Categories
Arts Arts and Culture Theatre

Still Life: The Complexities of Emotional Health

A theatrical dive into the shadows of womanhood.

A 30th birthday? What’s there to fear about hitting that milestone? But what if it’s a convergence of all things going wrong? 

Society’s expectations grow heavier with each passing year. Every added responsibility feels like a suffocating weight. Your once-familiar room now feels estranged and echoes with a profound emptiness. Imagine commemorating three decades of existence in a state that mirrors death more than life itself. Welcome to Still Life, a gripping theatrical experience freshly translated from French to English, debuting at the 2024 Wildside Festival in Montreal.

“It is a big play, that jumps around in time, and through the psychological and physical states of a woman trying to understand what is happening to her,” said Emma Tibaldo, director of Still Life.

Annually, the Wildside Festival—taking  place from Jan. 18 to Feb. 8 this year—spotlights independent and experimental theatrical works from Quebec and beyond. Still Life is the starting act of a total of six plays, and it was written by playwrights Marie-Ève Milot and Marie-Claude St-Laurent of Théâtre de l’Affamée. It is currently in the process of being reworked for its official release this fall.

The play features five actors—a main character and four others that serve as a chorus—simultaneously portraying the protagonist’s inner thoughts as well as those of the other characters in the narrative. 

The use of lighting is significant, creating intense moments of claustrophobia in the protagonist’s mental landscape. Thoughts may seem fragmented and elusive, yet they resonate with a raw sense of authenticity, even when they verge on the surreal.

Scene from Still Life, The protagonist isolated in her apartment shares a moment with her concerned best friend. Photo courtesy of Talisman Theatre

From Hannah Wilke to Joseph Beuys, the main character effectively employs art references to vividly capture universal feelings of anxiety. 

Such was the case for Nidaa Badwan, a Palestinian artist who voluntarily confined herself to her 100-square-feet apartment for 20 months in 2013. Badwan tried to construct her own reality through art as a form of liberation from the constraints of womanhood in Gaza. Her experience became a recurring reference in the life of Still Life’s protagonist, mirroring aspects of her own emotional turmoil. 

But capturing such intense emotions presents its challenges. Cary Lawrence, a cast member of the play,  spoke about the potential impact that embodying such raw emotions may have on an actor’s emotional health: “Especially when we were rehearsing the chorus work, we were heavy breathing to the point where we were so lightheaded,” said Lawrence. “You know as actors, that’s our job—to take the words and physicalize them by putting a lot of meaning behind them.”

Director Tibaldo expressed her aspirations for what the piece communicates to its audience upon release in the fall. “I want folks to be aware of the unpredictable effects of anxiety and depression. The way it can cut you down, and completely disempower you,” said director Tibaldo. “The improbable becomes that which can save us. A chance meeting, an extreme act, a possible connection. Maybe just being open to the unexpected can be enough to pull us through.” 

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Arts and Culture Community Theatre

Montreal theatre opening the stage for an inclusive approach to live performance

Imago Theatre’s success at the META awards demonstrated their dedication to diversity and inclusion.

On Sunday, Nov. 12, The Quebec Drama Federation and the Conseil des arts de Montréal hosted the 11th annual Montreal English Theatre Awards (META) at the jaw-dropping Gesù Theatre—a repurposed Roman Catholic Church in the heart of downtown. For its acclaimed production of “Redbone Coonhound,” Imago Theatre received six  awards.

Amongst those awards, Imago won Best Pact Production, Direction, New Text, Costume Design, Emerging Artist, and Supporting Performance, highlighting their success in many different aspects of production. Their celebration showcases their success in pushing artistic boundaries and approach to live production with inclusivity.

Theatre and live performances are an experience many would consider a luxury, and yet, at its core, drama is a form of societal critique, utilizing the stage to provoke contemplation. Theatre itself has been an object of criticism for its rigidity and conservatism as it remains entrenched in traditional story structures, remaining limited in its representation and casting. 

Through its critical nature, performance art is changing from the inside out, opening its horizons through processes of inclusion. Indeed, theatre has always been a tool for socio-political commentary, and now it finds itself undergoing a systemic transformation, adapting to an audience that demands an increase in inclusivity, transcending performative diversity on stage. Stage productions like Peter Pasyk’s “Hamlet” starring Amaka Umeh, a Black woman as the lead, at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, highlight a change in theatre that embraces inclusivity, activism, and a commitment to positive change across Canada.

