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Canadian Stage’s Fall 2020 Program

Canadian Stage announced details of its revised Fall program of works by local, national, and international artists. The news includes significant financial investments that will go directly into the hands of artists to foster artistic innovation, increased support of community-focused initiatives, an extensive process to address institutionalized racism and colonialism inside the organization, and the launch of a novel subscription program.

“We believe that Canadian Stage has a responsibility to step up as a leader in our sector during this crisis,” says Artistic Director Brendan Healy.

“Over the past five months, we have closely listened to the needs of artists, consulted with our audience and engaged members of our local community to help us determine our organizational priorities for the upcoming year. We have heard the clarion call for artistic innovation and institutional transformation. This plan brings support to artists, inspiration to audiences, solace to communities, and new ideas to the sector. And, perhaps most importantly, it brings hope for the future.”

REIMAGINED 20.21 SEASON: FALL 2020 EDITION

TIME FOR TIME
September 17 at 6 PM
September 18 at 1 PM
September 19 at 8 AM
A Compagnie Marie Chouinard Production presented by Canadian Stage
Canadian Stage welcomes back legendary choreographer Marie Chouinard with the world of premiere of Time for Time. Happening live over Zoom, this interactive project features a series of spontaneous dance creations that take their inspiration from a secret or a heartfelt wish that someone in the audience shares with the performer.
Click for details

DANCE IN HIGH PARK
September 26 – October 11
Presented by Canadian Stage
Over three weekends, the High Park Amphitheatre comes to life with dance. Audiences are invited to experience some of Toronto’s most gifted and imaginative dancers as they grace the High Park Amphitheatre stage in one of the city’s most majestic parks.

These one-act, family-friendly, physically distanced performances will adhere to up-to-date safety protocols regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. All High Park performances are pay-what-you-can but require a reservation.

  • WEEK 1: Solo in High Park (September 26-27 at 2 PM) Co-curated by Seika Boye & Timea Wharton-Suri
    Hosted by Nicole Inica Hamilton of Turn Out Radio, this program features solos by Travis
    Knights, Carmen Romero, Raoul Pillay, and Alyssa Martin/Rock Bottom Movement (featuring Sam Grist) in a range of dance styles: tap, flamenco, house, and contemporary. Audiences will be treated to entertaining performances by dancers who reveal the precision, depth and significance of their craft and the importance of the audience to the art they make.
  • WEEK 2: Dusk Dances in High Park (October 2-3 at 2 PM)
    Dusk Dances is an outdoor dance festival that brings high quality dance to public parks. For this presentation, the company will feature three unparalleled choreographers.
  • WEEK 3: Red Sky in High Park (October 9 at 5:30 PM, October 10 at 1 & 4 PM, October 11 at 1 PM)
    Celebrated for its powerful transformational experiences that elevate the ecology of
    Indigenous arts and culture, internationally renowned, Dora Award-winning, Red Sky Performance returns to Canadian Stage with cutting-edge dance creations from the company’s acclaimed repertoire.

Click for details

THE ELEMENTS OF STORY: KHALED HOSSEINI’S A Thousand Splendid Suns
October 5 – November 13
Co-produced by Canadian Stage and the Toronto International Festival of Authors In Association with Diaspora Dialogues
The Elements of Story delves into the work and ideas of internationally celebrated authors and cultural thinkers. Participants will embark on a six-week exploration into Khaled Hosseini’s captivating bestselling novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Hosted by Samra Habib (We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir – winner of the 2020 Canada Reads competition), this series of interactive discussions and lectures will allow readers to deepen their experience and understanding of the novel and its author through a look into Afghanistan’s complex intersection of politics, religion, and gender.

This online program includes access to:

  • A live In Conversation with Khaled Hosseini event (Friday November 13, 7pm
  • In Their Element: three 90-minute lectures by leading scholars, thinkers, and artists exploring related topics.
    o Mozhdah Jamalzadah: acclaimed Afghan singer and talk show host, dubbed “the Oprah of Afghanistan” (Tuesday October 6, 7pm)
    o Dr. Kamal Al-Solaylee: celebrated author and journalist (Tuesday October 20, 7pm)
    o The third guest will be announcement soon (Tuesday November 3, 7pm)
  • The Elements of Story Book Club: three facilitated 90minute group discussions (Thursdays October 15, 29, and November 12, 7pm)

In addition, participants will have exclusive access to a series of micro-film poems by Afghan and Canadian filmmakers commissioned especially for this unique event, produced by Golden Hour Productions.
Click for details

A THOUSAND WAYS
November 4
Presented by Canadian Stage
Written & Created by Abigail Browde & Michael Silverstone (600 HIGHWAYMEN)
Canadian Stage is thrilled to announce that New York City-based, Obie Award-winning, 600 Highwaymen will be a Company-in-Residence over the 20.21 season.

A Thousand Ways is a live, interactive three-part theatre experience that will take place over several months.

