CCA Theatre: Production
Ruth Goodwin: Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons
Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, Lemons, by Sam Steiner,is about a young couple, Bernadette and Oliver, who first meet through a friend and soon move in together. But just as they start getting to know each other, the government introduces a draconian hush law limiting the amount of words everyone can speak in a day, to just 140 words each. Under this drastic new rule Bernadette and Oliver work to maintain communication within the constraints of the law, but it soon becomes challenging to save their words for just each other. Ultimately they find they are powerless without words and the freedom to use them. It is a beautiful new play that shines a light on how we communicate. It also explores the aftermath of a huge absurdist political event that our characters debate will never really happen. They attend the occasional protest but ultimately they are shocked when the law is passed and stunned by how little they did to stop it. Outside Bernadette and Oliver’s apartment we see the tides of censorship and oppression grow stronger and more violent as people’s freedom of speech is taken away. It is an incredibly harrowing play that speaks strongly to the current political climate.
Rebecca Applebaum: Reality Theatre
Reality Theatre: Reality and fantasy blur for a woman playing a spoon in Beauty and the Beast. A man reconsiders a contract he signed in blood too many years ago, and the world wide web we now so wholly depend on disappears into thin air. A fast-moving collection of eight short, interwoven plays that explore our anxieties about change, the acceleration of technology, and maintaining human relationships in a world quickly becoming less human.
Wendy Lands: What The World Needs Now
What The World Needs Now (A Journey Of Love & Hope Through The Mad Men Era) is singer/actor Wendy Lands’ musical memoir. Pinned against the backdrop of a time in history – the mid-60s into the early 70s – one of the most pivotal eras of the 20th century, Lands combines revealing monologues, poems and scenes ¬both comical and poignant, with renditions of the soulful pop songs that blasted out of her little transistor radio, tuned to the AM dial – songs sung by Barbara, Dusty, Dionne and more – that made their way straight into her heart. What The World Needs Now is a personal yet universal production. It’s relevance could not be more timely as it reminds us of a time of great hope and possibility, making the audience feel – that even just for one night – all you really need… is love.
CCA Theatre: Development
Ronit Rubinstein: Bad. Bible. Bitches.
Biblical queens Vashti and Jezebel are pissed. As their stories have been told and retold through the millennia, they’ve been described as lascivious, stubborn, wicked, and power-hungry. But really, what did they do that was so bad? Refuse to parade around naked for the king’s drinking buddies? Take what was rightfully theirs, by birth? And look good while doing it? In Bad. Bible. Bitches., our two incisive and foul-mouthed heroines—reimagined here as modern-day reality TV stars—decide to set the record straight. They recount the events in the Book of Esther and I Kings as they remember them, with humour, strength, and righteous female rage; we’re left to consider who has been telling women’s stories, what power lies in the narrative, and what we owe the subjects of our myths.
Zoe Erwin-Longstaff: Pyramid-Shaped Marble Attachments
Pyramid-Shaped Marble Attachments is a satirical drama about gentrification, displacement, and the insidious connections between neoliberalism, academia, and the arts.
Sarena Parmar: Between
Chemistry (noun): mutually focusing on one another and spontaneously harmonizing and matching body language and internal states in a non-contrived, unconscious way. So what happens when actors manufacture the involuntary? In the spirit of a science experiment, Between dissects the creation of chemistry between romantic co-stars, proposing and executing different ways to stage intimacy. The play is part direct address, part fictional, part unscripted. Voyeuristic in nature. The audience watches two actors become deeply, emotionally-attuned to one another. But slowly the line between “Character” and “Actor” becomes unclear. The audience watches the actors navigate the confusion between reality of the body and fiction of the mind. Collectively, we bear witness to our compulsion for human connection. The actors play themselves. The experiment is real. Between is an intimate look at the involuntary nature of chemistry itself.
