January 2021

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Big news! 

2020 has brought all kinds of changes to us as individuals, as artists and as a community and no exception at TACTICS.  Every transition brings mixed emotions–sadness as we approach an ending and joy as we welcome new beginnings. It is with sadness that we announce that  TACTICS Artistic Director, Curator and Founder Bronwyn Steinberg is stepping down from her position with the company at the end of this year, but it is with joy that we congratulate her on her new position as Artistic Director of Lunchbox Theatre in Calgary! 

Associate Artists and members of TACTICS’ steering committee Ludmylla Reis and Rebecca Benson take the helm as co-Artistic Directors and Curators of TACTICS at the start of 2021. Danielle Savoie will continue working with TACTICS as head of the company’s new Artists’ Advisory Committee and Louisa Haché joins our Board of Directors. 

Bronwyn’s Message:

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Leaving Ottawa and TACTICS is bittersweet. While I’m excited to begin my next chapter in Calgary, I know I’ll deeply miss my friends, colleagues and community here. I’m so proud of how TACTICS has grown in the past seven years, and I’ve been so inspired to see local artists dreaming big as they develop and present work in our series. Ludmylla and Rebecca have been brilliant Artistic Associates with TACTICS, and I can’t wait to see how the organization continues to grow and develop in their thoughtful care. And I’m so grateful to our talented new Board of Directors members who have joined the team to ensure that TACTICS will continue to serve Ottawa’s indie arts community long into the future. Calgary may be geographically far away, but if anything, this year has shown us all how much we can stay connected virtually. I will miss you all, but I’m only an email, phone call or zoom meeting away!

Ludmylla’s Message:

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Hello Ottawa! After a couple of seasons working with TACTICS in the Steering Committee I’m extremely excited to get involved with you all more directly as I share this role with Rebecca. After the life-changing event we all lived this year, TACTICS ‘mandate to Dream Big with Your Art is the ideal motto we need to move forward. We are working through transitioning our recent incorporation, Covid exhaustion, safe reimagining of 2021 theatrical events amongst other things and we will share with you every bit of happy news as we can. In the meantime, I’m humbled by the chance to join TACTICS brilliant history achieved by Bronwyn’s vision, share with you my dreams for our city and excited to hear your dreams – big or small – as we move forward. Yes, we always move forward. With care, Ludmylla.

Rebecca’s Message:

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“When I came back to Ottawa over 4 years ago, I went for coffee with as many people in the theatre community as I could.  I met so many generous people, and was excited by the strength of the independent theatre community.  I went looking for the “hub”, the place where all these artists intersected, because I wanted to be part of that.  TACTICS and its commitment to being a development ground – “good soil” – for growing the community, excited me and offered opportunities to “dream big”. I am honoured to be stepping up to share leadership with Ludmylla (another amazing artist) of this organization grown from a passion for collaboration, striving for excellence and offering a place for meeting, challenging, changing, and growing as artists in our community. Thanks so much to Bronwyn for her tireless work, dedication, generosity and belief.”

We hope to see you soon!

Wishing you health, hope and light in these shorter days! Hang in there, the Solstice is coming!


UPDATE: May 21, 2020

Given the realities and restrictions of the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are pleased to announce that we have transferred our regular Workshop Series of new plays to an online format, continuing to support development and collaboration by artists as they connect through video platforms like Zoom. While we already have several projects in development, this shift means that we now have more funds available to pay out to local artists, and so we are looking for new projects!

Take a look at our updated call for proposals for the 2020 Online Workshop Series, as well as the 2020-2021 and future Mainstage and Workshop Series here!

UPDATE: March 23, 2020

We at TACTICS have been very excited to launch our spring 2020 programming this week. We have 8 projects with 8 brilliant teams of artists that we are supporting this season, with workshops and productions we’ve been planning for late April and late May. However, with the current Covid-19 situation, we have decided to delay our programming announcement until we have a better idea of how the series will move forward. Stay tuned, especially to our Facebook page, for announcements of our programming, as well as our new online version of the Green Room Series of engagement and development activities!

2019 Series Launch!

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TACTICS is back for our fifth anniversary season, with our most ambitious and innovative series yet!

