FESTIVAL PRE-LAUNCH EVENT

FESTIVAL PRE-LAUNCH EVENT

Marketing graphic with white squares and main text reads "Public Speaking Workshop". Two male presenting people stand on stage in front of TED X sign.
  • Saturday October 15, 2-5 PM

TD Commons Green Space, 945 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario

MALPENSANDO / 2022 / English / Canada / 120 minutes

These students impressed in their Level 1 Grad Show and are now back for more! Come and witness 6 weeks of hard work and dedication boiled down to one amazing comedy night! These students will speak from the heart and (hope to) make you laugh till you drop!

Originally from Costa Rica and Colombia, Stephan Dyer and Juan Cajiao are bilingual corporate leadership and communication trainers who also happen to be award-winning comedians and improv experts. 

Leaving their executive positions in the banking world in 2017 to pursue their professional careers in stand up comedy, they have successfully founded MalPensando, a bilingual (English, Spanish) comedy and public speaking school.

CREATIVE TEAM
Juan Cajiao
Stephan Dyer
This program was made possible by the generous support of The Slaight Family Foundation in partnership with North York Arts.
CONTENT WARNINGS
Loud sounds
Swearing / Mature language
Sexual Content
Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Community | Depression | LGBTQ2S+ | Racism
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion
COMMUNITY PARTNER

A Voice Through the Melt

A Voice Through the Melt

  • Wednesday November 2, 7 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Anda Zeng & Natalie Wee / 2022 / English / Canada / 15 minutes

A Voice Through The Melt, a multi-disciplinary piece incorporating spoken word and music, is a collaboration between musician Anda Zeng and writer Natalie Wee. In this performance piece spanning 11 to 12 minutes, the collaborating artists open new pathways for entering belonging, mental health, selfhood, and grief. 

Individually, Anda’s cinematic songwriting allows for an embodied engagement with feeling, whereas Natalie’s written words create a cerebral experience guided by the reader’s input. In this crossover collaboration, Anda’s voice and harp create a sonic resonance with excerpts from Natalie’s new poetry collection, Beast at Every Threshold, performed in spoken word style. This creative call and response not only allows audiences to engage the work in a new way but also explores new interdisciplinary possibilities.

Natalie Wee (she/her) is a queer creator whose work explores themes of race, gender, queerness and nationhood. She is deeply informed by grassroots communities. She has written two poetry collections: Our Bodies & Other Fine Machines (San Press, 2021) and Beast At Every Threshold (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022). Born in Singapore to Malaysian parents, Natalie is currently a settler in Tkaronto.

Learn more at natalieweewrites.com

Anda Zeng (she/her) writes cinematic night songs for the daydreamer. Her years of creating impressionistic blends of harp, piano, dreamy vocals, and visceral lyrics culminated in the release of her debut EP, Night Dress, produced by Jonathan Wu. At once soothing and wounding, Night Dress lures listeners through the small hours into dawn, through the thicket of our illusory selves into our vulnerable human core. Anda is also a vocalist, harpist, and songwriter for the band Tiger Balme.

www.andazeng.com

CREATIVE TEAM
Natalie Wee: Spoken Word Artist
Anda Zeng: Singer and Musician
Keywords: Anxiety | BIPOC experience | Community | Depression | Grief
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

The Suicide Key

The Suicide Key

Illustration of a close up of a skeleton key hole with a white line silouette with a feminine face. The background is white with snudges and droplets of ink.
Image Design: Gabriella Okuda
  • Wednesday November 2, 7:30 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Laura Piccinin / 2022 / English / Canada / 30 minutes

Asha and her best friend sit together in a tense familiarity and plan, in detail, the end of Asha’s life. She has suffered for decades, unable to be treated, despite truly valiant efforts to be well. Her best friend, conflicted between her belief in the right to die with dignity and her increasing desire to save a life, has become integral to carrying out the suicide plot. The Suicide Key infuses a sense of dark humour to comment on the absurdity of living with severe mental illness, and the complex and difficult decisions to be made surrounding life, death, and the pursuit of an acceptable happiness.

