Theatre News: July 9 – July 15

Local News

If you’ve been thinking about stopping by our new offices, here’s another reason to visist! One block away, Rue St Denis has been shut down for Montreal Complètement Cirque, part of We’re Acting Out, Montreal’s monster street theatre festival. There are so many free events to choose from – go see some street theatre with an acrobatic twist and come say hello to QDF at 2060 Ave Joly!


The Just for Laughs Comedy Festival kicked off last week! There’s SO many shows, and there’s lots to read about to prepare: CultMTL talks to Robert Kelly of The Nasty Show, The Gazette has an interview with Mike Birbiliga, and CBC has the JFL Awards scoop.


In other JFL news, QDF Members MainLine Theatre and the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts have shows in the festival! If you’re missing FRINGE, check out the Best of FRINGE Cabaret as part of ZooFest and Off-JFL. If you’re looking for comedy of the sitdown (as opposed to standup) variety, JFL and the Segal Centre have you covered with What’s In a Name?

National News

Concrete Theatre in Edmonton is connecting theatre to their community with their summer drama camp for Syrian refugees. The camp is taught by a Syrian drama instructor brought in by Concrete’s Mieko Ouchi to help refugees new to Canada start building a community and exploring their stories through art, in particular, theatre. (via CBC)


J Kelly Nestruck over at the Globe and Mail delivers another great read. This week he’s checking in on gender parity and summer Shakespeare shows across the country, from Halifax’s Shakespeare by the Sea to Bard on the Beach in Vancouver. This year, only Saskatoon’s Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan was able to make parity, with exactly half female actors in their production. Nestruck provides a very balanced view of this issue, as usual, while asking the questions that need to be asked. (via Globe and Mail) Do you think theatre still skews male or has the work already been done to achieve gender equality in theatre? Let us know on Twitter!


Toronto Masque Theatre announced its upcoming 13th season will be the company’s last. Go see some great classical and contemporary masque shows while you can! (via Stage Door)


Adrienne Wong over at SpiderWebShow asks us to take a hard look at the self, theatre, and shared digital spaces. The most significant difference between theatre and film is the live performance aspect, and so people who want to experience a live performance gather together in the same room to experience it, and this was generally the divide until the Internet Age: When Things Took a Turn. Now we can have live performance experienced in real time, but we suddenly don’t have to all be in the same room. How can theatre practitioners use this new advent to improve on the form? What do you think? Send us a tweet!

International News

David Mamet is making headlines in the UK after it was reported he included a blanket ban on post-show talk backs at his plays as one of the conditions of getting the rights to perform his plays. The price of violating this clause is pretty steep at $25k. Theatre goers and practioners alike have been coming down on either side of the debate. On the one hand, open discussion gives the audience a voice to interact more deeply with a piece, and many productions use talkbacks as a tool for fostering community engagement. Mamet disagrees, perhaps as this article suggests, because the art should speak for itself. For my part, I agree with Mamet, though a $25k fine crosses the line. However, I think experiences should be experienced, meaning they occur in real time, and can’t be duplicated or honestly revisited, recreated, rehashed. Talk backs don’t matter much to me, because I believe the play is the experience. Am I wrong? Yell at me on Twitter! (via The Guardian)


posted by Caleigh Crow