Running January 6 – 17, 2010 at the Factory Theatre
The Next Stage Theatre Festival is Toronto’s fastest rising industry showcase, receiving accolades from artists and audiences alike. We’re pleased to announce an exciting line-up of new and expanded stage productions to make winter in Toronto worthwhile.
Produced by The Toronto Fringe Festival, Next Stage was created to help develop outstanding work from North America’s best independent theatre artists beyond the summer festival structure. NSTF showcases productions that have been shown at Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals’ (CAFF) member Festivals, as well as new works by independent artists with a proven track record of excellent work.
For both artists and producers this juried festival has quickly become a springboard to theatrical success. In its first two years Next Stage Festival productions have been picked up for remounts by major theatre centers across Canada, received Dora Mavor Moore Award nods and even moved to off-Broadway runs.
THE 2010 LINEUP
Axis Mundi with “Icarus Redux”, written and directed by Sean O’Neill
Icarus Redux is a modern explosion of the classic myth. Tragic, provocative and darkly funny, the play tells the story of a man wrestling with despair over a life not lived, reaching out in darkness for a sense of hope and a connection with the son he’s lost. Presented by Axis Mundi (formerly Open Season Theatre), Icarus Redux was widely praised upon its premiere at the 2009 Toronto Fringe. Eye Weekly called the play “spectacular”, giving it **** and the cover of their Fringe Review Issue. Xtra called it “controversial and thought-provoking”, and TheGate.com called it “a must see”.
Chris Gibbs with “Like Father, Like Son? Sorry.”, by Chris Gibbs
Festival favourite Chris Gibbs (Gibberish, The Power of Ignorance, Antoine Feval) returns with a brand new show that asks all the important questions about becoming a father. Does father really have to know best? Dead pets, Santa Claus, dating tips – how much lying is enough? “Anyone who has witnessed the self-deprecating comedic stylings of Chris Gibbs will agree: he’s one of the funniest guys around.” (National Post), “Highly recommended!” ***** (Eye Weekly), “Outstanding Production” NNNN (NOW).
eastBOUNDtheatre with “The Making of St. Jerome”, written by Marie Beath Badian
Inspired by the 2004 fatal shooting of a Filipino-Canadian teenager by a plain-clothes police officer, The Making of St. Jerome is an exploration of guilt, grief, and brotherly love, set against the backdrop of a Coroner’s Inquest into the untimely death of a schoolboy. Multiple-award winning director, and newly minted Artistic Director of Cahoots Theatre Projects, Nina Lee Aquino takes the helm of this powerful and haunting piece written by fu-GEN Theatre’s 2008-2009 Playwright-in-Residence Marie Beath Badian.
GIG Productions with “Just East of Broadway”, by Nicholas Hune-Brown and Ben King
From the makers of “LOTR: The Musical: The Musical!” comes a stunning, very silly new production taking place in the People’s Republic of China – egos clash, cultures collide, the workers control the means of production, and everyone puts on a show. “Highly Recommended: (it) moves briskly with humour, heart, and catchy songs.” (Toronto Star), “Heart-warming and hilarious, Just East lands just right.” (NOW). Of Interest: As a journalist, Hune-Brown has had in-depth features published in Toronto Life, the Walrus, The Toronto Star, Guilt and Pleasure, Maisonneuve Magazine and others.
jsquared.theatre with “gas”, written and directed by Jason Maghanoy
A powerful, brutal and ultimately hopeful look at the young men and women asked to wage a vicious war. gas is a snapshot of five soldiers whose mission in Iraq is all about delivering gasoline: supplying it to other units, selling it to Iraqis and protecting it with their lives. Written and directed by National Theatre School Graduate Jason Maghanoy and featuring some of the best actors in the city of Toronto (including Cara Ricketts, Andrew Church and Kevin Walker), gas is “quite an achievement,” (Pierre Landry – CBC Montreal) and “a play that tells a specific story about one conflict that becomes a universal comment on the nature of war… Do not miss this show.” (Amy Barrett – Montreal Mirror).
Screwed & Clued with “Quite Frankly”, written by Justin Sage-Passant
Justin Sage-Passant is well known across western Canada for his multi-character one-man shows. “… I first started working on Quite Frankly (formerly Manners For Men)… to look at the state of masculinity in the modern world and what is considered ‘good’ male behavior”, explains Sage-Passant. Audiences and critics alike have praised the show for its moments of heartwarming comedy presented within the framework of a sincere, poignant and thought provoking narrative. “Pick of the Fringe” (Edmonton Journal), ‘Best of Fest” (Winnipeg Fringe), “Critic’s Pick” (NOW).
Seventh Stage Theatre Productions with “The Red Queen Effect”, by the ensemble
Part office drama, part grotesque cabaret, The Red Queen Effect peers through the corporate looking glass to examine what it takes to get ahead and what we are willing to do to get there. Directed by Kelly Straughan (CanStage, Factory Theatre, Tarragon Theatre) with script coordination by Rachel Blair (“Wake” 2008 Fringe New Play Contest Winner). The ensemble features composer Jonathan Monro (Stratford, CanStage, Broadway) and actors Aurora Browne (Comedy Inc., Corner Gas, Canadian Comedy Awards), Dmitry Chepovetsky (Dora & Jessie awards, Gemini noms), Monica Dottor (San Francisco Critic’s Circle & Mecca Awards, Dora Nominations), Ted Hallett (Second City National Touring Company), Melissa Jane Shaw (Off-Broadway Netherlander Ent, Theatre Guargantua, NBC’s “This Is Howie Do It”), Dylan Scott Smith (Edinburgh Fringe, BBC Radio 4, HBO).
Theatre Awakening with “BURIED”, by Tessa King
A mother dies, tensions surface, but the real secret remains buried. Rachel returns from Australia to dig deeper into the cause of her mother’s death, while her sister Anne begins to crack at the seams in this black comedy about family, death and our greatest fear: becoming our parents. BURIED was developed as part of Tarragon Theatre’s playwright unit and was dramaturged by Richard Rose and Andrea Romaldi. As with the first reading at Tarragon, Theatre Awakening’s Artistic Director Andrew Lamb will direct the piece. Of Interest: Lamb’s latest directing project “My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding” received critical acclaim at this year’s Toronto Fringe and will be presented by David Mirvish in November, 2009.