Momentum

In the wake of the Magnetic North cancellation last week, (to say nothing of the hopefully non-permanent Puppets Up cancellation) I’ve been thinking a lot about the way momentum works in the theatrical ecosystem. Festivals of all kinds are effective because they create an environment where many different creators can come together, and do the administrative … Continue reading Momentum

The Collaborative Audience

It was brought to my attention last week that I was talking about theatre criticism as a collaboration between theatre artist, critic, and spectator without really exploring what that means. I touch on the relationships between these types of people a bit in the article on The Separation of Art and Critic, but I think it might … Continue reading The Collaborative Audience

The Critic is Dead (Long Live The Critic)

    The critics panel last week at undercurrents Festival had some interesting discussion about the future of arts journalism. I am going to take this opportunity to further flesh out some of the emerging trends that were discussed at the conclusion of the panel. Principally, I want to talk about our long-form brand of criticism, … Continue reading The Critic is Dead (Long Live The Critic)

Where We Live (New Ottawa Critics in Residence)

   I’ve been talking for weeks now about what the critical landscape currently looks like in this country, what the New Ottawa Critics thinks it’s trying to accomplish, and the theory behind that. Now it’s time to talk a bit about how exactly we are hoping to address some of these issues. So this edition … Continue reading Where We Live (New Ottawa Critics in Residence)

“Tomorrow’s Child” has room for growth.

****This review may contain spoilers***** The final show to premier at undercurrents this year is from Ghost River Theatre in Calgary, and it is unlike anything else at the festival. The company has specifically requested that I not reveal some key details about the show, and I will attempt to honour that request; I am … Continue reading “Tomorrow’s Child” has room for growth.

Take a Stroll with “Indigenous Walks”

  Undercurrents festival has for two years now included events with Indigenous creators and stories. Last year’s Indigenous Performance Reaching Critical Mass one-off panel celebrated the NAC’s decision to expand its mandate to include an Aboriginal theatre stream along side it’s French and English departments, while also reminding us that there is still and always … Continue reading Take a Stroll with “Indigenous Walks”

Scarcity Culture (or Attitudes for Making Art)

Scarcity culture is the persistent systemic feeling that there’s not enough of something to go around. In theatre, that usually means one of two things. In the first place, usually from the mouths of artists: there isn’t enough audience for their work. In the second place, usually from the mouths of people who consume art: … Continue reading Scarcity Culture (or Attitudes for Making Art)

“Burnt” Explores Authenticity at Burning Man

There is a cultural phenomenon called Burning Man. Ten days of “radical freedom” in the Nevada desert, an economy of gifts, a massive party, fantastic art installations. This show is about that, but only so far as it’s a setting for the competing and overlapping narratives that form the collective cultural memory of Burning Man. Creator/performer … Continue reading “Burnt” Explores Authenticity at Burning Man

“Brotherhood:The Hip Hopera” is a Powerful Solo Show

  Brotherhood: The Hip Hopera is a powerful solo show that blurs the boundaries along the edges of theatre to incorporate elements of R&B, rap and musical performance to tell a classic story of brotherhood, escape from poverty, and redemption. This show is truly a tour-de-force from creator/performer Sébastien Heins. To begin, the text does … Continue reading “Brotherhood:The Hip Hopera” is a Powerful Solo Show