Cheap Theatre in Toronto for the Week of April 5, 2010

by Leanne Milech

Five for Twenty (Or Less)

This week, for $20 or less, you can hear staged readings of works about the last woman on planet Earth and works by Canada’s culturally diverse playwrights. You can also indulge in cutting French theatre and beautiful dance as serene as light. Doesn’t that kind of beat what you get for the price of a large popcorn, gummi bears, pop and a movie ticket? For a change, check out our cheap theatre instead of heading to the cinema, and see for yourself!

1) CrossCurrents

– Part of Factory Theatre‘s Performance Spring Festival, this play development series is devoted to cultural diversity and playwrights of colour.

– This year, CrossCurrents features staged readings of works by Nina Lee Aquino, Daniel MacIvor and others. There are also special events and artist talks.

– Opens Apr 4 and runs to Apr 25. Each staged reading is priced as PWYC, although $10 is the suggested donation.

– Get tickets at the venue (Factory Theatre, Studio, 125 Bathurst), by phone (416-504-9971) or online at factorytheatre.ca.

2) Slague, l’Histoire d’un Mineur

– This French tale about a wheelchair-bound heroin addict is harrowing, complex and poetic.

– Previews Apr 7-8. Opens Apr 9 and runs to Apr 11. This Wednesday, April 7, the show is priced as PWYC AND it comes complete with English surtitles.

– Get in touch with your bilingual side tomorrow night at the Berkeley Street Theatre (26 Berkeley). Grab tickets at 416-534-6604 or online at totix.ca.

3) Woman in a Monkey Cage

Acclaimed Newfoundland playwright Berni Stapleton’s play about the last woman alive is presented along with staged readings of works by Megan Liley and Rosmary Doyle.

– Opens Apr 7 and runs to Apr 28 every Wednesday at 7 pm. See two staged readings for only $15! April 7th and 28th shows start with Megan Liley’s Those Girls, while the April 14th and April 21st shows start with Rosemary Doyle’s Jenny’s Friends. Woman in a Monkey Cage begins promptly at 9 pm every Wednesday.

The best part? The readings take place at Annex neighbourhood bar, Clinton’s (693 Bloor W.).

– Tickets are available at 416-978-8849 or at uofttix.ca.

4) This Time

– This contemporary dance work is loosely based on Light, a wordless play by Ken Gass, artistic director of Factory Theatre.

– Opens Apr 1 and runs to Apr 10, with a matinee on Sunday, April 11 at 2 pm that costs only whatever you can pay (PWYC).

– See it at Factory Theatre, Studio (125 Bathurst) by calling 416-504-9971 or buying online at factorytheatre.ca.

5) Emperor

– A straight up folk tale about those evil kings and those honest serfs we’ve all encountered in past fairy tale theatre.

– Check out this adaptation of two Majorcan folk tales from Apr 6 to Apr 10, Tue-Sat 7:30 pm, mat Sat 2:30 pm. Tickets are available by phoning 416-504-7529 or by visiting the box office online at artsboxoffice.ca.

– The prices are hot: evening shows are $10, and matinees are PWYC.

– Shows run at Theatre Passe Muraille, Backspace (16 Ryerson).