The New Groundswell Festival of Contemporary Women's Theatre in Toronto Nov 30 to Dec 10

From a media release:

The New Groundswell Festival 

A National Festival of Contemporary Women’s Theatre
November 30 to December 10, 2011
Berkeley Street Theatre Upstairs
26 Berkeley Street, Toronto, ON.

Toronto, ON…
Nightwood Theatre announces an exciting new beginning for its annual play development festival. For 26 years, Nightwood’s Groundswell Festival has been bringing audiences provocative new works in development. The re-envisioned New Groundswell Festival – A National Festival of Contemporary Women’s Theatre, happens over 11 days starting on November 30th and features 3 premiere workshop productions including Governor General’s Award nominee Lisa Codrington’s new play The Aftermath, Jordi Mand’s Between the Sheets and Zuppa Theatre’s acclaimed new work The Debacle (Halifax). The Festival will also feature a national industry series including an exciting array of masterclasses led by theatre luminaries such as Linda Griffiths, Jillian Keiley, Judith Thompson and young, as well as provocative dialogues and public readings with national and international artists and creators.

The New Groundswell Festival builds on the success of our 30th anniversary celebrations in 2009 and the 4x4 Festival, which put a focus on the female director. The New Groundswell Festival shifts the focus to the female playwright, and seeks to raise the bar in play creation, investing time and resources to explore work in development via production while aiming to increase the dissemination of women’s work across the country, where female playwrights constitute only 29% of plays produced in Canada.

Nightwood’s historic Groundswell Festival is a nationally recognized forum for the creation and development of theatre by women. The festival boasts impressive alumnae including Morwyn Brebner, Marjorie Chan, Claudia Dey, Ann-Marie MacDonald, Sonja Mills and Djanet Sears. The strength of these voices reflects Nightwood Theatre’s ongoing commitment to the development of artistic excellence among Canadian women theatre artists. We are proud to invite you to join us for The New Groundswell Festival – A National Festival of Contemporary Women’s Theatre.

The New Groundswell Festival Programming

The Aftermath by Lisa Codrington – Toronto
Directed by Audrey Dwyer
Starring Lisa Codrington and Ijeoma Emesowum
Sets and Costumes by Camellia Koo, Sound by Richard Feren, Lighting by Sandra Henderson
In the face of impending catastrophe and despite widespread evacuation there are simply those that shall not be moved. Inspired by Hurricane Katrina, playwright Lisa Codrington takes us on a harrowing and humorous exploration of survival in The Aftermath taking us to the eye of the storm to reveal the humanity of those left behind.

Lisa Codrington
Lisa Codrington is an actor and writer based in Toronto. Originally from Winnipeg, she holds a BA in Criminology from the University of Manitoba and a BFA in Acting from Ryerson University. She was nominated for the inaugural Toronto Arts Council Foundation's Emerging Artist Award and was co-winner of the 2008 K.M. Hunter Artist Award for Theatre. This past spring she co-directed the AMY Project with Claire Calnan and prior to that spent three seasons at the Shaw Festival. Most recently she finished adapting Jonathan Swift’s satirical essay A Modest Proposal into a one-act opera with composer Kevin Morse and currently she is playwright in residence at The Blyth Festival working on a new play about seasonal agriculture workers from the Caribbean.

Between the Sheets by Jordi Mand – Toronto
Directed by Kelly Thornton
Starring Susan Coyne and Christine Horne
Sets and Costumes by Camellia Koo, Sound by Richard Feren, Lighting by Sandra Henderson
What begins as a banal parent teacher interview unravels into a gripping and raw discussion between two women on the brink of disaster. One woman is fighting to protect her family. The other is fighting for the family she always wanted. An exposé on aging, fertility, marriage and midlife crisis, Mand has crafted a razor sharp, rollercoaster ride of high stakes drama.

Jordi Mand
Jordi Mand is an alumni of Nightwood's Write From the Hip program. Jordi's plays have been read/workshopped at the Canadian Stage Company, Theatre Passe Muraille, SummerWorks Theatre Festival and the Ignite! Festival in Calgary. Her voice can be heard on the animated series Rob the Robot on TVO. 

The Debacle by Ann-Marie Kerr and Susan Leblanc Crawford – Zuppa Theatre, Halifax
Actor/Co-creator Susan Leblanc-Crawford
Director/Co-creator Ann-Marie Kerr
Going to scientific extremes a woman attempts to freeze memories of her dying sister and in the process learns the power of letting go. The Debacle is a sad, funny and highly theatrical portrait of a woman facing the inevitable reality of being alone.

Susan Leblanc-Crawford
Susan is Co-Artistic Director of Zuppa Theatre Co. With Zuppa she has co-created and performed in twelve productions, most recently Five Easy Steps to the End of the World for which she won the 2011 Merritt Award for Outstanding Actress in a Leading Role. With Zuppa she has also co-directed the world premiere of The Fairy of the Lake at Dalhousie University. Susan has performed with several other Atlantic Canadian companies.

Ann-Marie Kerr
Ann-Marie was part of Nightwood Theatre’s 2009 Director’s Summit and the staging of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad. Directing credits include Dapopo Theatre’s So…What about Love; Zuppa Theatre Company’s Five Easy Steps to the End of the World (co-director) that toured to Magnetic North Theatre Festival; 2b theatre company’s Invisible Atom which continues to tour extensively; ARD Production’s A Rescue Demonstration; The Comedy of Errors at Dalhousie University Theatre; and Daniel MacIvor’s Confession for Mulgrave Road Theatre Company.

The Festival Program also includes panel discussions, readings, master classes and workshops, and of course parties - check the link for more information.

• Single tickets on sale now
• $20.00
• Tickets available by calling: 416.368.3110 or