Adam Capriolo, a 31-year-old actor working at the Segal Centre’s box office, finds that there is a lot of inclusive performativity in contemporary theatre, but it  only focuses on “a person’s attributes, being mainly their sexuality, their ethnicity, their race, their religion.” “It’s almost like, look, we did it, we included the people, but how are we making them speak? What are their beliefs? What are they saying? Are they full people?” Capriolo said. He claims that inclusive performances are very identity based, categorizing individuals and only using their identities for political debates, instead of including them in day-to-day entertainment. This claim is not novel—inclusive art performances are often called out  for tokenizing actors or for being too political.

In contrast to Capriolo’s critique of performative inclusivity, the Imago Theatre stands out for its commitment to go beyond simple token representation. The theatre  believes in community building in their creative process, and actively works against backward narratives, ensuring that the inclusion of diverse voices extends beyond mere symbolism. . . According to EKOS Research Associates, 82 per cent of Canadians believe that engaging with the arts contributes to individual well-being, with 65 percent perceiving significant community benefits. Imago Theatre’s commitment to community-based productions echoes these beliefs, resonating with a diverse audience. 

Krista Jackson, Imago’s executive and artistic director, explains how  her artistic direction is not only focused on hard hitting topics. Jackson said “I’m looking for pieces that are feminist in their structure, in disrupting sort of patriarchal forms of playwriting,”. The theatre’s inclusivity focuses on the creation of their plays. For example, in trying to dismantle confining structures, Jackson explains how the Imago looks and rejects the dominant five-act structure, as a way to look beyond established structures in both form and content. This signals a departure from structural norms that dominate live performance, and aligns with a broader goal of diversifying theater. 

The theatre also addresses the economic disparities associated with theatre attendance today. The traditional theatre experience has become financially inaccessible for many, as the cost of tickets has risen after the halt in live performance brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Imago Theatre bucks this trend with a pay-what-you-decide model, making live performance accessible. This approach challenges the notion that theatre is a luxury, creating a space where economic barriers are dismantled.

The decline in performing arts attendance among the 15–29 age group in Canada stands in stark contrast to Imago Theatre’s demographic. National statistics indicate a drop in attendees from 51.6 per cent in 1992 to 27.5 per cent in 2023 for this age range. However, Imago Theatre receives an audience demographic that is almost entirely younger generations ranging from 20- to 35-years-olds. 

“This idea that we’re speaking to a young demographic that wants to go and see a live performance is unbelievable to me because most theatres around the country are saying, ‘How do we get the young people? Everybody’s so old.’ It’s the plays and it’s the topics discussed,” Jackson explained. This demographic shift goes against the narrative that young people are disinterested in live performances. The theatre’s commitment to align with the changing preferences of the new generation sets the stage for the new forms of art production.

When it comes to participating in live performance, Imago seeks to be accessible to performers, casting over 130 people for a six-person show. Indeed, open auditions, diverse casting, and a commitment to dismantling predetermined roles, define the theatre’s inclusive artistic direction. 

The Artista mentorship initiative, currently celebrating its 10th year, serves as a testament to Imago Theatre’s dedication to empowering young women and gender-diverse individuals in their journey through the world of theatre. The free mentorship program is available for women, gender-diverse, trans, and non-binary people, aged 17–22. It is a 15-week program held every Monday night 5–9 p.m. from January through May, with dinner included for participants.  

Imago is looking forward to staging Leah-Simone Bowen’s production of “The Flood” from Feb. 15 to 25, at the Centaur Theatre. The play explores the ways the legal system has failed women, based on the true lives of women that were incarcerated in the 1880s under the St. Lawrence market in Toronto.

Categories
Arts and Culture Exhibit

The Yeoseong Gukgeuk Project: Hijack the Gender!: A Discussion between Artist and Curator

One of the kick-off events of Montreal’s 18th edition of MOMENTA Biennale de l’image was a discussion between curator Ji-Yoon Han and artist siren eun young jung at her solo exhibition The Yeoseong Gukgeuk Project: Hijack the Gender! held at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery on Concordia’s Sir George Williams campus. 

