2009

Goggles is a powerful combination of drama and dance. Performed and created by Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg, she skillfully displays not only her dance training, but also her wider expressive physical vocabulary, her sense of comic timing, and her ability to weave these together with dialogue.

The story cuts between the fantasies of an eight year old boy, Norman -- who envisions himself as a crack detective solving murder mysteries -- and his more pedestrian "real world" encounters with his emotionally distant father and his father's conventionally-minded girlfriend, a conformist church group, and a despotic babysitter who locks him in...

Tara Cheyenne Friedenberg in Goggles

Pi Theatre and Rumble Production’s joint presentation of after the quake is a stunning piece of theatre.

Each of the theatrical arts – directing, writing, acting, and production design - work eloquently together to bring the play to life. It is rare to experience a show where all these elements integrate so well and are so delicious to watch.  A delicate feast for the senses, the play explores how imagination can heal the wounds of loss and fear.

Based on Haruki Murakami’s stories and adapted for the stage by Frank Galati, after the quake weaves storytelling...

Manami Hara, Leina Dueck and Testsuro Shigematsu are seen after the quake, photograph by Ken Bryant

Hofesh Shechter’s two pieces “Uprising” and “In Your Rooms” collectively crashed over me like a thunderous...

Hofesh Shechter's "Uprising"

I was very fortunate to attend the opening night of Touchtone Theatre’s world premiere Demon Voice.

Provocative issues concerning beliefs in sexuality are uniquely explored and the playwrights’ choice to delve deep into personal and modern issues is definitely thought-provoking.

Written by Shawn Macdonald (who won a Jessie for his previous work Prodigal Son), Demon Voice is a tightly woven piece interconnecting the lives of six characters - all very different people, all confronting their desires and their fears. The stories are intertwined imaginatively: Rachel and Mike are lovers, both holding complex backgrounds that chew away at...

Stephanie Belding and Kevin K James are wrestling with each other and their demons; photo by Tim Matheson

The Laramie Project creatd by Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater Project, presented by Theatre at UBC at the Fredric Wood Theatre, is in need of a good editor.

At two and a half hours, the poignant vignettes get lost in the repetition of clichés – “Live and Let Live” or monologues about how they may be a small town, but they really like “fags”, especially when they keep their distance. Fortunately, the shining light of the play is not lost amongst the verbiage.  On October 28th, 2009, US President Obama signed the Matthew Sheppard and James Byrd...

Tich Wilson in The Laramie Project; Photo Credit: Tim Matheson

The Winter’s Tale, currently in production at Studio 58, is supposed to be one of Shakespeare’s “problem” plays.

The problem being that it starts off like a tragedy and then about half way through turns into a pastoral comedy. This is only really a problem for librarians and system-obsessed academics. For anyone interested in theatre as performed text, The Winter’s Tale is an intriguing challenge. Personally, I think it’s one of Shakespeare’s attempts at synthesis, a conscious mixing of forms and, looked at this way, has a strangely contemporary feel to it; with its shifts of tone it...

Benjamin Elliot in Studio 58's The Winter's Tale, photo: David Cooper

One Little Goat Theatre Company continues its tradition of contemporary poetic theatre in its most recent project Talking Masks.

Written and directed by company founder and artistic director Adam Seelig, Masks is a fusion of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex and the Biblical and Koranic tales of Isaac and Ishmael. Shared themes of fate and family are woven together through rhythmic verse as the Son, a fusion of all three titular characters, is pulled and prodded by a pair of mothers and a mysterious stranger.

Although the production promises to provide a ‘stimulating introduction’ to its source material for those...

Talking Masks (Oedipussy); photo by: Sai Sivanesan

Genus Theatre’s production of The Physicists is a satirical intrigue set in the common room of an opulent insane asylum called La Cerisiers. 

The three patients are all physicists that have been brought together under the care of Dr. Matilde von Zahnd (Kelly Sheridan), a famous psychiatrist with her own dubious mental history. 

The patients are Johann Wilhelm Mobius (Frano Marsic), a brilliant physicist with visions of King Solomon, Herbert Goerg Beutler (Jordan Bodiguel), who believes that he is Isaac Newton, and Ernst Heinrich Ernesti (Simon Driver), who claims to be Albert Einstein.  The play opens with...

Kathleen Pollard and Uriah Field in Genus Theatre's production of The Physicists

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