THE 37TH RHUBARB FESTIVAL
FEBRUARY 17 - 28

TDLogoFestival

“The wildest theatre fest in town”

— Toronto Life

FESTIVAL DIRECTOR MEL HAGUE

Canada’s longest-running new works festival returns for a 37th year. For two weeks, Buddies is transformed into a hotbed of experimentation, with artists exploring new possibilities in theatre, dance, music, and performance art. Rhubarb is the place to see the most adventurous ideas in performance and to catch your favourite artists venture into uncharted territory.

Rhubarb is a space for artists and audiences to experiment together by trying new things and testing their boundaries. You always get to see more than one show (often 3 or 4) in one night, and no two nights of Rhubarb are ever alike. So come out and see what’s happening.

FESTIVAL PATRONS
ERIN SHIELDS & GIDEON ARTHURS

Rectangle-Logo-RewardsSee more for less with Buddies Rewards

Earn Buddies Rewards when you buy tickets to this show – click here to learn more

Week One // February 17-20

columnheader_trans

IN THE CHAMBER

NeilLapierre

Dark Love

8:00PM

“Your walls may be high and your windows barred but they will come.”  A loss of electricity illuminates how close and how far neighbours are. 

THE ARTISTS

playwright DM St. Bernard
director + choreographer Virgilia Griffith
performers Arlen Aguayo-Stewart, Falen Johnson, Susan Lock + Chiamaka Ugwu
text dramaturge Gein Wong
assistant director Daniel Ellis
illustrator Stephen Jackman-Torkoff
photographer Tsholo Khalema

FIND THEM ON
the internet

A Kitchen Sink Drama

8:30PM

[elephants] collective re-presents a classic piece of realist drama while holding kitchen sinks over their heads.

THE ARTISTS
[elephants] collective
creator Jesse Byiers
creator + performer Krystina Bojanowski //
creator + stage manager Nicole De Angelis
creator + designer Anahita Dehbonehie
creator + director Ximena Huizi
creator + designer Richard Lam
creator + designer Michael Palumbo
creator Thomas McKechnie
creator + designer Montgomery Martin
creator Michael Reinhart
production support Donna Marie Baratta

FIND THEM ON
facebook // twitter

ESCAPE ROOM

9:00PM

A live video game unlike anything you’ve ever seen (or played) before.

THE ARTISTS
writer + performer Neil LaPierre
set design Vida Beyer

FIND THEM ON
youtube // twitter // instagram // the internet

columnheader_trans

IN THE CABARET

rhubarb_alabama

BUG

8:00PM

An Indigenous girl struggles to cope with her addictive personality as a giant bug named Manidoons creeps ever closer.

THE ARTISTS
performer + playwright Yolanda Bonnell
director Cole Alvis
composer Classic Roots

FIND THEM ON
twitter

ALABAMA

8:30PM

A group therapy session meets in a church basement in Alabama. Fresh baked goods are served, and then things get weird.

THE ARTISTS
writer + director Bruce Gibbons Fell
performers Marcelo Arroyo, Jonathan Carroll, Carlos Gonzalez Vio, Rosalba Martinni + Jessica Zepeda
producer + stage manager Alisson Escobar
designer + audio Ben McCarthy

FIND THEM ON
facebook // twitter // vimeo // the internet

BODY SO FLORESCENT

9:00PM

An unreliable narrator threads together gender, sexuality and race from the vantage point of two separate pairs of shoes, worn on one pair of feet.

THE ARTISTS
performer + co-writer Amanda Cordner
director + co-writer David di Giovanni

FIND THEM ON
twitter // instagram 

IN THE ANTE CHAMBER

rhubarb_rajni

Afrika Galaktika

Internationally acclaimed visual artist Rajni Perera’s exhibit will be on display throughout the festival, featuring a new work commissioned for The 37th Rhubarb Festival.

GALLERY HOURS
Wednesday – Saturday 7:00-8:00pm + 9:30-11:00pm

FIND THEM ON
facebook // instagram

columnheader_trans

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

Rhubarb-Lulu-2

 

Rhubarb Launch Party

February 17 // 9:30PM // in the cabaret

The 37th Rhubarb Festival kicks off with a late-night party in the cabaret, featuring live music from Girls Rock Camp and some special surprises.

WorkingOn WorkingOnUs

February 19 // 10:00PM // in the cabaret

Montreal’s Andrew Tay sets us on the impossible task of building a shared imagination together with his unique mix of dance, performance, visual art and philosophical theatre.

THE ARTISTS
Andrew Tay in collaboration with Francois Lalumiere + Vanessa Jane Kimmons
created with + performed by Kate Nankervis, Robert Kingsbury + William Ellis

LULU v.4 // but you are not a dead woman

February 18 + 19 // 10:00PM // in the chamber

The fourth instalment of the red light district’s Lulu project sees its director, ted witzel, embody the original femme fatale. Facing off against the female performers who played Lulu before him, the piece asks: What gives him the right to represent women this way? Who has the right to tell this story and why?

