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

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

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

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

Collage of a graph, lung drawing, portrait with flowers for a head

SZEPTY/WHISPERS: DIALOGUE

Through the voices of various artists, this web-based experience explores the relationship between mental health, language, and lineage. Many awareness campaigns urge us to “break the silence”. But the question of whether – or how – to speak is complicated. Mental health discourses are shaped by particular histories, which reverberate in the present. By juxtaposing multiple perspectives, Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue aims to expand the possibilities for how we communicate about madness, trauma, and neurodivergence. The content is offered in the form of audio files, transcripts, and ASL videos.

The process for Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue began when artist Veronique West invited seven collaborators to make audio recordings in response to open-ended questions about mental health, language and lineage. The collaborators were: mia susan amir, Kagan Goh, Maya Jones, Constantin Lozitsky, Jivesh Parasram, Kendra Place, and Manuel Axel Strain. A digital platform was developed to host the recordings, through collaboration between the Cultch Digital Storytelling Team, Sound Designer David Mesiha, Inclusive Designer JD Derbyshire, Dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty, Deaf Interpreter Ladan Sahraei, Production Coordinator Brian Postalian and Veronique West. Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue was first presented at the 2021 rEvolver Festival.

Consultants: Amy Amantea, June Fukumura, Simran Gill, and MariFer Rios.

For a full list of the Szepty/Whispers: Dialogue team’s biographies, please follow the link below:

CREATIVE TEAM BIOGRAPHIES
Keywords: 2SLGBTQIA+ | BIPOC Experience | Community | Disability | Family

COLLABORATOR ARTISTS TALK
Recording available online Oct 28 – Nov 7

Accessibility

For Artist Talk:
ASL and Closed Captions

For work in exhibition:
ASL, Transcripts, Audio Playback

Content Warnings

Brief references to colonization, war, genocide, child abuse, suicide, and psychiatric hospitalization. Detailed description of ableism, depression, mania, trauma, and a parent’s incarceration. The content does not play automatically and can be paused or skipped.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Digital Platform Realization by: The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team

Developed at Playwrights Theatre Centre as part of the Associates program.

The project has also been supported by:
Upintheair Theatre’s rEvolver Festival
The National Theatre School of Canada’s Art Apart initiative

The parallel in-person performance has been supported by:
the Canada Council for the Arts
the BC Arts Council
the Province of British Columbia
Playwrights Theatre Centre
Rumble Theatre
Progress Lab 1422
Chimerik似不像 Collective
Boca del Lupo and Rice & Beans Theatre’s DBLSPK series
Mentorship with Boca del Lupo’s Artistic Director Sherry J. Yoon
Universal Limited’s Horizontal Help program
The Arts Club Theatre Company’s LEAP Playwriting Intensive

The Cultch Digital Storytelling Team would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts

UNBREAKABLE

UNBREAKABLE

Woman in red in front of wall of graffiti

UNBREAKABLE
Amplify Collective

Amplify Collective loudly and proudly presents the performance experience
UNBREAKABLE.

People in positions of power and their systems of oppression exert intense pressure on historically oppressed individuals and communities. Still we rise! We will not crumble in the face of this Intergenerational Trauma. Instead we continuously challenge racism, sexism, poverty and injustice. United we push back against these oppressive systems, the patriarchy and inequity. The strength that exists within our communities and the weight of injustice is woven within this performance through the use of symbols, body movement, music, distressed textiles and elaborate, wearable sculptures. Individually we endure, but collectively we are UNBREAKABLE.

Together we continue to heal!

Performances by Kayla Ross-Jackson, Caitlin Marzali, KJ McKnight, Matt Eldracher, Sebastian Marzali, Chy Ryan Spain, Scarlet Black, Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, Aryana Malekzadeh, Jaz Fairy J & more!

