.

First up, is The Omnibus Bill by Darrah Teital. Some of you may remember Darrah’s play Corpus as the pilot production for the TACTICS Series. For The Omnibus Bill she is teaming up with director Esther Jun, who was in Ottawa this past fall directing The Last Wife at GCTC. Esther recently became the Assistant Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. An impressively talented team, with a “sexy and political” new piece for the first instalment of the Workshop Series.

Next, one of my favourite local creators Madeleine Boyes-Manseau will present her solo piece WANTING. Mado is no stranger to TACTICS, having directed May Can Theatre’s Happiness™ and receiving a Prix Rideau Award nomination for Outstanding Director for her work. I was lucky enough to catch an early peak of this at the undercurrents festival New Play Tuesday in 2016, and have been waiting eagerly for more ever since.


Photo by Andrew Alexander at the TACTICS Artists’ Retreat

Things get inter-disciplinary when Amelia Griffin presents her personal, new solo dance-theatre choreography piece UKnadian. Amelia’s work has recently been featured in The Ghomeshi Effect, and last season’s feelers. I’m not much of a dance guy, but I can tell Amelia’s choreography is unique and intriguing in her use of abstraction, and symbolism, yet the storytelling remains very accessible and a joy to watch. Amelia has been blogging about her process, and you can read all about it here:

when god was wolf is a new Canadian gothic drama written by local playwright Tim Ginley. I sat in on the table read back in February, and wow this is an experience. when god was wolf is reminiscent of a Tennessee Williams play, but trippy, distorted, grotesque and not for the faint of heart. A strong script, where everything is not as it seems. The staged reading will be directed by Rebecca Benson with a fantastic Ottawa cast including Paul Rainville, Kristina Watt and Elise Gauthier.

Finally, The Home Show (formerly announced with the working title HOME/less) is a devised theatre piece led by Evolution Theatre artistic director Laurie Fyffe. The Home Show is a “theatrical open house” on the subject of home. This piece features another all-star ensemble, including: William Beddoe, John Doucet, Jacqui Du Toit, Laurie Fyffe, Mishka Lavigne, and Norah Paton. The Home Show will also be presented at the 2017 Ottawa Fringe Festival.

There you have it! The TACTICS Workshop Series is an exciting opportunity to catch what is in the local theatre scene’s slow cooker. For the full schedule, including when to catch these presentations, click here:


Photo by Andrew Alexander at the TACTICS Artists’ Retreat

Who run the world?


Spotlight on girls!girls!girls!

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!

By Megan Carty & Bronwyn Steinberg, TACTICS Steering Committee

TACTICS Season 3 is fast-approaching with just over three weeks until the official opening on Thursday, April 20! This week we are focusing on the second main stage show of the series, Greg MacArthur’s girls!girls!girls! which is set to run April 27-May 6 in Arts Court Theatre.

This gritty drama was written in response to the 1999 Columbine High School massacre in which two seventeen year-old boys killed twelve students and a teacher before committing suicide. At that time MacArthur was following very closely the trials of the Reena Virk murder case, in which a fourteen year-old girl was brutally beaten and subsequently drowned in Victoria, BC. MacArthur was moved “not only by the terror struck into the lives of he victims but also by the unrecognized struggles of the killers—the distorted yet human face of social rebellion and boredom, recklessness, and control.”

Fictional in its narrative, girls!girls!girls! tells the story of four young teenagers who seek revenge on the winner of a gymnastics competition and go on a hunt for her red ribbon. Produced by Cart Before the Horse Theatre, this dynamic and fast-paced show is directed by Gabbie Lazarovitz and Mariah Horner and features an acting ensemble of emerging local artists, an original musical score by Belgian composer Martin Dawagne and fight choreography by Charles Douglas.

This production is being created collectively by a team of artists who share the belief that theatre is an powerful outlet to explore topics we are otherwise afraid to talk about. Committed to exploring how the lives of young women are expressed by playwrights in contemporary Canadian Theatre, girls!girls!girls! is the third instalment of a trilogy that focuses on violence against girls (the first two being The Shape of a Girl by Joan MacLeod and last year’s acclaimed TACTICS production of Judith Thompson’s Perfect Pie). The company strives for work that is provocative, dynamic, and highly-stylized with an approach that always incorporates original sound composition and physical theatre. They hope to inspire a dialogue about bullying in the community with this piece and initiate change.

During the run of girls!girls!girls! TACTICS is also excited to add several new events to its programming, including presentations of new works by local creators, in addition to two very special events happening on Thursday, May 4. At 6pm, we will host Show Plates, a multi-course pre-show meal in Arts Court Studio. This meal will be created by a team of Ottawa’s most exciting independent chefs, led by Tarek Hassan of Gongfu Bao food cart. The limited tickets are just $65.00 and include admission to the 8pm show of girls!girls!girls! immediately following the dinner. And after the performance that same evening, the New Ottawa Critics will join us to host their first ever “Critics’ Salon”—adopting the model of a traditional book club, the Critics’ Salon brings people together post-performance to talk about their individual experiences within the audience collective.

We are so thrilled to be bringing together Ottawa’s indie scene together—theatre artists, chefs and foodies, critics and audiences—in what’s shaping up to be out most exciting series yet. See you there!





4 weeks until opening!


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 – Untoldcreated 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


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 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.