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Theatre for Living: Us and Them -- The Inquiry

David Diamond and two actor/audience members at work. Photo: Milan Radovanovic
The artistic director of Vancouver's Headlines Theatre Company discusses their groundbreaking new community theatre project.

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Theatre for Living: Us and Them -- The Inquiry

David Diamon of Headlines Theatre with a Vancouver audience devising Us and Them [The Inquiry]. Photo Tim Matheson.

Headlines Theatre Company was founded in Vancouver in 1981 by a group of writers, actors and theatre directors who were "disgruntled by the kind of theatre work we were asked to do," according to its artistic director David Diamond. The Jessie award-winning company is about to enter its 30th year with its most ambitious project yet. Us and Them [The Inquiry] brings ordinary people to the stage to tell stories of conflict and explores reasons and resolutions. Diamond explains the company and the process involved in devising theatre this way.

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Theatre in a quiet place can make a big noise

Poland’s Teatr Węgajty, whose founders cite Emerson and Whitman as influences, blends tradition and experimentation to address social issues in a rural, grassroots setting.

The small village of Węgajty, hidden amongst the forests of Poland's Lake District, unknown to anyone who does not deliberately seek it out, is home to one of that culturally rich country's most socially engaged experimental theatre companies.

Experimental theatre? In the middle of cow country? For Wacław and Erdmute Sobaszek, co-founders of the Teatr Węgajty Fieldwork Project, there is no better setting.

"This is a collective effort," explains Wacław. "What makes us different from other theatre companies is that instead of putting on a show for people, we work with people. The whole community gets involved."

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Columnists

Maury Chaykin's irreplaceable madness

Maury Chaykin died this week on his 61st birthday. Some obits called him a character actor. It's basically a film-TV term -- where Maury mostly worked -- as opposed to star. Another term is supporting actor versus leading man. It's a shame he didn't do more stage work, where physical typing isn't as great. I once wrote a play on the Montreal Canadiens; a sports type who met the actor cast as Rocket Richard said, "You can't have a fat Rocket!" But you can and we did. Maury was a beautiful guy in his prime but not a typical movie lead; yet he'd have made a great Lear or Prospero. Asked by Jian Ghomeshi for a role he felt he'd nailed, Maury joked, "Hamlet," making you think it may have been on his wish list.

Tangled Art + Disability Presents: RUFF

Friday, May 9, 2014 - 8:00pm - 11:00pm

Location

Daniels Spectrum - Ada Slaight Hall
585 Dundas St. East Canada
Toronto, ON
Canada
43° 39' 37.2708" N, 79° 21' 42.1776" W

As part of the 11th annual Tangled Arts Festival, the renowned Split Britches will debut their new production, RUFF, on May 9 and 10. Directed by Lois Weaver, RUFF is a solo performance by Peggy Shaw that illustrates her personal reflection on acquired disability. Pioneers of the queer and feminist theatre movement, Split Britches’ have defined a generation of performance.

Columnists

'Poor theatre' explores possibilities of art, lifts veil on humanness

Photo: Dave Wilson/flickr

Mario Biagini is a genial, 49-year-old Italian theatre worker who's one of two designated successors to theatre pioneer Jerzy Grotowski. He's in Toronto with a troupe of colleagues to perform and teach at U of T. I know theatre worker sounds mundane but the term "The Work" appears often as he talks; it's spoken with reverence, the way hockey players say "The Game."

Redeye

Night

January 20, 2014
| One of the plays at the PuSH festival this week is set in the far North. It tells the story of the encounter between a museum worker from Toronto and a woman who lives in Pond Inlet, Nunavut.
Length: 16:32 minutes (15.15 MB)
Redeye

Medicine

January 19, 2014
| Writer and performer TJ Dawe’s newest monologue recounts what happened when he attended a week-long group therapy retreat where participants took the Amazonian psychotropic plant ayahuasca.
Length: 17:57 minutes (16.44 MB)
Redeye

Jack and the Beanstalk: An East Van Panto

December 16, 2013
| Pantomime is a popular Christmas theatre tradition in the U.K. where audiences shout back at the characters and enjoy humour that ranges from bawdy to political to slapstick.
Length: 13:35 minutes (12.44 MB)
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