The State of Theatre inToronto

Monica Dottor is an actor, dancer and choreographer living in Toronto. She is a founding member/co-artistic director of Company Blonde. She recently Choreographed a new musical called The Review written by Adam Pettle , Allana Harkin & Jonathan Monro for the SummerWorks Festival and spent a week in Deep River with Company Blonde for Dusk Dances 2006.

Back in April 2006, Monica enjoyed another successful run of Chekhov's Shorts (Theatre Smith-Gilmour) in Taipei, Taiwan, after having toured the show from Toronto to Montreal, Edmonton, Vancouver, various cities in Ontario and all the way to Hong Kong, China! Monica will be performing in a remount of The Overcoat at CanStage and touring it across Canada and she will be traveling to Russia to perform Chekhov's Shorts at the Chekhov International Theatre Festival in Moscow.

JG - What is your opinion on the current state of theatre in Toronto?

MD - Unfortunately, I still think we are suffering from the aftermath of the SARS scare in terms of audience and tourism but I truly believe that there is a great deal of potential for this to change considering how many fantastic pieces of theatre are being created/staged in the city of Toronto.

JG - What needs to be improved upon?

MD - I think we can improve on this by trying to promote our theatre scene more and by generating a buzz about live theatre and dance - about how exciting it is to experience it and how important it is culturally and socially.
We also need more funding for the arts.

JG - Where do you see yourself in all this?

MD - I feel really proud to be working with several companies creating new and exciting theatre pieces including Theatre Smith-Gilmour (Chekhov's Shorts & Chekhov's Heartache), CanStage (The Overcoat, Theatre Gargantua and my own company, Company Blonde. I am always in some sort of creation process, whether it be creating my own work or with another company, which makes me feel actively connected to the arts scene. I also try to see as much live theatre and dance that I can.

JG - Is your current show representative of that?

MD - Chekhov's Heartache is an adaptation of some of Anton Chekhov's short stories, including Peasants and Peasant Wives for the stage. The process of creating the show is highly collaborative and comes out of many hours of improvisation. It is a creation process that involves a highly stylized way in which to tell the stories. I think Chekhov's writing is still very relevant and deserves to be staged. There is something very magical in the way these stories are told. The text may be classical but the style and the staging is new and exciting.

Chekhov's Heartache with Theatre Smith-Gilmour opens at the Factory Theatre on October 3rd until October 23rd

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