New Ideas Festival

By Leanne Milech

The New Ideas Festival is almost here! Alumnae Theatre Company is presenting its 22nd annual festival of new writing, works-in-progress and experimental theatre over three exciting weeks spanning from March 10 until March 27. The works being performed were all selected for the festival by a blind jury, meaning the jury wasn’t aware of the writers’ identities until after the selections had been made. This makes for unique plays curated solely on the merit of the works submitted. Festival goers are sure to be treated to three very different – but equally interesting – weeks of new ideas. To learn more about the festival and the short scripts selected for this year’s performances, read on.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 19, 2010

The 22nd annual

New Ideas Festival 2010

March 10 – 27

Since 1989, when it was co-founded by Molly Thom and Kerri MacDonald, Alumnae Theatre Company has hosted an annual festival of new works, which provides playwrights, directors, actors and technicians the opportunity to develop never-before-produced short scripts. It’s all about the process.

The New Ideas Festival is now a juried, three-week annual festival of new writing, works-in-progress and experimental theatre, with a different program of plays each week, and a staged reading on Saturdays at noon. It is unusual, possibly even unique among festivals, in that the scripts are read “blind” by a committee that does not learn the writers’ identities until the plays have been selected.

There are 18 scripts in the Festival this year – something for everybody: short ones, longer ones, funny, sad, tension-filled, silly – and co-producer Pat McCarthy adds, “some surprises that we won’t give away!”

WEEK ONE:

Wednesday March 10 – Saturday March 13 (8pm / Sat. matinee 2:30pm)

Staged Reading: Saturday March 13 at 12:00pm

– ENVIA! by Kelly Dumar / Directed by Jessica Beaulieu

(10 minutes)

– Join The Club by Suzanne Courtney* & Leora Courtney-Wolfman / Directed by Stacy Halloran

(15 minutes)

An Inked Heart by D.J. Sylvis / Directed by Heather Keith

(45 minutes)

A Very Different Place by Carol Libman / Directed by lindi g. papoff*

(20 minutes)

– Ashes to Ashes by M.P. Fedunkiw / Directed by Maureen Callaghan

(25 minutes)

(Total running time with intermission: approx. 2 hrs 15 minutes)

Saturday Staged Reading, March 13 only:

Theory by Norman Yeung* / Directed by Joanne Williams

(60 minutes + Talkback)

WEEK TWO:

Wednesday March 17 – Saturday March 20 (8pm / Sat. matinee 2:30pm)

Staged Reading: Saturday March 20 at 12:00pm

– ENVIA! by Kelly Dumar / Directed by Jessica Beaulieu

(10 minutes)

– Catcher by Michael Corkett Johnston / Directed by Valary Cook

(20 minutes)

– Tightrope by R.J. Downes / Directed by Kate Fenton*

(45 minutes)

Pearls by Brenda Somers / Directed by Pamela Redfern*

(12 minutes)

– Sex On The Beach by Derek Hale / Directed by Kimberley Ann Croscup

(25 minutes)

Soledad by Tina McCulloch / Directed by Kathryn Malek

(10 minutes)

(Total running time with intermission: approx. 2 hrs 25 minutes)

Saturday Staged Reading, March 20 only:

The Flying Avro Arrow – A Musical Comedy by Doug Warwick / Directed by Nonnie Griffin*

(60 minutes + Talkback)

WEEK THREE:

Wednesday March 24 – Saturday March 27 (8pm / Sat. matinee 2:30pm)

Staged Reading: Saturday March 27 at 12:00pm

– ENVIA! by Kelly Dumar / Directed by Jessica Beaulieu

(10 minutes)

– Sleeper by Anna Ross / Directed by Tom Haxell

(20 minutes)

– Who is Lieserl? by Flora Stohr-Danziger / Directed by Anne MacMillan

(35 minutes)

– Heat by Michael G. Wilmot / Directed by Florence Ballard

(12 minutes)

– Prisoners by Trina Brooks / Directed by Andrew Freund

(25 minutes)

Buff by Catherine Frid / Directed by Daniella Marchese

(10 minutes)

(Total running time with intermission: approx. 2 hrs 15 minutes)

Saturday Staged Reading, March 27 only:

Weightless by Kelsey Blair / Directed by Ramona Gilmour-Darling*

(60 minutes + Talkback)

* appearing with the permission of Canadian Actors’ Equity Association

For complete show descriptions and cast and crew bios please go to www.alumnaetheatre.com

The Details – New Ideas Festival 2010:

Running Time: The running time each week varies – times shown above for each play are approximate.

Opening Nights: Wednesday March 10, March 17 and 24, 2010

Performance Dates: Wednesday March 10 – Saturday March 27, 2010

Schedule: Wednesday – Saturday 8:00pm;

Saturday matinee at 2:30pm (followed by a Talkback session);

Saturday Reading Series at noon (followed by a Talkback session).

Tickets: Wednesday – Saturday (evening OR matinees) $15;

Saturday Reading Series PWYC;

Festival Pass (good for the full three weeks plus the Reading Series) $35.

Location: Alumnae Theatre, 70 Berkeley Street, 3rd floor Studio, Toronto

(SW corner of Berkeley and Adelaide St. East)

Box Office: 416-364-4170 (box 1) or email reservations@alumnaetheatre.com.

Our box office opens one hour prior to each performance.

Please note: Box Office does not accept credit or debit cards.

Absolutely no latecomers.

Next at Alumnae: Normand Chaurette’s The Queens (translated by Linda Gaboriau),

April 16 – May 1, 2010. Directed by Mat Howard.

Our 2010/2011 season will be announced shortly!

For more information or to set up an interview please contact

Tina McCulloch, Marketing & Publicity

marketing@alumnaetheatre.com

Alumnae Theatre Company

416-364-4170

www.alumnaetheatre.com

Alumnae Theatre Company (a non-union, not-for profit company) has been producing

thought-provoking, challenging and rarely-performed plays since 1919.

Check our website at www.alumnaetheatre.com for press releases, production photographs,

and a retrospective on how Alumnae Theatre has shaped Toronto’s theatre scene.