“siren eun young jung makes work that explores the subversive potential of popular cultural practices and highlights the existence of communities that, to this day, maintain spaces for dissimilar and non-conforming people within a given society,” Han says. 

Yeoseong Gukgeuk, which translates to “national women’s theatre,” is the central subject of the artist’s 15-year archival project. The theatre was made up exclusively of female actors and was popularised in the mid-twentieth century following the end of Japanese colonial rule over Korea. Through her work, jung explores the actors’ embodiment of masculine roles on stage through the lens of queer theory, particularly queer scholar Judith Butler’s theory of gender performativity. jung seeks to critically examine the heteronormative national identity of Korea by building an “anomalous archive,” or what she also calls a “wrong archive,” that inherently resists the official version of national history. 

The discussion began in the archive room, where jung discussed her collection of materials offering insight into the story of the women who were involved at the theatre and who participated in the project. The archive reveals the unique visual culture of the theatre while preserving its legacy in a historical canon that often neglects to include the stories of marginalised people. The archive is not just a collection of print media, photographs and documents that tell a linear narrative of the tradition—it also includes oral history through interviews and personal accounts from performers, along with experimental videos of performances that collectively contribute to a living archive that will change over time as it grows. 

siren eun young jung, View of Deferral Archives (2018-2023), Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery. Photo by Emma Bell/The Concordian
siren eun young jung, Deferral Archives (2018-2023) Detail, Leonard & Bina Ellen Gallery. Photo by Emma Bell/The Concordian

The notion of disrupting exclusionary national identities is reflected in jung’s aesthetic choices. The scattered light refracting off the reflective survival blankets that line the gallery walls similarly disrupts the traditionally crisp white void that the artwork would normally hang on. The editing technique employed in jung’s video works can also be described as disruptive and fractured—flashing lights and diagonal cropping make for a chaotic viewing experience of an already larger-than-life screen. This visual language reinforces a sense of rupture in the way history is remembered.

The discussion moved through the gallery space as jung and Han spoke about the importance of transmitting the knowledge of the past through this project and its relevance in contemporary culture. It goes without saying that there is a need within our current moment to not only preserve but to bring marginalised histories into the spotlight. 

The video work A Performing by Flash, Afterimage, Velocity, and Noise features performances from drag king Azangman, queer Korean female actors such as Lee Yii, Seo Jiwon of the disabled women’s theatre group Dancing Waist, and the transgender electronic musician Kirara. The installation completely immerses the audience in the performances, enveloping them in a full sensory experience to invite them into a theatrical world that embraces and celebrates creative transgression and alternative ways of being.

The Yeoseong Gukgeuk Project: Hijack the Gender! is one of 23 exhibitions that constitute MOMENTA 2023 and will be on view at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery within Concordia’s J.W. McConnell building through October 28, 2023.  

Categories
Music

Montreal’s music venues and its people

Check out Concordia students’ favourite music venues and their backstory!

From arenas to theatres, all the way to bar settings, Montreal is abundant in locations for artists to perform their latest projects. Montreal fans are one solid pack of passionate beings and always wish for their favourite artists to pass by when on tour. 

Compared to our neighbours in the States, Canada doesn’t see as many visits from artists. Nonetheless, Montreal has been a hub for music lovers and everyone can find their ideal cocoon to experience live music and its communities. Some locals—and in our case, Concordia students—shared with us their favourite and not-so-favourite venues when it comes to experiencing live shows.

Whether speaking to local Concordia students or international students, it was no surprise to hear how much people love attending concerts right here in Montreal. The biggest takeaway from these conversations was that the majority of folks prefer a smaller venue. 

Le Petit Campus is one of the city’s underrated locations—as many people I talked to expressed—despite its intimacy and great sound quality. This space is part of the larger Le Café Campus, which can turn into a bar,  nightclub, live show theatre, or even a workspace. 

Le Petit Campus is widely loved because it brings out a special and closer bond between the artist on stage and the crowd versus a huge arena like the Bell Centre. As Tourisme Montréal states, the multi-purpose arena “is a prime venue for entertainment and sports events” and can host over 21,000 fans. 