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer + director susanna fournier // creator + performers ted witzel, mayko nguyen, sedina fiati + aurora stewart de peña // designer helen yung // stage manager + assistant director daniela pagliarello

FIND THEM ON
facebook // twitter // the internet

Oraltorio

February 20 //10:00PM // in the chamber

A theatrical MixTape tells the story of the B-Girl and the DJ as they transverse time, place and the Diaspora to confront the silencing of women’s musical and aural voices in a multi-disciplinary remix of theatre, music and spoken word.

THE ARTISTS
ift Theatre + Motion Live Collective // writer + performer Motion // dj + composer L’Oqenz // director Mumbi Tindyebwa-Otu

FIND THEM ON
twitter // youtube // the internet

Week Two // February 24-27

columnheader_trans

IN THE CHAMBER

lilBLK

LIL BLK

8:00PM

Chicago performance artist NIC Kay presents an experimental solo performance composed of biographical moments that are equal parts narrative and dream.

THE ARTISTS

creator + performer NIC Kay

FIND THEM ON
facebook // twitter // vimeo // the internet

Bind

8:30PM
A meeting of glamour and demons in a female powered contemporary circus dance rock show.

THE ARTISTS
Femmes du Feu
choreographer Holly Treddenick
director Monica Dottor
performers Holly Treddenick, Lara Ebata, Natalie Fullerton, Angola Murdoch, Lindsay Goodtimes + Haley Shannon

FIND THEM ON
facebook // the internet

Still Boys: The Feast of Jaad

9:00PM
An epic boy-band rock opera that bridges heavy metal, romantic funk ballads, and puppets.

THE ARTISTS
director Alex Tigchelaar
performer + costume + director Sebastian Butt
performer + music Charlie Murray
performer + music Randy Gagne
performer + choreographer Andrya Duff
performer Shane MacKinnon
performer + costume Jamie Shannon

FIND THEM ON
facebook // youtube // soundcloud

columnheader_trans

IN THE CABARET

Still-Boyz

Electric Sheep

8:00PM
A conversation between a human and a real-life artificial intelligence on the nature of their consciousnesses and whether either of them are what they think they are.

THE ARTISTS
playwright Rory Jade Grey
director + dramaturge Sina Gilani
performers Katie Sly, Jackie Rowland + Katherine Marie Orsten

FIND THEM ON
twitter

Hoofs

8:30PM

This live radio play follows three women who grew up across the street from each other, tied forever through a mysterious disappearance.

THE ARTISTS
director + designer+ performer Ange Loft
performer Cherish Violet Blood
performer Dayna Danger
stage manager Iehente Foote
audio engineer Alaska B

Trance Symphony No. 5

9:00PM

A chamber orchestra partners with a trance DJ to fill the cabaret with a live reimagining of Beethoven’s 5th symphony.

THE ARTISTS
Loose TEA Chamber Orchestra
conductor Alaina Viau
trance dj artist Ahmed El Khayat

FIND THEM ON
facebook // twitter 

IN THE ANTE CHAMBER

rhubarb_rajni

Afrika Galaktika

Internationally acclaimed visual artist Rajni Perera’s exhibit will be on display throughout the festival, featuring a new work commissioned for The 37th Rhubarb Festival.

GALLERY HOURS
Wednesday – Saturday 7:00-8:00pm + 9:30-11:00pm

FIND THEM ON
facebook // instagram

columnheader_trans

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

WalterScottWendy

Wendy’s Revenge

February 25 // 10:00PM // in the chamber

Wendy, an armoured space pirate, is informed by her naturopath that in order to exorcize her abdominal pain, she has to find her ex-boyfriend and kill him.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer Walter Scott // curated by Videofag

FIND THEM ON
tumblr // the internet

La Grande Jatte

February 26 // 10:00PM // in the cabaret

Inspired by the Georges Seurat painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, a massive cast of improvisers from fills the Cabaret with characters, inviting the audience to speculate on the intimate details of their lives.

THE ARTISTS

Bad Dog Theatre // director Julie Dumais Osborne // music Nick DiGaetano

FIND THEM ON
facebook // twitter // the internet

Doing Sky Gilbert

February 26 + 27 // 10:00PM // in the chamber

After appearing in six of Sky Gilbert’s plays, internationally renowned actor and comedian Gavin Crawford take on the role of Gilbert’s interpreter/challenger/murderer (if the author is indeed murdered by interpretation).