Laura Piccinin was born to tell stories. Whether as a dancer/aerialist with Tokyo Disney, a playwright and performer for the new Canadian musical Every Silver Lining or her solo shows LESBIHONEST and The Suicide Key, a teacher at the Toronto District School Board, or as a comédienne in Footloose with Just for Laughs, Laura’s unstoppable passion in life lies in telling people all sorts of eccentric stories — whether they want to hear them or not.

CREATIVE TEAM
Creator and Performer: Laura Piccinin
Dramaturg: Cass Van Wyck
CONTENT WARNINGS
Swearing / Mature language
Sexual Content
Suicide
Addiction
Subject matter: Medical assistance in dying (and the right to die with dignity).
Keywords: Alcoholism | Depression | LGBTQ2S+ | Trauma | Suicide
Talkback following performance.
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

The Flin Flon Cowboy Cabaret

The Flin Flon Cowboy Cabaret

  • Saturday October 29, 5 PM;
  • Tuesday November 1, 7 PM;
  • Thursday November 3, 7 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Flin Flon Cowboy Collective / 2022 / English / Canada / 60 minutes

The Flin Flon Cowboy is a new musical created and performed by Ken Harrower. This cabaret  presentation centres around Ken’s life, his mysterious origins in Flin Flon, Manitoba, his experiences as a child with a disability in the Winnipeg foster care system, and his adventures in Toronto searching for connections in the gay community while creating a life as an artist. The story touches on issues of consent, sexuality, queerness, mental health, addiction, forgiving others and one’s self, and moving forward with accountability. Ken shares his experience with addiction and mental health with honesty, integrity and grit. He does not shy away from the dark and difficulties that come with being a gay disabled person navigating this world.

Ken Harrower is an award-winning film and theatre actor. His recent work includes Boys in Chairs (Summerworks – Winner of the John Kaplan Spotlight Award) and What Dream it Was (Dora nomination – Outstanding Ensemble 2017). He starred in the short film Hole (Canadian Screen Award 2015) and Luk’ Luk’i (TIFF 2017 – Winner of Best Canadian First Feature). Ken graduated from The Toronto Film School and has collaborated with ARTS4ALL and Jumblies Theatre as an actor and choir member. Ken identifies as a member of the disabled community and the LGBTQ community, advocating for equal rights and freedoms for those communities.

CREATIVE TEAM
Created and Performed by Ken Harrower
Written by Ken Harrower and Erin Brandenburg
Music by Ken Harrower and Johnny Spence
Narrated by Xavier Lopez * appears courtesy of CAEA
Directed by Erin Brandenburg
Musical Direction by Johnny Spence
Dramaturgy by Debbie Patterson
Lighting Design by Echo Zhou
Set/Costume Design by Michelle Tracey
Additional Set Design Elements by Sonja Rainey
Sound Design by Johnny Spence
Stage Management by Nazerah Carlisle
Video Design by Kejd Kuqo
CONTENT WARNINGS
Swearing / Mature language
Violence
Sexual Content
Suicide
Keywords: Addiction | Disability | Depression | LGBT2S+ | Suicide
There will be a talkback following each performance.
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

DON’T LET ME FALL TOO FAR

DON’T LET ME FALL TOO FAR

  • Friday November 4, 8 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Rozalind MacPhail / 2022 / English / Canada / 60 minutes

A special live music and cinema event featuring Newfoundland’s award-winning performer Rozalind MacPhail. DON’T LET ME FALL TOO FAR tells a timeless story of self-discovery experienced by a young woman navigating her way through a vulnerable period in her life. 

MacPhail’s live music score features moody vocals, electrifying flute loops and driving electronics reminiscent of Pink Floyd, Mazzy Star and New Order.

