Event: Off Bathurst Theatre District Marathon, Factory Theatre, Tarragon Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille


Factory Theatre, Tarragon Theatre and Theatre Passe Muraille, three of the country’s leading contemporary Canadian theatres in Toronto, have partnered with the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts (TAPA), to present their third Off Bathurst Theatre Marathon, this time on Saturday, October 22, 2011.  The three plays are Those Who Can’t Do… , playing at 2 p.m. at Theatre Passe Muraille, HARDSELL at 4 p.m. at Factory Theatre and In the Other Room or the vibrator play, at 8 p.m.at Tarragon Theatre. The $95 ticket includes the three plays, 6 p.m. dinner at Diverso by Ferraro 502 and transportation between the theatres. Special rates are available for subscribers to participating theatres, and a non-dinner option is also available. To reserve tickets, purchase at T.O. TIX – Toronto’s Official One-Stop Ticket Shop in person in Yonge-Dundas Square, or by phone at 416-596-8220, Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Online orders can be made at http://www.totix.ca.

Up first in the marathon, at 2 p.m., is Theatre Passe Muraille’s Those Who Can’t Do… by Erin Fleck and directed by Shari Hollett. “Shame. That’s what haunts high school Ancient Civilizations, and delegated health teacher, Lilian Campbell. Both her own and that of her students.  Lilian finds herself smack dab in the middle of a high school sex scandal involving her grade 9 girls and the majority of the senior hockey team. In order to battle the humiliation and sexual shame forced upon the girls, she must first battle her own.” Those Who Can’t Do… plays October 6 – 29, at Theatre Passe Muraille, 16 Ryerson Avenue. (http://www.passemuraille.on.ca/category/fall-2011/those-who-cant-do/).

Factory Theatre’s offering at 4 p.m. is Rick Miller’s HARDSELL, a bold new reworking and adaptation of the 2009 play of the same name (co-created with Daniel Brooks). HARDSELL is about ‘The SELL’ and ‘The CELL’ and how we seem to have evolved into these ‘cells that sell’ in order to survive. Playing mirror images of myself – righteous Rick and cynical Arnie – I try to face inconvenient truths about my complicity in the brutal world of the HARDSELL,” says Miller, “a world without boundaries where everything and everyone is a commodity for sale.” This compelling ‘performance/lecture’ boldly examines the commodification of everything, and the lies inherent in advertising. Factory Theatre is located at 125 Bathurst Street. (http://www.factorytheatre.ca/concrete/concrete/index.php/season-and-subscription/hardsell/).

After completing the first half of the October 22 Marathon, participants may enjoy a prix fixe dinner menu at 6 p.m., Diverso by Ferraro 502, at 328 Dupont Street, at Spadina Avenue. (http://www.diversobyferraro.com/).

The third and final play in the marathon is at 8 p.m. at Tarragon Theatre, 30 Bridgman Avenue. Written by Sarah Ruhl and directed by Richard Rose, In the Next Room or the vibrator play is set at the dawn of electricity: “Dr. Givings has developed a newfangled device—the Chattanooga vibrator—to bring relief to his overwrought patients suffering from symptoms of hysteria. His wife, Mrs. Givings, becomes fascinated with the strange sounds coming from her husband’s operating theatre. She is determined to experience this new instrument for herself; but can this new technology solve the age-old problems of love? In the Next Room or the vibrator play is a stylish comedy examining love, longing and our need for connection.” In the Next Room or the vibrator play is a Canadian premiere, playing September 13 – 23. (http://www.tarragontheatre.com/season/1112/in-the-next-room/).

For further information, see http://offbathurst.ca; follow the Marathon participants on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Off-Bathurst-Theatre-District/208176162542639.

Ticket Prices, at a glance:
$ 95 Marathon registration – includes all three plays plus dinner
$ 75 Marathon registration – available to subscribers at one of the Off Bathurst District theatres
$ 55 Marathon registration – available to subscribers at two of the participating theatres
$ 70 Marathon opt-out-of-dinner registration – includes all three plays but not dinner

SCHEDULE, at a glance:
2 p.m. Those Who Can’t Do… – Theatre Passe Muraille
4 p.m. HARDSELL – Factory Theatre
6 p.m. Dinner – Diverso by Ferraro 502 (value: $25 per person, coffee, tax and tip included)
8 p.m. In the Next Room or the vibrator play – Tarragon Theatre

The Off Bathurst Theatre District is supported with funding by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and was unveiled in November 2010 with a series of 65 banners, featuring three key theatres located east of Bathurst Street: Tarragon Theatre, Theatre Passe Muraille and Factory Theatre. Designed to increase awareness and encourage Torontonians and tourists to go see theatre, the Off Bathurst Theatre District uses banners to specifically promote these three local theatres with the tagline “There’s a theatre in the neighbourhood.”

Previous Theatre Marathons were on November 13, 2010 and April 16, 2011.