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.
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."
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.
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."
This autumn, The Theatre for Living (Headlines Theatre) presents Corporations in our Heads, an audience-led play that is completely absent of scripts or designated actors. Its main mission: to provide insight into the various relationships we have with corporate culture and control in our daily lives.
Though impossible to clearly articulate, as the content is improvisational and ranges night to night, Artistic and Managing Director David Diamond explains "theatre is a language that belongs to everyone."