Raven Blue’s film HOMELESS tells a timeless story of self-discovery experienced by a young woman navigating her way through a vulnerable period in her life. Haunting, lonely, dreamy and deeply honest. The film adapts the Indigenous tradition of the vision quest and explores themes of attachment, loss and longing. Filmed in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Newfoundland’s award-winning songwriter, looping flutologist and inspirational speaker explores new ways of combining image, inspiration and sound in audio-visual works that speak honestly of people, place and the human experience. A classically trained flutist, MacPhail layers moody vocals, electrifying flute loops, omnichord and driving electronics through her effects pedals and the digital audio workstation, Ableton Live. MacPhail has received multiple honours and awards, including an East Coast Music Award for Electronic Recording of the Year and MusicNL‘s Female Artist of the Year. She has recorded 12 albums, composed music for film and toured internationally over the last two decades.

CREATIVE TEAM
Live Performance by Rozalind MacPhail 
Film by Raven Blue
CONTENT WARNINGS
Strobe Lights
Keywords: Anxiety | Depression | Family | Homelessness | Youth
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion

PUBLIC SPEAKING THROUGH COMEDY

PUBLIC SPEAKING THROUGH COMEDY

Marketing graphic with white squares and main text reads "Public Speaking Workshop". Two male presenting people stand on stage in front of TED X sign.
  • Sunday October 30, 7 PM

Comedy Bar, 945 Bloor Street West
Toronto, Ontario

MALPENSANDO / 2022 / English / Canada / 120 minutes

These students impressed in their Level 1 Grad Show and are now back for more! Come and witness 6 weeks of hard work and dedication boiled down to one amazing comedy night! These students will speak from the heart and (hope to) make you laugh till you drop!

Originally from Costa Rica and Colombia, Stephan Dyer and Juan Cajiao are bilingual corporate leadership and communication trainers who also happen to be award-winning comedians and improv experts. 

Leaving their executive positions in the banking world in 2017 to pursue their professional careers in stand up comedy, they have successfully founded MalPensando, a bilingual (English, Spanish) comedy and public speaking school.

CREATIVE TEAM
Juan Cajiao
Stephan Dyer
This program was made possible by the generous support of The Slaight Family Foundation in partnership with North York Arts.
CONTENT WARNINGS
Loud sounds
Swearing / Mature language
Sexual Content
Keywords: BIPOC Experience | Community | Depression | LGBTQ2S+ | Racism
#RWMFest #MoreThanRebellion
COMMUNITY PARTNER

TRUE

TRUE

Support Image for True
  • October 29 - 30; November 1 - 2; November 4 -5 - 8 PM

CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen Street W
Toronto, Ontario

Rosa Laborde / 2021 / English / Canada

On the anniversary of their mother’s death, three sisters are hurtled back in time when their estranged father shows up with a note stating he has Alzheimer’s. Roy hasn’t seen his daughters Anita, Cece and Marie, in years and it’s a visit that is not entirely welcome. But the present Roy is quite unlike the father they remember. This Roy is affable, sensitive, funny, emotional and loving – in total contrast to the unpredictable, often drunk and abusive father of their memories. As they open to the possibility of having him in their lives they are continuously jarred by the sudden trips into the past they are forced into due to his neurological condition. Marie’s husband, Franco, a former professional musician and all-around dilettante, expounds particle theory while playing Mozart and posits the possibility that restructuring their fractured memories could alter the future from that point forward. What follows is a rapid-fire ride through past and present that illuminates the unreliable nature of memory and how the stories we hang onto define us until the moment we let them go. Inspired by King Lear, memory loss in an aging father, the cost of speaking one’s truth, the devastation addiction can wreak on a family, Ikebana flower arranging, piano prodigies and the multiverse theory known as Daughter Universes, the play explores the possibility that rewriting our memories can alter the past and ergo change the future. It is a playful, poignant and piercing look into the nature of memory.

 

Keywords: Addiction | Alcoholism | Depression | Family | Trauma
There will be a 15 minute Q&A with the cast following each performance.
COMMUNITY PARTNERS
Toronto Fringe Logo

Spring 2021 Virtual Open House

Spring 2021 Virtual Open House

A grid of images: top left - a choir top right - a group of portraits hanging on a wall; bottom left - a fashion show; bottom right - an audience member clapping.