CCA Media Arts: Production
Annie Bradley Blowback
Dead set on getting ahead by any means necessary, Constable Jo Bellamy is making bad decisions nightly and is headed off the rails from trying to be one of the boys. Attempting to control all outcomes, she isolates herself physically and emotionally, which only fuels her reactive behaviour and building paranoia. When Tony Burke, a twisted fellow detective, refuses to let go of their sexual past, she humiliates him in front of their peers unaware of the deadly game she’s set in motion. But when Jo is lured to a deserted factory, she discovers that for every choice there is a price. Blowback is a suspense fuelled cautionary tale, which explores themes of female identity and fear filtered through the framework of an institution that still clings to a secretive and disturbing imbalance of power between men and women who are sworn to serve and protect.
Rachel Cairns: Mom and Me 2.0
The first season of Mom and Me met great success playing at festivals including New York and LA web fests’ where it was nominated for outstanding writing, ensemble cast and original song in a drama. After a massive breakup, Rachel moves home to collect herself and do some serious wound-licking. She knows she’ll feel smothered living under mom’s roof, but Rachel loves mom, and mom loves Rachel, and how else is Rachel supposed to figure out what she’s doing with her life? Anyway, it’s the perfect time for Rachel to be having launch failure. Mom’s post retirement existential angst has forced her to board the same rudderless boat as her daughter, so it looks like these woman are about to be the right place, right time for each other. Only how is mom supposed to get laid with her kid around? And how is Rachel gonna try out a lesbian relationship?
Sarah Slywchuk: The Music Upstairs
A woman surfaces from the debilitating day to day weight of her mental illness when her apartment is filled with music from the tenant upstairs. The Music Upstairs explores the quiet side of depression. By examining both the ostensibly inconsequential instances that can overwhelm and debilitate as well as the success of seemingly small victories it offers a glimpse into the everyday reality of living with mental illness.
CCA Media Arts: Development
Jillian Rees-Brown: Living Memory
In a weak attempt at reconciliation, all goes wrong when Demasduit is stolen from her people and left husband-less and child-less. She is presented to the Governor of Newfoundland in 1819, shortly before her people, the Beothuk, disappear forever. Her brief friendship with care-giver, Cassandra Jure, ensures the survival of some of Demasduit’s language and stories.
Camille Hollett-French: Her Story (In Three Parts)
Her Story (In Three Parts) is a three-part short film series exploring several cases of how sex and sexuality in our society relate to and affect women, no matter their levels of involvement. These very personal accounts are told from the less common perspective—the female one—in the most unscripted sense.
Part 1. The repetition of a destructive and uninspired relationship leaves room for a woman’s rock-hard defenses to crumble when she succumbs to the simple kindness of a male ER doctor during a post-abortion conversation.
Part 2. A mother of a six-year-old battles with her need to have her incarcerated father in her life, who’s doing time for attempting to have sex with a child, until she painfully cuts ties with him.
Part 3. During her routine walk home, a streetwise community mentor has her reality torn apart when she is raped in broad daylight only to be saved by her male friend.
Chala Hunter: Beaver
Beaver: I am in development with Claudia Dey to adapt her inaugural play, Beaver, into a full length feature screenplay. Beaver is an iconically Canadian, epic coming of age story set in Northern Ontario, featuring an incredible cast of female characters. The story is funny, heartbreaking, and searingly real. It follow’s Beatrice (Beaver) Jersey’s evolution into personhood, as she comes to terms with her mother’s suicide and her dysfunctional family history. The play tackles issues of womanhood, sexism, isolation, racism towards First Nations communities, alcoholism and suicide epidemics of the North (especially in First Nations peoples). It is singular in it’s intimate consideration of the small town Canadian experience, told uniquely from a female perspective.In November of 2016, with Claudia’s support and collaboration, I produced and acted in a sold out run of Beaver at Toronto’s Storefront Theatre, to great critical acclaim and rave reviews (https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/stage/2016/11/13/beavers-exploration-of-life-in-small-town-canada-still-hits-home-with-anticipated-urgency-review.html). I was approached by several women in the ﬁlm industry after the production, urging me to consider speaking to Claudia about the movie version of this powerful play. The female driven narrative resonated profoundly with the community. To begin this work, the ﬁrst step in this projects development will be conversations with Claudia towards adapting the script and crafting a team of ideal collaborators.