CREDITS
Curation & Costuming: Allie Amplify
Lighting Designer: Sebastian Marzali
Set Assistant: Jack Comerford
Makeup: Elene Seepe
Hair: Dmitry Komendant

Amplify Collective is a Toronto-based wearable art, performance and advocacy company. They create one-of-a-kind wearable art pieces, as well as host community classes and live experiences. Founder Allie Amplify has an extensive background in fashion, marketing and events. Her designs have lit up the stages of Fashion Art Toronto, the MMVA’s, PRIDE, the ROM and more!

Amplify Collective is a community of individuals with lived mental health and addiction experiences. Despite these challenges they have prevailed and hope to share a message of resilience and growth.

Turn up the volume with Amplify!

 

Keywords: 2SLGBTQIA+ | Activism | BIPOC Experience | Community

OPENING NIGHT & RECEPTION
Reception + The Meaning of Empathy (with panel) + UNBREAKABLE
Starting at 5 PM at CAMH Auditorium

IN PERSON PERFORMANCE
Thurs, Oct 28, 9:30 PM
CAMH Auditorium, 1025 Queen St W

VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE
The recorded live streamed performance is available to view in the In(site) virtual exhibition:

Content Warnings

Loud sounds
Nudity

CO-PRESENTER
The Dance Current Logo
"Performance on opening night."

Neuroelastic

Neuroelastic

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

Headshot of a person facing the camera with vividly colored stretchy paper strips wrapped around their head.

Creator: Laura Shintani / A/V: Grant Padley

Neuroelastic is a self-activated artistic performance. Taking a cue from the well-known concept of Dr. Norman Doidge’s neuroplasticity, it is inspiring that the mind can adapt in new ways. The artist imagined an idea; by wrapping oneself in streams of coloured synaptic “bandages” this symbolic act can allow thoughts and feelings to show on the outside. Using photography as documentation, a capture of the moment reveals what is hidden. This artwork of self-permission reflects on not only the unseen being seen, but that it can be changed. This collection of images I hope can read as a zany family album of the mind. Neuroelastic is an interior selfie and an invitation to an altered way of being.

Laura Shintani is a Toronto-based multimedia artist who creates work in order to provoke questions in artistic forms. Shintani represents a hybrid of work, art making, study and teaching. She is interested in seeing people embrace the cycle of creativity: playing, problem solving and reflecting. Raised in small-town Ontario, Shintani later studied fashion design at Ryerson University and received a degree from the University of Toronto. After personal discovery she made art a vocation and earned a Master of Fine Art from the University of Windsor. Shintani’s most significant exhibition was at the Royal Ontario Museum in 2019.

This artist has interactive materials which will be provided in the RWM swag bag in order to interact with their virtual content. All ticket holders will be invited to receive RWM swag bags available for free curbside pickup during festival hours.

Images of the Neuroelastic installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all ticket purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

Due to Renovations

Due to Renovations

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A photograph of a bottom half of a mannikin with a roll of silver duct tape on top of it against a concrete block wall. A piece of pink duct tape on the wall overlaps a piece of silver duct tape, with the two pieces forming an X shape.

Creator: Van Lisa

Due to Renovations is an installation piece focusing on a transmasculine experience of Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Through several casting techniques, the artist captured their transitioning body at different stages of their HRT. These casts are suspended and framed within a construction zone containing other artifacts from the artist’s transition, including: a video montage of their gender identity experimentation, medical supplies and reports from their HRT and notated anatomy blueprints. Themes explored within the work include westernized concepts of gender expression; gender and body dysphoria; body modification and drag. Due to Renovations is an autobiographical paradox: it attempts to preserve a transition for both the spectator and the artist.

Van Lisa is a multidisciplinary artist with a focus on performance. As an AFAB (assigned female at birth) transgender individual, their work aims to conceptualize and challenge westernized ideologies of the transmasculine experience. Van works in Tkaronto as a performer and curator and is a part of the curatorial collective for both the 2020 and 2021 Rhubarb Festival’s at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

CONTENT WARNINGS

Nudity, Mature Language, Sexual Content

Images of the Due to Renovations installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

Van Lisa will be participating in the virtual panel discussion Resistant Bodies: The Intersections of Self and Health on October 21, at 1 PM. Click here to book a ticket.

