Undercurrents 2017 (February 8-18, 2017) enters its second week following a successful opening weekend of sell out shows and big crowds. As part of Undercurrents mandate to foster local and new talent, the festival is hosting a number of free events including scripted readings of new work, panel discussions on the local theatre industry, and talkback session where show’s creators engage with audiences. Details of these events are below.
Speaking with Festival Director Pat Gauthier over email, he told me that the talkbacks have been well attended, as was last Friday’s panel discussion (which also went live on Facebook, details below).
For the scripted readings (New Play Tuesday, February 14, 2017), Gauthier says, “We’re presenting excerpts from four works-in-progress. It’s an opportunity for playwrights to hear their work in front of an audience and for audiences to get a look into the creative process. It’s an informal atmosphere – just actors reading from behind music stands – and the lack of production elements allows the focus to be on the text. Each reading will be followed by a short Q&A with the playwright.”
7:00-9:00pm at Arts Court Studio
Scripted readings provide the creators of new work the opportunity to stage their work with actors, reading from scripts. A short discussion follows each reading, making the event an audience opportunity for an exclusive look into the early stages of a work in progress.
“In the future, we live underground. The Earth’s surface is uninhabitable due to a massive catastrophe. Most survivors are infertile. Only a select group of “Potentials” can reproduce. One man and one woman have three days to mate. As they grow closer and dangerous secrets are revealed, they struggle to hold onto their humanity as the last of their kind…”
“A follow up to Monstrous with multiple characters, Griot!/Obruni is the newest work from interdisciplinary creator Sarah Waisvisz. The play is being supported by the GCTC through a Playwright Residency funded by the OAC.”
“Shorelines takes place in a not too distant future, where sea levels have risen to critical. Entire shorelines are being redefined as levees and containments breach. Crumbling cities are abandoned by the rich, leaving only the disenfranchised behind. In one of these dying cities, friends Alix, Shay and Evan find refuge in an abandoned swimming pool. With nothing else to lose, they decide to make someone pay for what happened to the world, holding Portia, a government official, hostage.”
The Assassination of King Hamlet I
by Curtis Gough
“The Assassination of King Hamlet I by Curtis Gough chronicles King Hamlet I’s tyrannical rise to power and his duel against Fortinbras as his brother, Lord Claudius, struggles with a treacherous plot against him. What is fair in Love and War? The script, now in its tenth iteration after a 2 year dramaturgical process with Kathryn Prince and several UOttawa students, is written in Elizabethan English and Shakespearean Verse and would like to pay tribute to the Bard’s famous style and greatest work.”
February 10 & 17
5:00-7:00pm at Arts Court Studio
Held in the Arts Court Studio, the 5 à 7 panels followed by discussions that focus on the local theatre industry and scene.
Ottawa Theatre So White: a discussion about art, inclusivity, and privilege
Moderator: Mahalia Golnosh Tahririha
“Ottawa is a culturally vibrant and diverse city – but the makeup of our population is rarely mirrored on local stages. How can we make Ottawa’s theatre spaces more inclusive? What steps can we take to create positive change for underrepresented communities? It’s time to stop talking about inclusivity and to start being inclusive. A discussion aimed at creating better allies.”
Note that this event was in the past, but can be viewed on Facebook live.
Death of the Critic: how the changing media landscape affects independent artists
Moderator: Chris Hannay
“Ottawa currently has no paid, professional theatre critics, and local arts coverage has been dwindling. But reviews are only one part of the equation. In this world of shrinking media, how do we get attention? And what role do we have in developing new critical voices?”
Arts Court Theatre
(note: these are free, after the show, see below for show ticket information)
The talkbalk sessions are a feature for Undercurrents (2017) shows that are staged in the Arts Court Theatre, where the show’s creators appear after one performance to respond to audiences.
Upcoming talkbacks are scheduled for:
(Adapted from a Ray Bradbury story, about parents whose baby son has been born into a different dimension.)
Saturday , February 18 after the 1:00pm performance
An exploration of the culture and participants of the annual Burning Man gathering held in the Nevada desert.
Saturday February 18after the 3:00pm performance.