Season 3 is here!

Standard

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: http://apt613.ca/tactics-2017/

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 tacticsottawa.com.

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.

 WANTING
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.

 UKnadian
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 info@playwrightsguild.ca

In progress

Standard

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.

apa_2017-02-24_12-51-13_apa_6445

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: https://uknadian.wordpress.com/

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: https://tacticsottawa.com/schedule/

APA_2017-02-24_12-22-14_APA_6388

Photo by Andrew Alexander at the TACTICS Artists’ Retreat

Who run the world?

Standard

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!

Standard

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

Standard

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

Standard

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!

Standard
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!
 tactics-launch
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