25th anniversary New Ideas Festival opens next week!

Hard to believe, but it’s been 25 years since Molly Thom and Kerri MacDonald started a festival at Alumnae Theatre, intending to provide a safe place for writers to try out new scripts, directors to spread their wings in new ways, and actors to originate roles.  Since that time, NIF has grown and expanded, but retains the original mandate that the plays presented must not have been previously staged, except in a workshop situation.  So audiences are seeing a whole lineup of world premieres each time!  There’s a different lineup of short plays each week, and a staged reading (+ Talkback) on Saturdays at noon.  Each play in the weekly program (Wednesday – Sunday) receives 6 performances, and the readings have one each.

New Ideas 2013This year, 114 scripts were received from all over Canada, as well as the U.S. and were evaluated by a 9-member reading committee consisting of directors, writers and actors.  The scripts were read “blind” by the committee, who did not learn the writers’ identities until the plays were selected.

To mark the Festival’s 25 anniversary, two favourites from previous years are being remounted with their original directors: Revelation by Shirley Barrie, directed by Molly Thom (2001) is the opener and My Red Feather Boa by Flora Stohr-Danziger, directed by Nancy Bradshaw (2004) closes the Festival.  In between are 13 world premieres (ranging in length from 12 – 60 minutes), an exciting mix of themes and subjects that include love in many guises, loss and grief, rivalry in the theatre, and a visit to Hades with Penelope and Odysseus.

New this year:  tickets for the weekly program (both evening and matinee performances) are now available for online purchase!  Go to www.alumnaetheatre.com/tickets.html, click on the arrow-shaped TICKETS button, and have your credit card ready.  Phone reservations still accepted at 416-364-4170, box 1.  Bring cash to the Box Office when you arrive – no credit or debit cards!  No reservations are taken for the Saturday staged readings – tickets are PWYC and can only be purchased in-person with cash at the Box Office on the day of the performance.

A special 25th anniversary celebration will be held on Sunday March 10 at 12:30 pm in the Alumnae Theatre lobby. Former NIF participants are encouraged to book tickets for the Week One Sunday matinee performance and to join NIF 2013 directors/participants and the two founders, both of whom are directing plays in Week One.

Here’s the full lineup:

WEEK ONE:  Wednesday March 6 – Sunday March 10 (8pm Wed – Sat; Sat. & Sun matinées 2:30pm)

Staged Reading: Saturday March 9 at noon. Talkbacks after Saturday reading and matinee.

 Revelation  by Shirley Barrie / directed by Molly Thom
Still Waters  by Suzanne Gauthier / directed by Stacy Halloran
Say the Words  by Tina McCulloch / directed by Kimberley Radmacher
Stalled  by Eugenie Carabatsos / directed by Kerri MacDonald
(Total running time with intermission: approx. 1 hr 45 mins)

          Saturday Staged Reading, March 9 only:

Falling  by Jamie Johnson / Directed by Ed Rosing

(approx. 60 minutes + Talkback)

WEEK TWO:  Wednesday March 13 – Sunday March 17 (8pm Wed – Sat; Sat. & Sun matinées 2:30pm)

Staged Reading: Saturday March 16 at noon. Talkbacks after Saturday reading and matinee.

 The Deepest Trench  by Chloë Whitehorn / directed by Justen Bennett
Two Actresses  by R. J. Downes, /directed by Pam Redfern*
Over the Edge  by Catherine Frid / directed by Pomme Corvellec
Pieces of Penelope  by Gina Femia /directed by Janet Kish

(Total running time with intermission: approx. 1-1/2 hrs)
Saturday Staged Reading, March 16 only:

Lullaby for the Abandoned  by Rain Chan, dramaturged by Shaista Latif; directed by Brenda Darling                                      (approx. 60 minutes + Talkback)

* courtesy of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

WEEK THREE: Wednesday March 20- Saturday March 24 (8pm Wed – Sat; Sat. & Sun matinées 2:30pm)

Staged Reading: Saturday March 23 at noon. Talkbacks after Saturday reading and matinee.

 Dead French Philosophers and What We Mean When We Talk About Love  by James Papoutsis / directed by Yevgeniya Falkovich
My Friend’s Best Friend’s Boyfriend  by Wesley J. Colford / directed by Joanne Williams
Eglinton  by Anthony MacMahon / directed by David Suszek
My Red Feather Boa  by Flora Stohr-Danziger / directed by Nancy Bradshaw

(Total running time with intermission: approx. 1 hr 45 mins)

          Saturday Staged Reading, March 23 only:

Everything but the Cat… by Adrianna Prosser / directed by Steph Ouaknine
(approx. 60 minutes + Talkback)

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Filed under 2012/13 Season, New Ideas Festival 2013

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