Place Bell, a venue open since 2017, also turns out to be a people’s favourite due to its ambiance giving the perfect blend of a large arena and theatre experience. People from outside Montreal—notably Laval—genuinely appreciate having a venue hosting bigger artists closer to them. Folks enjoy the larger community aspect of meeting others and hanging out after the show. 

A venue that is well-loved by most is the Corona Theatre, now called the Beanfield Theatre. Named after the Beanfield Metroconnect telecommunications company in Toronto, it recently became a partner of this performance hall this summer. Almost unchanged since 1912, the theatre’s excellent architecture has helped it gather a lot of popularity such as with its painting ceiling and red brocade curtains. This change and new partnership, according to Le Devoir, “demonstrates Beanfield’s commitment to the community and cultural landscape of Montreal.” The Corona Theatre neon sign will however stay in place and even be illuminated again! 


Visit The Concordian’s podcast to hear more of our interviews with students and to know more about their picks!

Categories
Arts Theatre

Théâtre du Nouveau Monde’s Abraham Lincoln va au théâtre makes a mockery of nuance

This 2010 play by Larry Tremblay is a combination of meta plot lines and comedy

The Théâtre du Nouveau Monde production debuted on March 14, and follows the story of two actors who went viral in a buddy cop series. They are hired by a cunning director who puts on a play about John Wilkes Booth, the infamous actor known for Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. 

The fictional director, renowned Marc Killman, expresses the idea that American entertainment has always revolved around violence and finding ways to control the people. 

As rehearsals roll on, the tortured genius gets lost in a plethora of nuances that he bears down upon his actors, eventually completely losing track of the play’s theme. 

Writer Larry Tremblay was inspired by what he calls “America’s schizophrenia,” or the political polarity in the United States: the extremely poor versus the extremely rich, Republican versus Democrat, North versus South. 

“If I had to redefine my play today, in the era of post-truth in which we dove in, I would only choose one pair of antonyms: truth versus lie,” states Tremblay in the playbill. “And, with great pleasure, I would call my play Donald Trump goes to the Capitol.”

The playwright heavily twisted the presentation of the original theme by bringing layers of meta-fiction and absurdity, sending the audience in different directions. Each line had the audience questioning the direction in which the story was going. At times, it was even tough for the characters themselves to understand Killman’s ideas. 

“It’s a show where the first time you read it you say to yourself, ‘Oh boy, what are we getting into?’ But that’s what’s the best part about theatre,” exclaimed Bruno Marcil, who played Marc Killman in TNM’s production of the play. 

“We broke our necks for two months trying to understand what we were going to play, how we were going to play, and how we are going to approach it, and sometimes there were ideas that at the beginning held up the whole time, suddenly we said, ‘No that’s not it.’” 

According to Marcil, the only script in his career that was tougher to understand was Les Hardings, a play inspired by the Lac-Mégantic disaster that follows three men, each named Thomas Harding, from around the world who are thrust into each other’s lives by the disaster.

Actor Didier Lucien, who makes a later appearance in the plot of Abraham Lincoln va au théâtre, explained that “[the] script is never portrayed the same from one day to the next. Yes we rehearse, but each character is completely different. Just when we thought we’ve understood it, we realize that we’re way out in left field, and we have to restart. We were like detectives for this script.”

According to Marcil, the team working on the play has fantastic chemistry, and it shows on stage. Luc Bourgeois and Mani Soleymanlou play protagonists Laurel and Hardy, and have been long-time friends.

“The four of us plus our director together were in stitches the whole time, but at the same time we can have fun and when it’s time to put our heads down we make things work.”

Director Catherine Vidal did a fabulous job turning this complex and dark subject into something understandable and intriguing for the audience. She was also able to bring humour and satire in at the perfect moments. 

“The atmosphere during rehearsals was absolutely joyous because of our designers, engineers, and actors. Together, we were able to get through this cathedral script,” said Vidal.

I was at the edge of my seat trying to guess how much further the play within the play would be twisted, and what the next turn would be. This play was captivating, and brought me to unexpected audible laughs. I highly recommend you see it before the closing day on April 8.

Categories
Arts Theatre

Manikanetish: What it means to belong

See the play at Jean-Duceppe Theatre from March 8 to April 8

Manikanetish is based on Naomi Fontaine’s novel by the same name. An author and teacher, Fontaine has published four books and translated various others. Manikanetish is her second novel, published in 2017, and her most recent work Shuni was published in 2019. 

