Announcement: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre announces Programming for its 2012/13 Season

From Press Release

Buddies in Bad Times is pleased to announce a season of new queer Canadian theatre. It is a season that empowers the individual as an agent of social change. It is a season that gives voice to perspectives that would otherwise not be heard. It is a season of deeply personal stories that challenge our assumptions around sexuality, gender, culture, nationhood, class, and race from some of our country’s most venerated artists and a few fresh voices. It is a season that reaffirms Buddies as an important source of solidarity and understanding for our city.

The season kicks of in September with Tawiah M’carthy’s Obaaberima. Inspired by the music and culture of M’carthy’s native Ghana, and set to live music, Obaaberima masterfully blends storytelling and dance to offer an intimate look at the experience of queer immigrants. Originally developed as part of our Young Creators Unit (YCU) in 2009, the show is directed by YCU Director Evalyn Parry.

Canadian theatre icon Daniel MacIvor comes home to Buddies with his darkly poetic new play Arigato, Tokyo. Based on The Tale of Gengi – one of the world’s oldest pieces of literature – MacIvor’s script takes us into the heart of a forbidden Japan as experienced by a visiting Canadian author. From the underground dance clubs of Tokyo to the hallowed stages of Noh Theatre, this play offers a beautiful meditation on the nature of love and our place in it. This lavish production is directed by Brendan Healy, and reunites the Dora Award-winning design team from Blasted and The Maids.

Up next is Buddies’ founding artistic director Sky Gilbert with his new play, A Few Brittle Leaves. This gender-bending drawing room comedy features veteran actors Edward Roy & Gavin Crawford as a pair of aging spinster sisters. This will be Gilbert and Crawford’s first production together since 2011’s Dora-Award winning The Situationists.

In the spring, Buddies will partner with trailblazing queer performance company Ecce Homo to present Of a Monstrous Child: a gaga musical. This irreverent new musical brims simultaneously with academic contemplation and raw sexuality as it dissects the phenomenon of one of our most enigmatic pop stars, Lady Gaga. Featuring show stopping musical numbers, outlandish costumes, recreations of seminal works of performance art, and homages to the world’s greatest artists and cultural thinkers, this show celebrates the place where high culture meets low art. Ecce Homo’s distinct aesthetic, one that channels the look and politics of pre-war German cabarets, has captivated audiences with festival hits such as The Pastor Phelps Project and Loving the Stranger. This project has been developed as part of Buddies’ Residency Program.

The Rhubarb Festival will return for its 34th installment. Since taking the helm of Rhubarb in 2009, Festival Director Laura Nanni has reaffirmed Rhubarb’s place as one of the city’s most edgy and dynamic cultural events. The festival has grown to reach an annual audience of over 30,000 people who come to experience up to 40 new works from over 150 local and international artists each year. This year’s festival will see the return of the wildly successful One-To-One Performance Series, which offers intimate encounters between a single performer and one audience member, and Mobile Works, where artists infiltrate the streets of Toronto with performances designed for public spaces.

Also returning to Buddies’ stage in 2012/13 is Studio 180 Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production of Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart.

“I am thrilled to offer a season of new Canadian plays that reflect a multiplicity of cultural and generational perspectives on the queer experience. These artists are unafraid to proclaim their uniqueness at a time when difference is feared. They affirm the power of the individual to affect change in the world at a time when so many feel powerless. And, together, they maintain Buddies in Bad Times commitment to promoting more liberated, compassionate and multifaceted identities for all.” -Brendan Healy, Artistic Director


Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents
created and performed by Tawiah M’carthy
directed by Evalyn Parry
lighting design Michelle Ramsay
set & costume design Camellia Koo

September 15 – October 7, 2012

Imprisoned in Canada for committing a violent crime, a young man from Ghana tells his cellmates a story on the eve of his release. Although there is great risk in sharing his tale, he must tell it to be truly free. Through storytelling, dance, and live music,Obaaberima chronicles a young African-Canadian’s journey across continents, genders, races, and sexualities.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes a Studio 180 Theatre production
by Larry Kramer
directed by Joel Greenberg
starring John BourgeoisMark CrawfordPaul EssiembreRyan KellyMark McGrinderJeff Miller, Sarah OrensteinJonathan Seinen and Jonathan Wilson
set & costume design John Thompson
lighting design Kimberly Purtell

October 19 – November 18, 2012

Larry Kramer’s landmark play chronicles the rise of the AIDS crisis in New York City as seen through the eyes of writer/activist Ned Weeks, the gay Jewish founder of a prominent HIV advocacy group. The Normal Heart‘s political and sexual polemics polarized the gay community when it was first performed in 1985. It has since been recognized as an important document of queer history and is widely considered to be one of the most significant plays of the 20th century.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents
Festival Director Laura Nanni

February 20 – March 3, 2013

For two weeks, hundreds of local and international artists transform Buddies into a hotbed of creativity and experimentation, sharing new ideas in contemporary theatre, performance art, dance, and music with adventure-loving audiences.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents
by Daniel MacIvor
directed by Brendan Healy
starring Michael DufaysCara Gee, Tyson James and David Storch 
production designer Julie Fox
lighting designer Kimberly Purtell
music and sound design Richard Feren

March 16 – April 14, 2013

One of our country’s most distinct and celebrated writers pens a darkly poetic love letter to love itself. From the underground nightclubs of Tokyo to the hallowed stages of Noh Theatre, a visiting Canadian author is pulled into a world of obsession, sex, and longing. The award-winning creative team behind Blasted and The Maids brings to life this thoughtful meditation on the many meanings of love and our place in it.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre proudly welcomes a Cabaret Company production
written and directed by Sky Gilbert
starring Gavin Crawford and Edward Roy

April 24 – May 5, 2013

Veteran actors Edward Roy and Gavin Crawford play a pair of spinster sisters who, through a series of touching and comedic disasters, are forced to deal with the question: how does one age gracefully? Perennial provocateur Sky Gilbert returns to Buddies with this gender-bending dramatic comedy.

Ecce Homo Theatre in association with Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents
written and directed by Alistair Newton
starring Bruce Dow as Leigh Bowery and Kimberly Persona as Lady Gaga
with Tyson James and Chy Ryan Spain
production designer Matt Jackson

May 14 – 26, 2013

Performance legend Leigh Bowery hosts an irreverent musical cabaret devoted to of one of our most enigmatic and polarizing pop stars, Lady Gaga. Featuring a collection of the art world’s greatest icons, this “dance floor dialectic” celebrates the place where high culture hooks up with low art. Brought to you by queer trailblazers Ecce Homo (Alistair Newton and Matt Jackson).


Buddies Season Passes are now on sale. Save up to 30% on tickets and reserve priority seating for any of the following shows: ObaaberimaThe Normal HeartThe 34th Rhubarb FestivalArigato TokyoA Few Brittle Leaves, and Of a Monstrous Child: a gaga musical. Season Passes are 100% flexible.

Regular Price – 6 Ticket Pass $150 | 3 Ticket Pass $85. Under 30 / Arts Worker – 6 Ticket Pass $120 | 3 Ticket Pass $70. Buy a pass before July 1, 2012 and receive an additional ticket voucher.