This Week in Theatre: The Script Tease Project, Hamlet, The Toronto Festival of Clowns, InspiraTO, Bring It On
This week in theatre rounds up the most noteworthy live theatre playing right now in Toronto. It includes just-opened shows as well as productions that are about to close.
The Script Tease Project / Theatre Passe Muraille / Various Times / $15-20
The National Theatre of the World continues to offer exciting and unique collaborations. Following the success of their inaugural Script Tease Project in 2011, the group is back with a staggering lineup of Canadian playwrights: Maja Ardal, Ins Choi, Sky Gilbert, Michael Healey, Karen Hines, Lee MacDougall, John Murrell, Adam Pettle, Anusree Roy, and Scott Thompson. Each evening, a playwright pens a "tease" of a new play (two pages) and seals them in an envelope. The improvisers will open one envelope, read the two pages, and improvise the rest of the show. High stakes, to say the least.
Hamlet / National Ballet - Four Seasons Centre / 7:30pm/ 2:00pm / $25-$100+
Building on the success of last year's Shakespeare triumph Romeo and Juliet, the National Ballet presents Hamlet through dance. With all its madness and revenge, the Bard's seminal play should translate well to the stage. Choreographed by Kevin O'Day, and with an original score by composer John King, the role of the Danish prince is alternated each night by Principal Dancers Guillaume Côté and Piotr Stanczyk. The North American premiere runs until June 10.
The Toronto Festival of Clowns / Scotiabank Studio Theatre / Various Times / $10
If you harbour a fear of Bozo and his friends, you might want to avoid the Scotiabank Studio Theatre, the site of the Toronto Festival of Clowns. If, however, you appreciate their naivety and exploration, the festival features a number of accomplished artists of the genre: David Craig, Eric Davis, Dean Gilmour, Sue Morrison, Guiseppe Condello, Fiona Griffiths, and John Turner. Fringe favourites Morro and Jasp also get in on the fun with an end of the world celebration of mourning and mayhem.
InspiraTO Festival / Alumnae Theatre / Various Times / $12
For something that appeals to our channel-changing psychology, the InspiraTO Festival features a collection of ten-minute plays with over 80 participating theatre artists. Each evening, six plays are presented with no intermission and quick set changes between each play. For those of you who like your theatre quick and dirty, the InspiraTO Festival might be the way to see a diverse selection of plays without having to fill your week.
Bring It On: The Musical / Ed Mirvish Theatre / 8:00pm/2:00pm / $25-$100+
Bring It On has a number of things going for it that help elevate it beyond the fray of cotton-candy musicals. Glee-inspired though it may be, surprise bursts of comedy from characters outside the traditional mould paired with impressive acrobatics, help balance the more-than-lacklustre elements of the musical. It's your last week to catch this musical before it backflips its way to NYC. Check out our full review.
Photo from National Theatre of the World by Mary Truong