Skip to main content

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


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

Blues/Rock: The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now? (Independent / 24 July 2020)

The Cole Patenaude Band - Are You Happy Now?
(Independent / 24 July 2020) Buy the CD Big vocals and infectious grooves make up this release from The Cole Patenaude Band. It's modern blues with a classic sensibility, anchored by solid musicianship and upbeat songwriting. 
Keyboard player Dean Thiessen and Patenaude on guitar trade off solos and melodic lines to keep it interesting through a range of bluesy style, incorporating rock and country, with a pop song sheen on songs like For the Money. Would You Be Mine is more Elvis-esque rockabilly, while How To Love is an acoustic song with folky storytelling lyrics and feel. 
Compromise is a standout track, with a snarly guitar line and a churchy organ swelling underneath a nice bluesy beat. Horns aren't credited in the notes, but I swear I heard some on this and a couple of the other tracks. 
As a husband, father, and full-time mechanic based in Langley, British Columbia, finding the time to make his music was a challenge…