We are delighted to officially announce our 2019 programming. We’ve got 3 Mainstage Series productions and 6 Workshop Series projects—all brand-new works by Ottawa creators with amazing creative teams. And the community-building Green Room Series continues with free monthly activities.

Our first few events are highlighted below, and of course, you can find the full list of our programming as well as details about each project elsewhere on our website.

We believe in the transformative power of representation through art and that Canadian audiences crave seeing their stories reflected onstage. So we strive to present excellent and provocative theatre from as diverse a pool of artists as we can. This season features many of Ottawa’s most exciting and innovative artists pushing theatrical boundaries and dreaming big with their art.


MAINSTAGE SERIES

Fully independent, professional productions at Arts Court Theatre
The 2019 Mainstage Series presents the world premieres of three new productions, all penned by award-winning Ottawa playwrights. We open in March with Albumen, the latest offering by bilingual playwright Mishka Lavigne. This exploration of the relationship between artist and muse asks what we leave behind as artists, and as people.
Albumen
by Mishka Lavigne
March 14 – 23

The sensation of having veered off the path. Of being asleep with your eyes wide open. Of being erased and slowly drained of colour. Of being a copy of a copy of a copy… Of being left to wander out in the cold. The sensation of your flaws being exposed, bit by bit, in a photo-bath.

Non-linear and poetic, Albumen creates a world of tension between mystery, sex and pain and dives into the characters’ emotional world with true expressionism.


The Mainstage Series continues in April with Swedish Furniture by Matt Hertendy. Part lampoon, part pointed exploration of modern millenial love, Swedish Furniture is a compassionate and hilarious cautionary tale with IKEA furniture assembled LIVE on stage.

We close our fifth anniversary season in May-June with The Omnibus Bill by Darrah Teitel, centring on Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 Justice Omnibus Bill (“…the state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation”). It tells an intersectional story about reproductive rights that Canada has forgotten.


WORKSHOP SERIES

New plays in development by Ottawa creators
Alongside each Mainstage Series production, the TACTICS Workshop Series supports the development of brand-new works in progress by Ottawa creators. Join us for a staged reading / workshop presentation of each new project and become a part of the creative process. The 2019 Workshop Series launches on March 24 with Spin the Arrow, the first play created by the newly formed Indigenous-led Red Rabbits Collective.
spinthearrow
by Brittany Johnston & Jake Smith
March 24
What makes the Red Man Red? Spin the Arrow is a satirical reevaluation of Canadian media, politics, and the general public’s misconceptions on all things Indigenous. With notorious  trickster Nanabush at the helm, join our characters on this bumpy ride blurring the lines between past and present.

GREEN ROOM SERIES

Monthly community-building activities for the whole Ottawa arts community

Designers’ Roundtable
Have you ever wondered where designers get their ideas? Join us in the Green Room to find out. We’ve invited a panel of Ottawa’s most exciting designers, including set designer Brian Smith (Drowning Girls – GCTC & Up to Low – NAC), set/costume/sci-fi prop builder Patrice Forbes (Dead Unicorn Ink) and sound designer Martin Dawagne (Cart Before the Horse & The Ghomeshi Effect) share a peek into their processes and their portfolios! A few more talented and innovative designers will be joining us – check our facebook event for updates as they become available.

February 23 5pm at The Gladstone. 

Attendees can also get a discount code to see the 2:30pm or 7:30pm performance of The Revolutionists. RSVP by email to tactic.series@gmail.com or on our Facebook event.

Party in the Green Room—2.0!

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TACTICS and GCTC invite you to join us for our second Homecoming Party to launch the season 2 of “The Green Room,” a series of events for the whole Ottawa theatre community.

Ottawa Theatre Homecoming Party at GCTC on Wednesday, October 24 at 9:15pm

We can’t wait to bring our community together after the community night performance of The Drowning Girls to welcome the new TACTICS Green room season with a big ole party. We’ll have drinks and snacks, Harvest and Halloween themes, and some fun social games available. Last year the rock/paper/scissors tournament was epic and the ping pong balls were flying!

This event launches the second season of The Green Room, a 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 connect with our community and to let us know what you’re looking for in the Green Room.

It’s time for Ottawa Fringe!

