Montreal, December 9, 2016 – For its 20th anniversary, Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival, running from January 5 to 15, 2017, presents one of its most eclectic line-ups for the “hottest two weeks in winter”! Seven stimulating shows packed with humanity, humour and music, explore themes of female, cultural, and sexual identity, family relationships, journalistic responsibility, the search for authenticity and marginalization.
Centaur’s Artistic and Executive Director, Roy Surette said, “For my final co-curation of Wildside, along with friend and colleague, Johanna Nutter, I am so proud of this year’s selections. Given recent events south of the border, this couldn’t be a more opportune time to present a series of exciting new works that focus on inclusion and understanding of ‘the other’. We have artists with Japanese and Serbian roots, emerging and established artists, and—a treat and a real first for us—an original play performed by students with developmental challenges. Some productions are based in real events provoking complex questions and further discussion while other stories are incredibly personal, speaking to the universal desire for love and acceptance while we seek to discover our unique individuality and reach for our dreams.”
At about 10pm, as soon as the lights fade after the last show on Jan. 5, 6, 7, 12 and 13th, Offside revs up in the Ted T. Katz Family Trust Gallery. The live entertainment mash-up features a musical tribute to Madonna (Jan. 6th) and an homage to Montreal’s recently departed son, Leonard Cohen (Jan. 13th), as well as dynamo Maxine Segalowitz, Kendall Savage and fellow clown mates, the not-to-be-missed puppet karaoke and more. All five evenings are pass-the-hat and open to the general public, no ticket stub required for admission.
Regular single tickets to a Wildside show are $16 each or $13 for season subscribers, students, under 30s and seniors. With so many great shows to choose from, audiences are encouraged to save with the 4-Show Superpass, available at the regular price of $50, or $40 for season subscribers, students, under 30s and seniors. Group rates are also available!
WILDSIDE FESTIVAL 2017 LINEUP
A Perfect Picture
Presented by 32-Hour Theatre Company (Montreal)
Written and performed by Laurent McCuaig-Pitre
Directed and dramaturged by Ed Roy
A young playwright and performer straddling both the French and English acting communities, Laurent McCuaig-Pitre reprises his award winning show (Concordia’s Kit Brennan Playwriting Award), A Perfect Picture, inspired by the short life of war photographer, Kevin Carter, and the effects his Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph of a starving Sudanese child had on his psyche.
Presented by House of Laureen (Montreal)
Created by House of Laureen & Lead Writer Tessa J. Brown
Directed by Mathieu Flageole
Featuring Anaconda Lasabrosa, Connie Lingua, Dot Dot Dot, Noah Gahd,
Uma Gahd, and a different surprise guest at every show.
For the uninitiated theatre groupie curious to know what happens backstage, Montreal drag troupe House of Laureen’s Backdoor Queens provides a peephole into the reality of drag, performance and social politics. The resident drag artists of the famous Quartier des spectacles Café Cléopâtre expose their insecurities, uncertainties and even share some of their make-up secrets. Dishing the dirt has never been so entertaining.
Empire of the Son
Presented by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre (Vancouver)
Written and performed by Tetsuro Shigematsu
Produced by VACT – Artistic Producer Donna Yamamoto
Directed by Richard Wolfe
Former Centaur usher and CBC Radio host, Tetsuro Shigematsu, wrote and performs Empire of the Son, the story of two generations of broadcasters and the radio silence between them. Inspired by a series of audio interviews he conducted with his emotionally distant father towards the end of his life, Tetsuro takes audiences on a funny and emotional journey into the parent/child relationship, adeptly playing multiple roles in this award-winning sensation that is sweeping the nation.
Presented by Smith and Somers (Ottawa)
Created and performed by Kate Smith and Will Somers
Kate Smith and Will Somers draw on their own acting experiences in the realm of Theatre for Young Audiences for this comical children’s show for adults. As HOOTENANNY!, the famed Australian children’s entertainers who have been touring the world for the past decade, the duo is now on the final leg, but only one of them knows it. Behind the bright smiles and clever, catchy tunes lurks a darker and more hilarious message about becoming an adult and making difficult choices. Contains mature content.
Outta Here: An Original Musical
Presented by Summit School Performing Arts (Montreal)
Created and directed by Jesse Heffring and Dara Murphy
Featuring David Bregman, Zoë Fellahi, Ali Abu Hamdi, Cassandra Mac Isaac,
Ryan McElligott, Dellon Paterson, Stephanie Torriani and the Summit School Players.
Trey hates going to a school for youth with developmental disabilities so he decides to ditch a fieldtrip and four of his fellow students follow along. Will this be an epic adventure or a total disaster? One for the whole family!
“When we saw this original musical last May, we didn’t hesitate to program it for Wildside”, said Roy Surette. Co-creator and director, Jesse Heffring added that, “These are young people who don’t get the opportunity to play in the ‘big game’, or win awards or achieve academically. For them this performance is their winning touchdown, their homerun, their standing ovation. The excitement on the students’ faces and the pride in the hearts of their parents is overwhelming.” Johanna Nutter calls the show a master class in authenticity.
Winner of Centaur Theatre’s Best of the 2016 Fringe Festival
Presented by Yarn Productions (Montreal)
Written and performed by Nisha Coleman
Directed by Jeff Gandell
In this shining example of riveting storytelling, Nisha Coleman asks the question, “Is it better to be loved for who you are not, than to be rejected for who you are?” Nisha transports the audience from a swamp in Northern Ontario through her own key life events, ending up in the streets of Paris. Self-Exile is a humorous and compelling exploration of alienation, mental health, and identity; a celebration of our complicated selves and what it really means to “be yourself.”
Conceived and performed by Tina Milo (Montreal)
Dramaturged and directed by Dijana Milošević
Set and video design by Neša Paripović
Music by Tina Milo
A seasoned professional on the European circuit, Tina Milo, who recently relocated to Montreal, presents The Village, her powerful one-woman show, which premiered at Vancouver’s Fire Hall Arts Centre last February and has since toured to India, Denmark, Montenegro, Serbia, and Ottawa. Tina’s Serbian heritage infuses this darkly humorous account of an actress auditioning for the role of a depressed woman, bravely venturing into the emotional abyss we all find ourselves in at one point or another. It’s a unique blend of physical theatre, live music, and film, exploring the often confining roles that women adopt but which frequently threaten their true hopes and dreams.