Skip to main content

Factory Theatre's Performance Spring April 18 to May 13 in Toronto

From a media release:

Fesitval runs April 18 - May 13, 2012

  Performance Spring 2012, Factory Theatre’s annual festival of groundbreaking new work from the national scene, runs April 18 – May 13 and features productions from coast to coast, including the Toronto premiere of Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland’s Oil and Water; Vancouver-based Theatre Chop’s multimedia How to Disappear Completely as well as staged readings of Judith Thompson’s new play, Watching Glory Die.

Launching Performance Spring 2012 is Artistic Fraud of Newfoundland’s Oil and Water, written by Robert Chafe and directed by Jillian Keiley, April 18 – May 6. Artistic Director Ken Gass states, "We're thrilled to present this large-scale, rich and resonant theatrical work by Jillian Keiley on the eve of her appointment to helm English Theatre at the National Arts Centre.  The Keiley - Robert Chafe collaboration at Factory has yielded extraordinary results in the past (Tempting Providence and Fear of Flight), and we are confident Oil and Water will delight audiences and stimulate conversation among the theatre community.”

Oil and Water is a theatrical retelling of the incredible true story of Lanier Phillips. Shipwrecked in 1942, Mr. Phillips was the only African-American survivor. He was saved and openly embraced by the “people of St. Lawrence” and his life was forever altered. Lanier passed away this February, two days shy of his 89th birthday, his legendary story still resonating with relevance and power. A ten-person cast sings an a cappella score that blends the Newfoundland folk tradition with African-American gospel. The running time is 90 minutes, plus a brief intermission. For patrons attending the Sunday, April 29, 2 p.m., performance, a special post-show talkback with the cast is planned, as is an Oil and Water Mixer, at 4:30p.m., for the Newfoundland & Labrador expats.  Playwright Robert Chafe and Director Jillian Keiley hope Newfoundlanders in Toronto get to see this play, which sold out in St. John’s before it opened, to celebrate Newfoundland culture, and, most importantly, “to have a good time with the crowd from home.”

“Phillips” is played by Ryan Allen, “Adeline” by Neema Bickersteth, “Violet” by Petrina Bromley, “Bergeron” by Clint Butler, “Vonzia” by Starr Domingue, “Langston” by Mike Payette, “Levi” by Mark Power, “John” by Jody Richardson, “Lanier” by Jeremiah Sparks and “Ena” by Alison Woolridge.  The music was written and arranged by Andrew Craig with additional arrangements and musical direction by Kellie Walsh. The set is designed by Shawn Kerwin, with costume design by Marie Sharpe, lighting design by Leigh Ann Vardy and sound design by Don Ellis.  Keiley is assisted in direction by Clare Preuss. Dramaturgy is by Iris Turcott and Sarah Stanley. Technical direction is by Ron Snippe, production management is by Erin French with stage management by Kai-Yueh Chen and assistant stage management by Mark Denine.

The second offering in Performance Spring 2012 is How to Disappear Completely, May 8 – 13, from Vancouver’s The Chop Theatre. This deeply-personal theatrical experience is written and performed by Itai Erdal (who is also an acclaimed lighting designer). It was created in collaboration with director James Long, dramaturged by Anita Rochon, sound designed by Emilia Symington Fedy and projection designed by Jaimie Nesbitt.  In September of 2000, Itai Erdal received a phone call telling him his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer and had nine months to live. Itai, a recent film-school graduate promptly moved back to Israel to spend every moment he could with his dying mother. During that time he shot hours of film and hundreds of pictures, documenting the final months of her life. In a starkly simple yet deeply profound new work, Erdal invites us into the surprising circumstances surrounding his mother’s passing. At the heart of this story is Mery Erdal’s vibrant personality, the strong bond she had with her son and the personal yet universal story of how she bravely lived her life and faced her imminent death.  The running time is 75 minutes, with no intermission.

The Festival closes with workshop readings of Judith Thompson’s Watching Glory Die, a chilling yet heartbreaking piece about three extraordinary women, inextricably bound by a tragic death. These three staged readings on Friday - Saturday, May 11 - 12, 8p.m., and Sunday, May 13, 2 p.m., are the final chance to see this work-in-progress before its world premiere next season at Factory. The new one-woman show, created and performed by Thompson, is a theatrical tour de force.

PERFORMANCE SPRING 2012 presentations are made possible by the generous support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Arts Presentation Fund. General-seating tickets for the Mainspace shows range from $30 – 40. The studio readings are Pay-What-You-Can (PWYC); however, seating is limited for the Watching Glory Die staged readings and interested patrons must call and reserve their seats in advance. Call the box office at (416) 504-9971 or visit in person during box office hours at 125 Bathurst Street, Toronto. For more information, visit

While in Toronto, Itai Erdal and Jillian Keiley are both leading industry workshops in their respective fields. “Building an Ensemble” with Director Jillian Keiley is for actors and directors working in a chorus or large ensemble (Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.).  Lighting Designer Itai Erdal will give a Masterclass in lighting design, including a live demonstration and discussion of his techniques (Saturday, May 12, 2 – 5 p.m.). To register, visit Factory’s website .


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…

Lithuanian Rock: Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories (Independent / November 20, 2019)

Robertas Semeniukas - Backstage Stories
(Independent / November 20, 2019)
Stream it on Spotify
The Album "Backstage Stories" 2xLP & CD

Robertas Semeniukas is a great find if you like your rock with a hard edge and a strong groove. Naturally, guitar reigns supreme, with a sound that ranges from snarly to fluid and melodic, and virtuosic chops to keep everything interesting. You don't have to understand Lithuanian to enjoy the well-crafted songs and polished musicianship.

Of the 20 tracks, 8 are instrumental. This is rock in what you'd call a classic vein, heavily influenced by 1980s and 1990s bands, but with a modern gloss to it, and a sense of musical experimentation that isn't often associated with that era in Western pop music. Robertas wrote or co-wrote all the tracks except for one cover, the blues composition You Gotta Move by Mississippi Fred McDowell.

Within the rock/metal genre, the prolific composer, singer and musician mines a variety of moods. So…

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…

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…