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It’s June in Ottawa! That means some of our very favourite things are finally here. And not just lilacs, peonies, beautiful summer weather and my birthday, but also the OTTAWA FRINGE FESTIVAL!

We’re so excited to see what our intrepid indie theatre community has been working on, and we can’t wait to connect with everyone around the festival. That being said, we have decided not to host a Green Room Series event this month, since the Fringe is like an 11-day-non-stop green room hangout and we want to see you all there.

But, we have scheduled a very exciting Green Room event for July. Intimacy Director Siobhan Richardson will be here on July 9 leading a full day workshop on Intimacy for the Stage, which is super important work, and we are delighted to bring it to Ottawa. Never heard of Intimacy Direction? Take a look at these articles:

To join us, register at our Eventbrite page here. The event will be hosted by our friends at GCTC, and it costs only $65, thanks to their support and a contribution from our TACTICS Green Room budget.

In the meantime, see you at the Fringe! Not sure what to see? Well, we’re especially looking forward to these works featuring previous TACTICS artists and collaborators.

Lungs by Duncan MacMillan, Cart Before the Horse Theatre

The Geography Teacher’s Orders by Marta Singh, which was workshopped in this year’s TACTICS Workshop Series.

A Girl in the Fridge by Dead Unicorn Ink

Drawn That Way by Petulant Guppy Theatre

Re:Construct by Even Gilchrist

If we’ve missed anyone else with a Fringe show that has also been part of a TACTICS show, our sincerest apologies. There’s just so many of you, we can’t keep up! Email us at tactic.series@gmail.com to let us know what you’re up to, and we look forward to seeing you all at the Fringe!

 

Springtime and Heartlines

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TACTICS returns for one last instalment of the 2017-18 Workshop Series with Heartlinesa new play by Sarah Waisvisz.

Sarah will be joined by Director/Dramaturg Rebecca Benson, Actors Maryse Fernandes and Margo MacDonald, Composer Scottie Irving and Designer Andrea Steinwand. We’re delighted to host this incredibly talented team and can’t wait to see how this piece grows while they’re together.

Join us on May 26 at 2:30pm in the Library at Arts Court for a reading of this new work-in-progress.

Heartlines

Heartlines is about fighting for love and freedom in the face of war. The play traces the interaction of love, art, and war as it reimagines the lives of French surrealist and avant-garde artists Lucy Schwob (a.k.a. Claude Cahune) and Suzanne Malherbe (a.k.a. Marcel Moore). Lucy and Suzanne were also secretly Jewish, lesbian life partners, and active in the French Resistance during the Second World War, specifically on the Isle of Jersey. Before the war, they ran with the members of Paris’ fashionable and thriving salon and art scene in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and they fled Paris and moved to the Isle of Jersey when war seemed inevitable. Heartlines is a big, wild, broad epic that sweeps over three time periods: Paris in 1929; the Isle of Jersey in the early 1940’s after the Germans occupied the Channel Islands; and the liminal realm of memory.

 

April with TACTICS

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The Geography Teacher's OrdersIn the Workshop…

TACTICS is back with another instalment of The Workshop Series. This month TACTICS will support a development workshop of Marta Singh’s new storytelling piece, The Geography Teacher’s Orders.

The Geography Teacher’s Orders
Written and performed by Marta Singh
Directed by Jennifer Cayley
Dramaturgy by Emily Pearlman

Sunday April 22 at 4pm @ Arts Court – Library

In Argentina, the dictatorship has fallen. The headlines read “The End of Fear.” However, the geography teacher of a private English-speaking school is not replaced with the advent of democracy. Under her rule, as classmates turn against each other, two kids earn the power to do the unthinkable.

In the Green Room…

And later that same evening, we invite you to join us for a community conversation about anti-harassment and respectful workplaces in Ottawa theatre.