This play is set in Uashat, a small Inuit community in Northern Quebec close to Sept-Îles. 

Most scenes are set in a high school classroom as the protagonist, Yammie, recalls her beginnings as a teacher to her son. 

Manikanetish discusses the author’s life as a teacher, while centering the voices of the children she teaches. Themes of death, resilience and belonging dominate. 

The resilience of these children is notably highlighted by the death of several of their relatives throughout the story. 

Fontaine plays a central role in the play, though her character is taken on by another actress. She acts as a parallel to herself, an omniscient character, of what she wished she had said. 

Though originally from Uashat, coming home to her community, Yammie finds that she is not accepted. She only speaks a bit of Innu, and admits not wanting to speak it because of her accent. She struggles with having left the community to study, and upon returning notices that the community has changed: she does not know anyone and is not trusted. 

This is notable in a scene where one student is disgusted that the teacher does not know why one of the students is struggling because their parent is dying. The community is so small and close that everyone knows everything about everyone, and Yammie at first does not fit into that space. 

Along the play, the director parallels the past and the present: what Yammie’s life could have been and what it is not. She voices spending her nights alone drinking wine, with a partner back in Quebec City, not making any time for herself. 

The first part of the play is conducted by her sadness and not understanding why her dream of being a teacher in Uashat is not what she thought. The second part focuses on the students’ strength facing the various hardships thrown at them. 

As the play goes on, she slowly constructs a relationship with her class as they start to understand her intentions. 

For instance, when Yammie shouts at a student for sleeping in class, Fontaine’s character mirrors her and talks to the student in an understanding tone, offering a more sympathetic response. This serves as representation of what she wished she had said in those difficult moments. 

The audience gets to know six characters, their perils and their passions, their difficult upbringing in a remote town far from access to healthcare, and surrounded by discrimination. For instance, one student with a child brings up the injustice of their lack of access to proper medical care, while another speaks about the few future prospects they have because of the racism they suffer in school. 

The play concludes with united voices saying “our voices are heard,” both defying the public to question their existence and showing the strength of their resilience.  

Categories
Arts

Le roman de monsieur de Molière at the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde: A review

Between modernism and traditionalism: the constant debate between Corneille and Molière

The theatre adaptation of Mikhaïl Boulgakov’s novel Le roman de monsieur de Molière by the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde comments on the playwright’s chaotic life, and paints a vivid picture of the anxieties of devoting one’s life to being an artist. 

The audience did not need to be an aficionado of Molière to understand the intricacies of the play. 

The newly-restored Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, following the fire that erupted in the building earlier this year, seated 800 people and was nearly full. Most of the audience seated in the orchestra seemed of retired age, while younger people sat in the balcony.  

Though Molière’s life has been profusely copied and reimagined, this performance is contrasted by the unique proximity between the author and Molière. 

The 20th-century Ukrainian author Mikhaïl Boulgakov, much like Molière, was an artist unrecognized for his genius. They were both censured and silenced for their prose, receiving recognition after their deaths. 

Boulgakov plays on this theme in his novel, as is also present throughout the play, standing on the sidelines observing his written work unravel in front of him. Boulgakov’s and Molière’s characters intertwine and untwine themselves to unite and individualize their realities. 

For instance, Boulgakov frequently uses the first-person singular when narrating the play, as if he was himself Molière. While the story unfolds, Boulgakov never leaves the stage: he stays still, as a spectator. 

The audience barely notices him, as his movements are often immobilized by his role as narrator. He uses asides when he notes something specific that cannot be translated into action. 

The two-hour play, without intermission, highlights the continual chaos that surrounded Molière’s life as he was exposed to the pitfalls of wanting to resemble the great Corneille in tragedy, while never receiving the appraisal he thought he merited. 

The show played between themes of modernity and tradition, the former being reflected by Molière and the latter by Corneille. Their rivalry occupied most scenes, and made for a constant battle for mastering words that were both dramatic and entertaining. They played on words taken from their works while inlaying humorous formations as a form of satire. 

Jean de La Fontaine, the 17th-century French poet, was represented as a medium between the two. His character spoke his lines comically, referring to his previous works quite humourisly.