GENRE: DANCE, INTERACTIVE, MEDIA ART, MUSICAL, PERFORMANCE ART, POETRY, SHORT FILM, THEATRE, VISUAL ART

TOPIC: COMMUNITY, EDUCATION, MUSIC

Put Friday, June 25 in your calendar – we’ll be doing an end of term virtual open house to showcase the work that Workman Artists have been doing throughout the spring term. If you’d like to see what we’ve been up to, click the RSVP button to register and receive the link to join. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Schedule

5:00-5:10 Land Acknowledgement/Welcome
5:10-5:15 Performance Art Salon
5:15-5:35 Improv
5:35-5:50 First Person Documentary
5:50-6:10 Find your Voice
6:10- 6:20 The Exploration & Expression of Body/Space
6:20- 6:30 Bruised Years Choir – performance by Julie Crann & Ethelrida Zabala-Laxa
6:30- 7:00 Reclaiming Our Mother Tongues & Write Out of Your Comfort Zone
7:00- 8:00 Self Stories Theatre

 

This event is FREE and everyone is welcome. We hope you can join us to enjoy this showcase from home – wherever that may be! In case the Zoom event reaches capacity, we will also live stream this event on the Workman Arts Facebook page.

We also have a virtual Gallery on Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/193283975@N06/galleries/72157719479293760/

  • June 25, 2021 5-8:45 PM

Event on Zoom

FREE

BROWSE CURRENT EVENTS

CHANNEL 2400

6 NOVEMBER 2021 - ONGOING

FILMLIVE PANEL/Q&A

Jo, Don't Go There

Jo, Don't Go There

a note from Oliver Jane, Creator of Jo Don’t Go There

Sometimes the “show must not go on” and that’s ok.

When I made the decision to not move forward with my piece Jo Don’t Go There in Rendezvous with Madness 2020, I was encouraged by my friend and contact at Workman Arts to write a short reflection for all of you in lieu of the show. Here you will find some rambling, musing, and reflecting. Thank you for taking a brief moment to reflect with me.

When I agreed to move forward with the project several months ago, I was excited by the challenge of transferring my live performance pieces to video web content. Unfortunately, I found that meeting the demands of a precarious/always changing pandemic environment made completing the project difficult. I am an artist that lives with chronic pain, Rheumatoid Arthritis, PTSD symptoms, and OCD symptoms. The greatest lesson I have learned from managing all of these is that I should not go beyond my limits. Unfortunately, working in solo-isolation and not having funding to adequately compensate others to do the much-needed-tasks to make this project show-ready was bringing me close to my limits.

Since I made the choice to pause the show, the phrase “the show must go on” has been echoing through my mind. Upon reflecting on the nagging presence of this phrase within my mind, I recall that I have, almost exclusively, operated within creative environments where that sentence is espoused. I have worked in so many creative environments where the expectation to see a show to its completion is demanded of artists, producers, and production teams: no matter the cost. My years training to be an artist and working professionally have been colored by watching many friends and colleagues sacrifice their physical and mental health to see work to its completion. For many years I have wondered if creative communities should let go of the phrase “the show much go on” and refrain from normalizing the practice of sacrificing physical and mental wellness amongst artists. What I have witnessed in theatre schools and amongst theatre makers has made me consciously attempt to avoid working myself beyond my limits so that I do not worsen my already-sometimes-very-challenging health.

So I say once again, to comfort myself and to encourage those who find themselves also facing projects, businesses, and plans that need to be put on pause, closed, or canceled as a result of the pandemic: “the show must not go on” and that’s ok.

I’d like to offer gratitude to the team who has assisted me during this process. Though the show will not be viewed in this festival, I am continuing the reflect on and develop the body of work I have made thus far. I feel I must offer my deep gratitude to all those who gave me their time and talents.

