Canada’s longest-running new works festival returns for a 33rd year with a stellar line-up of local and international talent. For two weeks, over 100 artists transform Buddies into a hotbed of creativity and experimentation.
For her sophomore year, festival director Laura Nanni has assembled over 40 performance projects. Regarding this year’s line-up, Nanni says: “Rhubarb artists continue to respond to the world with immediacy and necessity. Emerging from the work this year are bold and thoughtful considerations of the body, history and politics through a wide range a performance styles.”
POLITICAL PERFORMANCE - The politics of our communities are at the forefront of this year’s festival. Maggie Hutcheson and Elinore Whidden’s The Department of Public Memory takes audiences out into the streets to stage public interventions that address cuts to city services. Dan Watson’s The Little G8 That Could… exposes the story that was forgotten in the midst of Toronto’s G20: the devastating impact of the G8 summit on the town of Huntsville.
SPOTLIGHT ON QUEER HISTORY - Also look for projects that revisit, reclaim and re-imagine queer histories, including Buddies resident artists Damien Atkins, Paul Dunn & Andrew Kushnir with The Gay Heritage Project, and Darrah Teital’s gender-bashing re-enactment of Trudeau’s famous ‘bedrooms of the nation’ legislation, The Omnibus Bill.
CONFRONTING DISEASE - Exploring the fragility and resilience of our bodies, artists tackle personal and societal struggles with disease. Claude Whittman and Thomas Morgan Jones offer performances inspired by their own struggles with debilitating chronic disease. Aynsley Moorhouse offers a walking tour that explores dementia’s far-reaching effects on perception and memory. Audiences will be able to download this tour onto their i-Pods. Local sex educator and AIDS activist Mikiki stages a visual reaction to Susan Sontag’s AIDS and it’s Metaphors.
A MIX OF ESTABLISHED, EMERGING & QUEER ARTISTS - As always, the festival features some of Toronto’s leading theatre makers as they break new ground, including Michael Rubenfeld, Natasha Mytnowych, Rosa Laborde, Phillip Riccio, Adam Lazarus, The Independent Aunties, and return of former Buddies Artistic Director Sarah Garton Stanley. Look for a stellar group of emerging talents, such as Rose Plotek, Eroca Nicols, Birdtown & Swanville, Alex Napier, and Cara Gee. Queer and trans artists to watch include Johnny Forever, Clare Preuss, James Diamond (co-presented with Pleasure Dome), Sky Fairchild-Waller, David Frankovitch, Evan Vipond, Michaela Washburn and the four members of Buddies’ Young Creators’ Unit.
VISUAL ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS TAKE THE STAGE - Visual artists will be taking new journeys from the gallery to the theatre, with work from Sojourner Truth Parsons, Johnson Ngo, Luke Painter, and Meera Margaret Singh. Rhubarb will also be hosting some of the hottest musical acts in Toronto, including Light Fires, Emma McKenna, and up-and-coming musical sensations Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, fresh off the release of their breakout album YT//ST.
MOBILE WORKS - This year will see the return of the popular Mobile Works Series, which reached over 34,000 people last year. Artists will infiltrate the streets of Toronto with performances designed for public spaces, including a massive flash mob spectacle courtesy of Tom and Gary’s Decentralized Dance Party (Feb 15).
Each week of the festival features a special presentation by international artists, with New York cabaret superstar Justin Vivian Bond taking the stage Feb 9-10, and the Canadian premiere of internationallyacclaimed performance artist Keith Hennessey’s CROTCH Feb 16-17.
NEW THIS YEAR: ONE-TO-ONE PERFORMANCE SERIES
In partnership with The 519 Church Street Community Centre, 11 artists will present a collection of intimate experiences designed for a single performer and one audience member at a time. Breaking down barriers between observer and creator, projects range from acts of dressing (Gender Me), eating (Betterave Rouge/Red Beet) or telling secrets (Blue Light), to projects that transform the body into a musical instrument (Klangkörper 2.0) and a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day skating date in Nathan Phillips Square (Red Coat Romance). The One-To-One Performance Series runs from February 10-14. Tickets will be available at The 519 on the day of the performance.
click here to see full programming info for Week One MAINSTAGE EVENINGS 8:00pm The Little G8 That Could... 8:00pm Bleed 8:30pm The Failure Show 8:30pm Sea Foam Blue 9:00pm Night and Day 9:00pm PLEASE FOREVER PLEASE 9:30pm 33 9:30pm (Wed only) Trust My Gut 10:00pm (Wed only) Rhubarb Festival Kick-Off Bash 10:00pm (Thurs & Fri only) Justin Vivian Bond 10:30pm (Fri only) Light Fires 11:00pm (Fri only) The Big Thaw 10:00pm (Sat only) Made to Order 9:30pm (Sun only) K-TownMOBILE WORKSDepartment of Public MemorySUNDAY SOCIALS 4:00pm Stepping Between ProjectionsYOUNG CREATORS' UNIT PRESENTATIONS 6:00pm speaking of sneaking 6:30pm satan in me[more]
click here to see full programming info ONE-TO-ONE PERFORMANCE SERIES (Fri-Sat 6-10pm, Sun 2-5pm) Psychic Cooking Showall the things we should have said that we never saidGender MeBetterave Rouge / Red BeetMake Your Own China DollKlangkörper 2.0 ("Resounding Body")"Aujourdhuy 15e septembre 1738..."Blue LightCrosswaysWalk With MeRed Coat Romance[more]
click here to see full programming info for Week Two MAINSTAGE EVENINGS 8:00pm Yellow Towel & affliction 8:00pm Settlers 8:30pm Marine Life 8:30pm Expectations 9:00pm The Omnibus Bill 9:00pm Every Day is a Beautiful Day 9:30pm (Wed only) Trust My Gut 9:30pm (Thurs & Fri only) CROTCH 9:30pm (Sat only) The Gay Heritage Project 10:00pm (Sat only) Made to OrderMOBILE WORKSDepartment of Public MemoryTom & Gary's Decentralized Dance PartySUNDAY SOCIALS 2:00pm Gertrude and Alice 2:30pm The Gay Heritage Project 3:00pm Department of Public Memory AGM 4:00pm Rhubarb and Free Fall Feast: Part One 5:30pm Peak Anxiety SatelliteYOUNG CREATORS' UNIT PRESENTATIONS 6:00pm Disease of Kings 6:30pm As in HappyWORKSHOPS Sat-Sun Performing (queer) Failure: a workshop with Keith Hennessy[more]
- Wed-Sun Evening Passes $20
Sunday Afternoons & One-To-One Performances PWYC
Mobile Works FREE
Box Office: 416-975-8555