Boulgakov narrated Molière’s life as he acted on stage. This gave the audience a deeper understanding of his inner thoughts. There were short representations taken from his other plays, namely L’écoles des femmes, L’Avare and Tartuffe. 

Molière and his company L’Illustre Thêatre would often play out scenes that foreshadowed the well-known plays that would then be created. For example, when Molière was sick, and his wife Armande responded that no doctor would come to see him because of his work, the audience understood that Le médecin malgré lui had been written. 

The audience could understand the chronology of the story and Molière’s rising fame through costume changes. The dresses of the comedians became fancier and more intricate, and the vest Molière wore went from simple black to polished silver — a symbol of his rising social standing as a comedian who was being acknowledged. 

The first scene mirrors the last, as a bath is used for Molière’s birth and death. 
The show will go on tour across the province beginning Jan. 18.

Categories
Arts

An ethical lesson for audiences in Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes 

From Nov. 3-27, the Centaur Theatre Company presents an award-winning comedy on teacher-student relations from alternate perspectives 

Hannah Moskovitch’s fantastic piece is about writing professor Jon Macklem (played by Marcel Jeannin), freshly separated from his wife. He develops a relationship with his 19-year-old student Annie (played by Inès Defossé), who also happens to be his neighbour from across the street. Aware and reluctant of his wrongful actions, the protagonist slowly succumbs to his temptations. 

The audience watches as the professor internally struggles with the morality of his actions all while narrating in the third person with an ironic dry tone. “ The audience is a bit more forgiving, and you get into his story at the beginning,” said Jeannin. “A little bit like Walter White, where you’re sort of on board with him, because he knows what he’s doing is wrong. He has the choices, but you always see him making the wrong move, but regretting it.”

It wasn’t hard, however, for the actor to portray a hateable yet torn anti-hero. “You never want to judge a character, as an actor,” said Jeannin. “The audience can do it. What’s this guy’s job? He’s there to tell the story, and the playwright made him conscious that what he was doing was wrong.”

Jon Macklem, for Jeannin, was interesting yet challenging. His interest for the character was sparked immediately when the script was handed to him. “At one point I thought it was too one-sided against him,” said the actor.  “I was a little scared: I wasn’t sure. I was given the first draft. I read it and it was not perfect. I said there was something here, and I was curious to see the following one.” 

Guided by the brilliance of director Eda Holmes, the physicality and movement in the piece was accentuated by her vision, which was guided by her dance formation in ballet. The play itself was not especially designed for dance and movement, but there were many clown-esque moments between the characters, punchlines delivered through physicality, in which Jeannin did a fantastic job. At times, the movement took the form of a ballad between the two, bringing metaphor into their sensuality.

As a public entertainer and artist, Jeannin was careful to analyze the ethics of the new play, which premiered in 2020. He did so to make sure that participating in a play with such a heavy subject and controversial angle was not in fact distasteful, and upsetting to audiences. “When they gave it to me, I read it. I gave it to a thirty-year-old woman and said ‘what do you think?’ She said it was funny.”

“The play weighs it so that you sympathize with the guy to a point,” added the actor. “But in the end, what he does is wrong.” The play is fitting for all audiences who could be interested in watching a play on dark subject matter interpreted in a tasteful comedic manner, riveting and engaging from beginning to end. All in all, Sexual Misconduct of the Middle Classes is a great production, and a fresh point of view on such a hot topic amid the #metoo movement. 

It’s from his point of view but from her point of view. If the audience isn’t on board with him at the beginning, then there’s no place to go.

You never want to judge a character, as an actor. The audience can do it. What’s this guy’s job? He’s there to tell the story. The playwright made him conscious that what he was doing was wrong.

When they gave it to me, I read it, and I gave it to a thirty year old woman, and said what do you think, and she said it was funny.

The play weighs it so that you sympathise with the guy to a point. But in the end, what he does is wrong.

He falls in love with her, is it genuine love, or is it infatuation?

At one point I thought it was too one-sided against him. I was a little scared: I wasn’t sure. I was given an earlier draft, the first. I read it and it was not perfect. I said there was something here, and I was curious to see the following draft. and  then I got the following draft and I was a little taken aback because in the first draft, she was a little more experienced.

