The last production of Alumnae Theatre Company’s 2015/16 season, August: Osage County, winds up its run tomorrow. And already plans are underway for the 2016/17 season: the scripts have been selected for FireWorks series in November, and now it’s time for directors to apply! Deadline is April 27 – read on.
FireWorks, born in 2013, is Alumnae Theatre Company’s annual festival of new full-length plays which were developed at Alumnae – either through the company’s New Play Development group of playwrights (the NPD) or having received dramaturgy in Alumnae’s New Ideas Festival. FireWorks is a collaborative process where playwrights and directors work in partnership throughout the design, audition, and rehearsal stages.
Deadline for director submissions: April 27, 2016
Director interviews: May 16, 18, 19
Auditions: September 6-10, 2016
FireWorks 2016 production dates: November 9 – 27, 2016
Interested directors – please send your resume and a note of which play or plays you wish to apply for to:
fireworksATC@gmail.com with subject line FW16 call for directors. Those selected for interviews will be provided with the link to the scripts and asked to prepare a detailed proposal.
There are 3 plays in this year’s lineup – here are the details:
The Creases in My Sari by Sindhuri Nandhakumar
Mahesh and her mother Rani are Tamil refugees who have been living in Toronto since Mahesh was a child – she has no memory of Sri Lanka, is thoroughly westernized. She meets Chanaka, a Sinhalese post-doc student, here to complete his studies. They fall in love, plan to marry despite the conflict between Tamils and Sinhalese in their native land. Praveen, a Tamil, is a lifelong friend of Mahesh – she regards him as a brother.
None of these young people is political – initially. But Praveen becomes increasingly radicalized as the increasing violence in Sri Lanka affects them all. Rani learns of Chanaka’s military family, and it would appear the marriage is impossible. But Rani has her own story of guilt and lost love. Praveen, by now committed to violence, goes to Sri Lanka on a mission, where his fate is unknown. Mahesh and Chanaka recognize the dire implications of the extremism around them, and that their love is too important to them to give up.
A moving, often funny tale, full of vivid, nuanced characters with a timely, powerful story. The immigrant experience of the Sri Lankan in Toronto, in all its variety and contradictions – “What’s the real capital of Sri Lanka? Scarborough” – is explored with humour and sensitivity. An earlier version of this play was presented as a staged reading in New Ideas Festival 2015.
Characters: 3m, 2f, all Sri Lankan. Multiple settings
Inked Heart by D.J. Sylvis
Everybody has secrets.
Ed’s a gifted tattoo artist who runs a successful parlour. He also has aspirations of being a successful painter, and is busy preparing for an upcoming show in a local gallery. He puts on a brave face and tells no one that his marriage is disintegrating.
Josie, his smart-mouth goth-girl apprentice, has dreams of her own: to be a tattoo artist in her own right. But Ed limits her to looking after the shop and the equipment, rarely lets her wield the needle, and refuses to give her a tattoo himself. Their relationship is spiky – it only emerges slowly how much they care about each other.
Bette, a customer whom Josie calls “hippie grandma”, has her own agenda. Turns out she is a grandma – Josie’s – and after hanging around the parlour on the pretext of acquiring an elaborate tattoo, Bette finally comes clean to Josie, hoping thereby to reconnect with her alienated daughter, Josie’s mother. The gallery curator, Angela, is deeply invested in the success of Ed’s show. She bolsters his confidence and offers sympathy and support as his marriage crumbles, all the while battling her own demons. And then there’s Guy, the drunken frat boy who’s won a tattoo on a bet. He lurches and stumbles through the events that surround him, with little understanding of what’s going on, and no interest in anything outside himself.
Snappy dialogue, irresistibly engaging characters, a plot full of surprises, slapstick humour, and some surprising insights into the complexities of human nature – and the art of the tattoo. An earlier (and shorter) version of this play – then titled An Inked Heart – was presented in New Ideas Festival 2010.
Characters: 2m, 3f. One major set – the tattoo parlour. One minor set – the art gallery
Motherland by Kristine Greenaway
Davit (late 20s) is a young Armenian, striving to make a living in his economically depressed country. Genuinely talented as a musician, he earns a precarious living with a string of small jobs – radio jingle-writer, voice-over artist, singer-songwriter, usher. He lives with his mother, Ana, and he longs for financial independence, and freedom to be a man.
Ana (50s) his mother, is charming, witty, intelligent. She is also terrified of being left alone. Though she was once a librarian, she lost her job some time ago and has never taken another one. Now she never leaves the apartment. The relationship with her son is close, teasing, affectionate. But when he finds love and the prospect of making it on his own, she becomes increasingly desperate to keep him with her.
Line (early 20s) is an extremely competent project manager at a film bureau. Colourful, free-spirited and ambitious, she is impressed by Davit’s talent, and wants to manage his career as an actor-musician. She’s working for a renowned German film director who would almost certainly cast Davit. The future looks bright – romantically and professionally. The problem is that he’d have to leave Armenia.
The battle lines are drawn: Ana vs. Line for Davit. The battlefield: the cramped apartment that Ana and Davit share. Ana knows his vulnerabilities and plays on them skillfully, invoking history, tradition, Line’s sketchy past, her own desperate fear, and of course, guilt. The action reaches a climax that is both horrific and inevitable.
Arman (25) is Line’s friend, who allows them to use his apartment to be together. He’s gay, perceptive, sardonic. Also observing the action is Haroun, an aspiring television producer and Davit’s confidant.
A powerful story, with vivid, complex characters against a background of struggle between tradition and progress. Full of music, traditional and contemporary. This play was developed through Alumnae Theatre Company’s NPD group.
Characters: 3m, 2f. Set: Ana’s apartment, and a space where Davit works and plays – offices, bars, etc.