Sunday April 22 at 7:30pm @ National Arts Centre – City Room (upper/Elgin Street level, overlooking the Canal)green curtains

For our April Green Room Series event, we invite you to join us for a community conversation in response to #metoo and #timesup, with a pro-active discussion about anti-harassment, respectful workplaces and allyship. Many members of our Ottawa theatre community may already have policies and practices in place, or may know about the Not in Our Space initiative by Equity and PACT (Canadian Actors Equity Association and the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres). However, we’d like to have a chance to share these practices and we’d particularly like to make sure that members of our indie community (who aren’t necessarily associated with Equity or PACT or an organization with existing policies) have access to these resources too. We’d like to propose this conversation as an opportunity to draft a shared set of standards for Ottawa indie producers along the lines of that created by the Chicago indie theatre community, Not in Our House.

Thank you to the NAC English Theatre for hosting us in the beautiful City Room!

Sword-fighting and taxes: February and March with TACTICS

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Sharpen your swords and get out your tax information! TACTICS has a full slate of events and workshops on the horizon.

The Workshop Series

A pair of crossed swords behind a 17th-century style feathered hat with the title Maupin

The 2018 Workshop Series continues this month with Maupin, a new play by Margo MacDonald, whose previous hit plays include The Elephant Girls and Shadows. Margo will be joined by dramaturg Mary Ellis and actors Sarah Finn, Richard Gélinas, Mahalia Golnosh Tahririha and Kate Werneburg to develop the script over the course of a five day workshop. Please join us on Sunday February 25 at 4pm in the newly renovated Arts Court Library for a reading of this exciting new play and be a part of the script’s development!

Meanwhile, back in The Green Room…

The Green Room series returns with a free workshop on Life Dramaturgy. Inspired by her work in the Leadership in the Arts program at the Lincoln Center, local actor, creator and instructor Kristina Watt will offer you a  hands-on workshop that will give you strategies to identify, clarify and strengthen your personal vision as an artist–while you manage multiple creative projects alongside multiple jobs and income streams.

The artist you are is defined by the series of choices you make –and how you make them in relation to others.
 

Tuesday February 20 5:30-7pm at Arts Court, in the Library. Please RSVP by email to tactic.series@gmail.com to attend.

and taxes, taxes, taxes…

TACTICS is here to help you through the dreaded tax season with our March edition of The Green Room series: a free Taxes for Artists workshop with Jessie Parker, local visual artist and author of Tax Smarts for Artists: Accounting Secrets, Surprises and Essentials. Monday March 12 6-8pm at GCTC, in the Studio. Please RSVP by email to tactic.series@gmail.com to attend.

New Year, new plays!

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Happy New Year from all of us at TACTICS!

We are so excited to be diving into this year with the launch of our 2018 Workshop Series! As we look back at the work we’ve done so far and the work we hope to keep doing in the Ottawa theatre community in the future, we have decided to consider our current fourth season a “development year.” We loved the 2017 Workshop Series so much, and we were so inspired by the work that our artists did, that we on the steering committee decided to make sure that TACTICS is more interested in committing to artists than to dates on a calendar. Excellent work takes time to develop, and we want to offer access to that development time.

So this year, we are producing three script development workshops of new works in progress by local creators, with the hope to see these shows on our mainstage in the future, when the scripts and the artists are ready. Meanwhile, our steering committee is also hard at work building capacity for TACTICS as an organization.

First up in the Workshop Series is Mad Margaret, a new Shakespeare adaptation that our own Series Curator Bronwyn Steinberg has been working on with her independent company, Counterpoint Players, for some time. Bronwyn will work with Dramaturg Jan Irwin and four brilliant actors (Katie Bunting, Tamara Freeman, Teri Loretto and Margo MacDonald) for five days, culminating in a public reading of the work on Sunday, January 14 at 4pm in the Courtroom at Arts Court. Come join us and be involved in the development of a new Canadian (and Shakespearean) play!

Office Holiday Party in The Green Room!

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The Office Holiday party is a staple in workplace culture. Some of us theatre people, however, work in rehearsal halls, from home, in coffeeshops, and will never get to experience a workplace cinq-a-sept! Until now.

Bring your ugliest holiday sweater and join us at Pressed Cafe (750 Gladstone Ave) on Monday December 18th from 5pm – 7pm for the Ottawa theatre community’s Office Holiday Party in The Green Room, co-hosted by A Company of Fools

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This event continues The Green Room, a 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, professional development workshops and performance opportunities, the Green Room is a place for us to connect and grow—as individuals and as a community.green room curtains and lights