 In this draft they’d taken away all the experience. It was the right decision because from my perspective, i go, you’ve totally weighed it against him. Its not ambiguous. The director says yes but the play is from her point of view. The writer got rid of the stuff that made it ambiguous.

It’s  a  very good play, I love it the more I work on it.

Nothing special, the only thing i did that i don’t usually do is i got off book early. Usually I learn my lines in rehearsal. This time we only had four weeks. That’s the only thing I did differently to prepare. Otherwise, nothing. I made sure I understood every moment, and that every time there was contact that I was initiating it. 

It’s a big one to unpack, you tend to think what the character’s writing, or what he speaks about, is autofiction. The play is autofiction. He put everything in the third person, he did autofiction. and that at the end of the play you find out it’s not even his play, it’s her autofiction, her perspective of his perspective. He’s in somebody else’s autofiction. 

The toughest moment for me to play is the moment in the bar when he walks away from her because I’ve been in some positions where I can kind of understand. There’s a lot of him that I can understand. 

Me: I go: schmuck, listen to her. He’s at a level of selfishness that he makes about him, which is why he walks away from her. Again, me, my self preservation would go: listen to her. It’s a heavy lift for me.

A lot of clown in this. Quick shifts, barrelling, the specifically clown bits were the bandage scene: that’s pure clown.

Categories
Arts

Art event roundup: spring edition

By Ashley Fish-Robertson & Véronique Morin 

Here are nine noteworthy events that are worth keeping on your radar!

With the end of another school year approaching and the onset of warmer weather, more people will be flocking to the city’s cultural venues. As The Concordian wraps up their last print issue of the school year, our arts editor and assistant arts editor share nine events to kick off springtime.   

Photo by Catherine Reynolds

Infographic by Simon Pouliot

Categories
Arts

Art Event Roundup: March

By Ashley Fish-Robertson & Veronique Morin

Spend some time this month treating yourself to a variety of exhibitions, performances, and more  

There’s perhaps no better way to usher in spring than with some visits to Montreal’s cultural venues. This month offers events that will especially appeal to the Concordia community. 

Film: 

  • FASA’s Black Cinema Club will be presenting movie screenings for four weeks as part of their Black History Semester programming. The first screening will be of Ganja and Hess, and will take place on March 16 at 6 p.m. Location: 1515 Saint-Catherine St W, EV 1.615.

Exhibitions:

  • The MAI will be presenting Nayla Dabaji’s latest exhibition titled documentaire en dérive from March 16 until April 16. Dabaji’s work centres on themes of migration, temporality, and more. Location: 3680 Jeanne-Mance St., suite 103.  

 

  • A gallery tour and discussion of Manidoowegin with artist Maria Hupfield will take place from March 17 to 19 as part of Concordia’s Conversations in Contemporary Art. Location: 5455 De Gaspé Ave. in room 110. 

 

  • Nicolas Party’s latest exhibition Mauve Twilight is on display at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts until Oct. 16. This exhibition highlights Party’s signature whimsical style, offering over 100 works painted in saturated colours. Tickets can be purchased through the MMFA’s website

Dance: 

  • Agora will be presenting NIGHTLIGHT, a virtual dance show by George Stamos from March 11 to 20. Tickets can be purchased through the venue’s website

Workshops: 

  • Concordia’s Wellness Ambassadors and the Department of Creative Art Therapies will be virtually presenting The “art” of self-care series. Students will be afforded the opportunity to hop on Zoom and create art in a welcoming virtual environment. This event takes place every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. until April 12. The link for this series can be found on Concordia’s webpage

Theatre: 

  • RAGE – ORESTEIA REVISITED, written by Aeschylus, is a collage performance with an ensemble of Concordia students that will explore rage and revenge. This event will take place from March 16 to 19 at the D.B. Clarke Theatre. Location: 1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.

 

Visuals courtesy James Fay

Categories
Arts

Art events roundup: fifth wave edition

By Véronique Morin & Ashley Fish-Robertson

This month’s roundup offers options for both virtual and in-person events

With Quebec’s everchanging COVID-19 restrictions due to the current surge in Omicron cases, many of the city’s art events have either been postponed or have transitioned to a virtual format. Here are several events taking place this month, both in-person and online.