  • I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with my older brother, a very skilled video editor, who has been a cherished peer, mentor, and teacher (of art and life) for these last several months.
  • I am grateful to the handful of talented musician friends who were willing to do some work on this project for free, for very low fees, or for barter.
  • I am grateful to Workman Arts for supporting me as I adjusted the show to the changes brought about by the pandemic. This is my second experience working with Workman Arts, and I cannot emphasize enough how much I appreciate the work Kelly, Scott, Cara, Paulina, and the rest of the team working behind the scenes at Workman Arts do to make this really special festival happen. And during a pandemic, no less!
  • Finally, I am grateful for organizations like Workman Arts that are actively striving to foster greater diversity of representation within the Ontario and Toronto creative community. I hope you all will continue to support and patronize Workman Arts even after the festival has passed.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the festival, you remember to stay safe, you do what you can to support and aid the most vulnerable in our communities, you donate to groups and organizations that are trying to address the already existing racial and economic inequality within North America that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, and you all focus your energies on taking care of your immunity and your mental health while the world faces global crisis. I know I will!

I send love and gratitude to you all.

-Oliver Jane

goat(h)owl theatre / Lead Artist, Performer, Creator, Writer: Oliver Jane / Collaborator, Performer: Leah Pritchard / Collaborator, Performer: Jillian Rees-Brown / Video Collaborator, Editor: Jon Jorgensen

Enter the mind of Jo, a nonbinary trauma survivor, video artist and clown. Meet Jo’s consciousness embodied: their performative imaginary friend Oli Oli Ennui, a snarky clown who doesn’t take all this modern art stuff too seriously. If you know Jo’s personal story (hailing from NYC, navigating OCD and PTSD while occupying space in Toronto during the pandemic), do you know Jo? If you hear Oli sing punk-injected cabaret, do you know their soul? Experience Jo’s multimedia happening: a video series, music playlists, Instagram uploads, photo exhibition and a live installation performance at 651 Dufferin Street. This collection of fragments resonates in permanent refrain: Do you know me now?

Founded by Maria Wodzinska and Oliver Jane in 2017, goat(h)owl generates collaboratively devised experiences. Grounded in the body, at the core of every piece is a question. We take flight through our investigation of the thematic territory, of our position to the question, and of our will-to-know. We attempt to affirm the unknowable with proposals — playing in-front-of/with/around an audience. We want to shake up sedimented modalities of meaning and truth-telling with our moving ensemble. We point the eye to the kaleidoscope of forms created. Do we invite the audience to make meaning? Yes. Do we make meaning? Come and see.

CONTENT WARNINGS

Loud Sounds, Mature Language, Nudity, Rape and/or Sexual Violence, Sexual Content, Suicide

Too Close For Comfort - Creating an Environment of Care in the Theatre

Too Close For Comfort - Creating an Environment of Care in the Theatre

THIS MASTER CLASS IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

GENRE: THEATRE

Theatre artists make and see theatre to challenge and be challenged, to share and listen, to ask and be asked questions that might not be asked elsewhere. We sometimes tell stories that might be difficult for others to hear. We can hit a nerve, touch a deep wound, or flick a switch that triggers old memories, reactions or feelings. 

So how do we take care of our audiences when we offer sensitive material? How do we take care of the performers who reach deep into their souls and put them on stage, show after show? How do we ensure everyone else on our team is ok? And whose responsibility is it?

Playwright, actor, producer and instructor Lorene Stanwick shares some strategies and ideas to navigate these sometimes-murky waters using Broken Branches, her play that explores the issue of sibling abuse, as a guide.

LORENE
STANWICK
  • Sat, Oct 17, 12:00pm
Accessibility

ASL Interpreted, Open Captions, Active Listener

An Active Listener will be available Sat, Oct 17 from 12-2pm to support this program.
Your active listener for this program is Amanda.
You can connect with Amanda by phone (talk or text) at (647) 696-0893 or by email at amanda.virtualdesk@gmail.com.

ALSO OF INTEREST