Mad Fairy Tales

Mad Fairy Tales

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A backlit circular paper cut image with a series of imaginative scenes involving a sea voyage.

Creator: Kristine White

This project is a series of fairy tales reinterpreted from a queer perspective and illustrated through shadow projections. It is a re-reading of well known folk and fairy tales that have undertones of queerness, mental health and sexuality that have been intentionally or otherwise suppressed in the versions we know. The form of the installations are large light boxes which project an intricate paper-cut tableau of images relating to the story. The folk style of papercut art is a powerful contrast to the sometimes morbid, raunchy and eerie subtext which these stories contain– themes which the illustrations will be heavily focused on.

Kristine White is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily in the realms of puppetry, installation and performance. Kristine’s work is often driven by explorations of myth, folklore and symbology, creating visual metaphors that often result in immersive and site-specific installations and performances.

CONTENT WARNINGS

Nudity, Violence, Sexual Content, Rape and/or Sexual Assault

 

To purchase pieces from the Mad Fairy Tales series, please contact paulina_wiszowata@workmanarts.com for more info.

Images of the Mad Fairy Tales installation in Re:Building Resilience:

Photos by Henry Chang

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

ACCESSIBILITY

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 10AM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.

COMMUNITY PARTNER

ALSO OF INTEREST

Apocalypse In Your Bedroom

Apocalypse In Your Bedroom

THIS PROJECT IS PART OF THE RE:BUILDING RESILIENCE EXHIBITION.

A photo collage depicting a person, positioned on their back, hanging off the bed in a darkened room. One of their hands points to flaming words “the Apocalypse in Your Bedroom” above them.

Creator: James Knott

This film adaptation of the award-winning, self-mythologized facade of a rock show incorporates life-sized video projection, original music, gestural choreography and on-the-go stage props to coalesce into a black-box style theatrical spectacle meets dirty diary, exploring the elusive and dichotomous nature of queer identity. With a reliance on the grimy mustard-coloured lights and sequins of 70s glam rock aesthetics, the protagonist travels the mental collapse of a dark night of the soul, searching for purpose in a world that doesn’t care to be purposeful. Themes include rejection, broken promises, wishes on a star, deals with the devil and packing up to leave with no intention of return… leaving behind the ghost of glitter’s past.

James Knott is an emerging, Toronto-based artist, having received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Integrated Media from OCAD University. Their performance-based practice combines theatre, video and audio art to create immersive and emotionally resonant experiences for the viewer. Explored themes include: paradoxical and queer identity, inner dialogue, mental illness and camp theatrics. Currently their practice looks to house personal narratives and queer experience through poetic re-tellings, self-mythologizing, and auto-iconographic aestheticism.

CONTENT WARNINGS

Strobe Light, Loud Sounds, Nudity, Sexual Content, Self-Harm

JOIN THE CONVERSATION: Q&A with James Knott

James Knott will be participating in a virtual Q&A moderated by Francisco-Fernando Granados on Saturday, October 17, at 7 PM.

JAMES
KNOTT
ARTIST
FRANCISCO-FERNANDO
GRANADOS
MODERATOR

Please Note: There is one virtual ticket available for the entire Re:Building Resilience Exhibition. Whether you’d like to see one project or all of them, you only need to book one ticket to access everything. The exhibition runs October 15-25, and all purchasers will be sent a link to view the virtual content. Any ticket bought prior to October 15 will receive a follow up email on the 15th with the link.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION
Online Q&A on ZOOM
  • Sat, Oct 17, 7PM
ACCESSIBILITY

ASL Interpreted, Open Captions, Active Listener

An Active Listener will be available Sat, Oct 17 from 7-9pm to support this program.
Your active listener for this program is Christeen.
You can connect with Christeen by phone (talk or text) at (289) 779-4114 or by email at christeen.salik@gmail.com.

Self-Care Kits are available for free curbside pickup to ticket holders. Kits can be picked up from 651 Dufferin Street between the hours of 12PM-9PM, October 15-25. If pickup is not an accessible option for you, contact justina_zatzman@workmanarts.com for accommodation.