Virtual events

Theatre:

  •  Manuel de la vie sauvage: Theatre piece inspired by the reality of young entrepreneurs. The work is based on the novel of the same name by Jean-Philippe Baril Guérard. Available through Duceppe Theatre’s website until March 30.
  • L’amour est un dumpling: Theatre creation by Mathieu Quesnel and Nathalie Doummar that features reflections on life goals and ambitions. Available through Duceppe Theatre’s website until March 30.

Film:

  • Festival Plein(s) Écran(s): Online film festival presenting four or more different short films every day on their website until Jan. 22.
  • C.R.A.Z.Y. (new restored edition): The cult film by Jean-Marc Vallée is available to rent on Cinéma Public’s website. While the theatre is closed, their website features a small selection of films available to watch from home for a small fee.
  • The Lonely Battle of Thomas Reid: Cinema Politica also has a selection of films to watch from home, like this film from filmmaker Feargal Ward.

Other:

  • Saturday Salon: The Centaur Theatre Company will host an online conversation with the artists behind Talking Treaties: Tiohtià:ke as part of their Artistic Diversity Discussion. The event is accessible through their Facebook or YouTube page on Jan. 22 at 2 p.m.
  • Writers Read – Joy Priest: A reading, conversation and audience Q&A with the author of Horsepower. On Jan. 19 at 10:30 a.m.

In-person exhibitions:

    • Terror Contagion: The MAC’s current exhibition based on the research of the Forensic Architecture group. Located at 1 Place Ville Marie until April 18.
    • Situated Gazes: Conceptual art group exhibition at Centre des arts actuels Skol. Located at 372 Sainte-Catherine St. W until Feb. 19.
    • soothsay: Exhibition featuring sculptures by artist Gabi Dao and paintings by geetha thurairajah at Centre Clark. Located at 5455 de Gaspé Ave. until  Feb. 12.
    • We move, just shifting: Concordia graduate Brandon Brookbank presents this photo exhibition at Centre Clark. Presented until Feb. 12.
    • Alambics: Art Mȗr will be presenting the work of Ginette Legaré. This exhibition will explore the past lives of everyday objects and consider their potential when repurposed as art materials. Located at 5826 St-Hubert St. from Jan. 15 to Feb. 26.

 

Graphic by James Fay

 

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Arts

Holiday art events roundup

Treat yourself to a well-deserved break as you soak up some of Montreal’s most noteworthy events

What better way to spend the holiday break than to explore some of Montreal’s unique art happenings? Our Arts Editor and Assistant Arts Editor have compiled a list of current and upcoming events that are sure to appease the senses and, hopefully, get you into a festive mood.

Film:

  • Sisters with Transistors : A film about electronic music’s pioneers, presented by Cinéma Public in collaboration with Suoni Per Il Popolo. Located at 505 Jean-Talon St. E on Nov. 26 and 28, as well as Dec. 1 and 4.

Exhibitions: 

Theatre:

  • Awards : Theater piece mixing music and text from Collectif Tôle. 1345 Lalonde Ave. from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.
  • Je suis un produit : A play from the Simoniaques Théâtre company. Located at 4559 Papineau Ave. from Nov. 23 to Dec. 18.
    • Antioche : Online theatre piece by Talisman Theatre. From Dec. 13 to 19.
  • Jonathan: A Seagull Parable: Surreal theatre piece directed by Jon Lachlan Stewart. Located at the Fred-Barry Hall of the Denise-Pelletier Theatre (4353 Saint-Catherine St. E) from Nov. 23 to Dec.11.

Dance:

  • Confessions Publiques : Solo performance by Angélique Willkie for the MAYDAY dance company. Located at 3700 Saint-Dominique St., from Nov. 29 to Dec. 4.
  • What Will Come : Dance performance by Julia B. Laperrière and Sébastien Provencher. Located at 1435 De Bleury St. from Dec. 2 to 5.
  • Pomegranate: Solo performance by Heather Mah. Located at 3680 Jeanne-Mance from Dec. 2 to 4.
  • Babel 7.16 : Online multidisciplinary performance choreographed by Belgian artists Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Damien Jalet. From Dec. 8 to Dec. 19.

 

Visual courtesy of James Fay

 

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