Radar: New Ideas Festival, Authors at Harbourfront Centre, the Trailer Park Boys at Massey Hall, Locked on Shuffle, Operating in the Obama Movement

THEATRE | New Ideas Festival
An exciting festival opens in the city today (no, not that one). Since 1989, the New Ideas Festival has been bringing audiences new and experimental theatre works while assuring a high standard of quality through its juried format. Presented by the non-profit Alumnae Theatre, the fest runs in three four-day installments over the next three weeks with 18 different scripts being showcased. Running the gamut from tragic to comic, short to long, week one features Join the Club by Suzanne Courtney and Leora Courtney-Wolfman, An Inked Heart by DJ Sylvis, A Different Place by Carol Libman, and Ashes to Ashes by MP Fedunkiw. On Saturday, the festival presents a staged reading of Norman Yeung's Theory.
Alumnae Theatre Company, 70 Berkeley St., Wednesday - Saturday $15, Festival Pass $35, Saturday reading PYWC, Wednesday - Saturday 8 pm, Saturday matinee 2:30 pm, Saturday reading 12 pm

BOOKS AND LIT | Authors at Harbourfront Centre: Horacio Castenellos Moya, Drew Hayden Taylor, Patrick Taylor
The trio of authors appearing at the Harbourfront Centre tonight come from very different backgrounds. Horacio Castenellos Moya grew up in El Salvador, a country plagued by civil strife. Now living in exile in Pittsburgh, his latest novel Dance with Snakes returns to his homeland and tells the story of a nation trying to rebuild after decades of war. Drew Hayden Taylor hails from the Curve Lake First Nations, and while he's written nearly 20 documentaries exploring the Native experience, Motorcycles and Sweetgrass is his first novel. Patrick Taylor is the Northern Irish author of the immensely popular Irish Country Doctor series, and returns with another story of a blissfully quaint Irish village in the 1920s with his latest work An Irish Country Girl. The three join in a discussion tonight with Toronto Star book columnist James Grainger.
Lakeside Terrace York Quay, 235 Queens Quay West, $8, 7:30 pm

COMEDY | The Trailer Park Boys at Massey Hall
It's a long way from a trailer park in Dartmouth to the hallowed space of Massey Hall, but tonight Canada's most beloved mobile home denizens come to town to (dis)grace the stage at Toronto's most venerable venue. Seven seasons and two feature films into their Trailer Park Boys career, Bubbles, Ricky and Julian are staying pat on a shtick that has proven to have remarkable longevity, proving yet again there will always be an appetite in this country for redneck humour about liquor and drugs. Their Drunk, High and Unemployed Tour is currently taking the boys across the country, and follows a similar narrative arc as their screen work. Get rich quick schemes, plenty of drinking, and presumably shirtless fat men. A winning formula if I've ever heard one.
Massey Hall, 78 Victoria St., $49.50 - $59.50, 8 pm

DANCE | Locked on Shuffle
Presented by the Valence Dance Theatre, Locked on Shuffle is an evening of dance that attempts to capture the ethos of the iPod age. These days anyone with an internet connection and a cellular phone is bombarded by a steady stream of cultural messages and we are constantly exposed to new music, new fashion and new ideas. Using comedic and indie dance styles, the students of George Brown Dance will express the excitement and sense of freedom of living in a state of never-ending stimulation.
Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester St., $20 general admission, $15 students, 7:30 pm

LECTURE | Operating in the Obama Movement: Challenges for Progressives
Bill Fletcher Jr. knows a little something about activism in the United States. He cut his teeth leading activist groups at his Massachusetts high school in the 1970s, shutting down the entire school when the national guard shot and killed students at Kent State. From there he went to Harvard, where he helped desegregate the Boston building trades. A leader of several powerful unions over the years, Fletcher is also the most recent president of the TransAfrica Forum, a non-profit group advocating for policies in favour of the peoples of Africa and the Caribbean. Fletcher comes to Ryerson tonight to discuss effective activism in the age of Obama, and give some insights on the embattled president's successes and failures in his first year in office.
Ted Rogers School of Management, Cara Commons 7th Floor, 55 Dundas St. W., Free, 7 pm

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Photo: "Untitled" by Medmoiselle T, member of the blogTO Flickr Pool.

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