EMBEDDED CRITICISM: Critics Become Stagehands for a Night

Blind Date @ GCTC November 30-December 17, 2017 Previews November 28 and 29 WHAT IS EMBEDDED CRITICISM? The traditional model for theatre criticism (and other art forms) involves a separation between artist and critic. The artist(s) create(s) a piece of theatre and present it, the critic attends the performance and writes their review, and never … Continue reading EMBEDDED CRITICISM: Critics Become Stagehands for a Night

“Building the Wall”: A Character Study Exploring “Building” the Straw Man Argument

Robert Schenkkan’s Building the Wall, a speculative look at the near future of America under the Trump presidency, is a timely yet oddly underwhelming examination of the political situation our southern neighbours have regrettably brought upon themselves. Horseshoes and Hand Grenades Theatre present the Canadian premiere (playing at the Gladstone until December 3rd) of this … Continue reading “Building the Wall”: A Character Study Exploring “Building” the Straw Man Argument

“Ordinary Days” Goes Small and Wins Big

Musicals, with their outrageous sets and costumes, 11 o’clock numbers, and dance breakdowns, aren’t a common sight at Great Canadian Theatre Company. Their current production of Adam Gwon’s Ordinary Days, however, shows that none of those things are necessary to produce quality musical theatre that still maintains a significant degree of theatricality. Ordinary Days follows … Continue reading “Ordinary Days” Goes Small and Wins Big

“King of the Yees”: A Noble Attempt at Merging the Social and Aesthetic on Stage

The latest production of the National Arts Centre’s English Theatre season, Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees, reminds me of the division between social drama and aesthetic drama that can help us to talk about the different ways in which we view and interpret theatrical productions. While this show is a boon to Artistic Director … Continue reading “King of the Yees”: A Noble Attempt at Merging the Social and Aesthetic on Stage

“Educating Rita” is Relevant but Unfocused

Ottawa Little Theatre kicks off its 105th season with Willy Russell’s Educating Rita. The play centres around themes that are just as applicable to Ottawa in 2017 as they were when it first premiered in London in 1980, but the details of the script, such as the cultural references and English dialect, feel dated and … Continue reading “Educating Rita” is Relevant but Unfocused

“The Amorous Servant” another feather in Odyssey’s cap

The Amorous Servant is an excellent example of what makes Odyssey Theatre’s Theatre Under the Stars program so enjoyable. Besides high artistic quality on stage, the company itself does an admirable job of anticipating patrons’ needs in an outdoor performance environment. The Amorous Servant is an 18th century comedy by legendary Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni, … Continue reading “The Amorous Servant” another feather in Odyssey’s cap

“Pardon Me, Prime Minister” Makes for Perfect Summer Theatre

Pardon Me, Prime Minister closes out Ottawa Little Theatre’s 104th season. This British farce, though a bit dated, has a snappy comic pace (especially in the second act) and a silly premise that makes it perfect for summer community theatre. In the Prime Minster’s office at 10 Downing Street at some point in the 1970s, … Continue reading “Pardon Me, Prime Minister” Makes for Perfect Summer Theatre

‘Midsummer Night’ Keeps the ‘Dream’ Alive

This year’s Torchlight Shakespeare production from A Company of Fools continues their proud tradition of fun and fast-paced classical theatre, with only a hint of growing pains as they bring new performers into their fold. A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of Shakespeare’s most performed plays, and in many ways is an ideal play for … Continue reading ‘Midsummer Night’ Keeps the ‘Dream’ Alive

“Don’t Go Down to the River” Flows; in need of more visuals

With Don’t Go Down to the River, JIG theatrecompany has created a compelling and dark homegrown mystery, but the minimalist one-woman show format they utilize undermines the power of the world built by the narrative. Under the guise of showing her house off to potential buyers, Grace Shaw relates the dark history of her family … Continue reading “Don’t Go Down to the River” Flows; in need of more visuals