Part 1, ISOLATION, will occur this Fall and will involve two audience members – both strangers – who use a carefully crafted set of directives relayed over a phone call to take a journey together over the course of an hour.

Parts 2 (RE-ENTRY) and 3 (CONGREGATION) will be shared as part of the Winter and Spring announcements.
Click for details

FESTIVAL OF IDEAS AND CREATION
November 30 – December 4
Presented by Canadian Stage
Through interactive sharing, workshops, masterclasses and discussions, the festival will examine how the pandemic is shaping interdisciplinarity, scale, interculturalism, internationalism, new performance modalities, institutional transformation, the role of the artist in society, and much more.
Click for details

NEW SUBSCRIPTION PLAN

With a new season, comes a new participation model. Canadian Stage is offering a new SubscriberPlus Pass (starting at $95). This flexible all-access program allows patrons to choose the experiences that best suit them. Benefits include access to all digital events, discounts on additional tickets, first access to programs as they are announced, invitations to behind-the-scenes events, and more.

Most SubscriberPlus Passes include Artist Vouchers, tax receiptable financial contributions that will be 100% directed to artists through the CS Microgranting program.

“Since the onset of COVID-19, we have connected with many of our incredible audiences,” says Canadian Stage Executive Director Monica Esteves.

“We wanted to listen and learn about how our audiences were navigating the pandemic and how Canadian Stage could best continue to be an essential part of their lives. Their feedback was incredibly helpful and directly informed our new SubscriberPlus Pass.

“From our focus groups, we also heard – loud and clear – that our audiences were worried for Canadian culture and its artists – and wanted to help. Our Artist Vouchers provide that opportunity for our audiences to directly fund microgranting to artists, their projects, professional development and their livelihoods. This new approach is a radical departure from the traditional transactional relationship between theatres and theatregoers….and we hope all of our audiences join us during this extraordinary journey.”

SubscriberPlus Passes will go on sale on September 24, 2020.
Click for details

SAFETY FIRST & CANCELLATIONS

As Canadian Stage responds to the continued efforts to fight the spread of the pandemic, and to ensure the safety of artists, audiences and employees, Canadian Stage announced the suspension of the winter and spring productions. These are:

  • Public Enemy by Olivier Choinière
  • Miigis by Red Sky Performance
  • Crazy Camel by Akaji Maro and Dairakudakan
  • Revisor by Crystal Pite and Jonathon Young
  • Paradise Lost by Erin Shields

These suspensions are in addition to the previously announced suspension of Canadian Stage’s originally planned fall productions.

Going forward Canadian Stage’s programming and activities will be released on a quarterly basis: Fall (September-December, as above), Winter (January-March) and Spring (April-June).

A BLUEPRINT FOR THE CONTINUANCE OF CONTEMPORARY LIVE PERFORMANCE

Canadian Stage is making significant funds available to help theatre and dance makers pivot their artistic practice during the pandemic and beyond. This stream involves microgrants to support artist-led investigations into new technologies and performance modalities and scholarships for technicians and designers wishing to upgrade their digital skills.

“Canadian Stage will provide individual creators, performers and practitioners with the tools and the time that they deserve to deeply investigate their practice, to delve into their artistic questions, and to learn the tools that they may need to pivot in this new reality,” says Associate Artistic Director Mel Hague.

Canadian Stage is also providing more extensive support to rigorous investigations into new forms of live performance. For example, two robust Artist Residency Programs will place artists at the forefront of new technologies and virtual reality. The support also includes commissions and workshops of new works. Among these projects will be the workshop of a new digital adaption of Olivier Choinière’s play Public Enemy, originally slated for production in January 2021. This adaption will see Choinière go beyond simply capturing his play on camera.

“The digital adaptation of Public Enemy essentially aims to place the audience at the heart of the theatrical experience. It will do so by putting the spectator in the position of the actor performing the play on Stage, precisely when he/she embodies the figure of the public enemy,” says Choinière.

The release of the Fall program included Canadian Stage’s commitment to creating new and innovative experiences. These include outdoor performances, digital experiences, festivals , and public think tanks about the performing arts’ future.

Among these projects will be a unique year-long residency of the celebrated New York City-based company 600 Highwaymen. Last seen in Toronto with The Fever at the 2018 Luminato Festival, 600 Highwaymen members Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone will be sharing 3 news works over the next 9 months that are responses to the social impact of the pandemic.

“We’re tremendously excited at the opportunity to be bringing our newest work, A Thousand Ways, to Toronto audiences,” says Abigail Browde and Michael Silverstone. “The piece calls for a different kind of spectator, one that will take actions on the piece and become a co-creator with and for someone else. We’ve long admired the work of Canadian Stage – we are continually inspired by their boundary-less and courageous approach to live art – and we feel this project could not be happening in a better home.”

Details, Details:
Canadian Stage Fall season
Box office: 416-368-3110

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Canadian Stage’s Fall 2020 Program

Keith Tomasek
3 September 2020
News and Rumors

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