THE ARTISTS
writer + director Sky Gilbert // performer Gavin Crawford

Emerging Creators Unit
// Every Friday + Saturday

emergingcreatorsunit

The Emerging Creators Unit showcases original work created and developed by four young artists as part of Buddies’ Queer Youth Arts Program.

columnheader_trans

Week One // February 19 + 20

Frida Kahlo Googles Herself

6:00PM

A short performance about choosing your idols, and making yourself up.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer Marina Moreira
director Gein Wong 

Max

6:30PM

Max is a play that deals with the issues of intimacy between an older and younger man.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer Joshua Middleton
director Alistair Newton

columnheader_trans

Week Two // February 26 + 27

Al/Lex

6:00PM

Al/Lex is an interdisciplinary piece about a character who begins to unravel the parts of themselves that have been hidden, suppressed and shamed. Within Alex emerges Lex who is initially drawn out by his sexual exploration, but who is she and where has she come from?

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer Chase Lo
director Tawiah M’carthy
stage production support Kumari Giles

The Cunning Linguist

6:30PM

A journey from one home to another, a series of stories from my life in Mexico through my journey to Toronto, as I search for my voice as a Queer woman. Funny, honest, and uncensored.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer Monica Garrido
director Beatriz Pizano 

 

Take Your Space
// February 21 // 7:00-9:00pm

takeyourspace

Come experience Buddies transformed into an artistic playground. For one night only, we hand the entire building over to artists for a series of interactive installations and durational performances.

A Period in Time

Feminine hygiene products are donated and slipped into the “collective vagina” located in the basement of Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. Join us on February 21st for a menstrual melange of femininity, flavour and fun as we reveal our installation (aka our Women’s Day donations to Sistering)!

Bring unopened feminine hygiene products to Buddies any time during Rhubarb. Monetary donations are also accepted.

THE ARTISTS
concept + creation Kate Nankervis + Vanessa Jane Kimmons

Chew, Chew, Swallow, Spit

Watch Clayton Lee attempt to eat a table’s worth of food over the course of the day in front of a live webcam, delving into the intimacy and isolation of online interactions.

THE ARTISTS
concept + performer Clayton Lee

MDMBTRFLY

Explore a durational solo dance piece inspired by Madam Butterfly with a few colourful surprises along the way.

THE ARTISTS
collaborating choreographers Angie Cheng + Theirry Huard // performer Angie Cheng

Menstrual Readings with The Barreness von Haag and Sheela Na Gig

The Barreness von Haag invites you for an intimate psychic reading of your menstrual cup / used products and to behold your destiny in her sacred and profane abyss.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performers Alexandra Tigchelaar + Fatima Mechtab

FIND THEM ON
vimeo

The People’s Gallery

As you walk around the People’s Gallery you can choose to become the art or critique the art. There are no right or wrong ways to participate, so long as you participate.

THE ARTISTS
art is hard productions
// curators Pip Bradford + Rebecca Vandevelde

FIND THEM ON
facebook // tumblr

Spin

Watch as this durational dance piece transforms into a video projection of moving bodies on the ceiling.

THE ARTISTS
adelheid dance // performer + choreographer Heidi Strauss // filmaker/collaborator Jeremy Mimnagh // dancers Roxane Duchesne-Roy, Merryn Kritzinger + Susan Paulson

FIND THEM ON
facebook // twitter // the internet

TinderBodies

Send the artist your picture, and she will send you one back. This ideal electronic interaction quickly makes any real encounter irrevocably awkward.

THE ARTISTS

concept, performer, edit Hanneke Kuijpers // camera Brechje de Koning // camera Eric Steensma

FIND THEM ON
facebook // vimeo // the internet

Indie X
// February 28 // 9:30AM – 6:00PM

rhubarb_indieexchangebanner

Click here: Full conference schedule & registration now available on the TAPA website

Indie X is targeted to the professional performing arts Indie community and is a vital networking and learning conference not to be missed! Speakers and panelists include: Sky Gilbert, Philip Akin, Nina Lee Quino, Ravi Jain, Byron Laviolette, Kelly Straughan, Jivesh Parasam and more.

Learn creative and cheap marketing tactics from Toronto’s top advertising and marketing gurus, discover the benefits of associating with major organizations and ways in which to create those connections, or participate in one of our four ‘In discussion with …’ groups. The Indie Exchange aims to provide every artist with the tools they need to produce their art in today’s competitive theatre, dance and opera environment.

Indie X also features The Indie Agora: A Connections Forum, which offers participants a chance to chat with representatives from various cultural and government organizations along with independent business owners.

Indie X is  presented by the Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts, in association with the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres and The Rhubarb Festival.

REGISTRATION
Full schedule and conference registration to be posted January 18.

THE INDIE X WORKING GROUP
Jacoba Knaapen, Brett Haynes, Marjorie Chan, Scott Dermody, Boomer Stacey, Claire Burns, Benjamin Blais + Sara Meurling

ABOUT INDIE X
TAPA and Buddies in Bad Times Theatre share a long history of supporting the indie theatre community. Over two decades ago, The Indie Trade Forum was conceived as a two day conference focusing on challenges and issues specific to indie theatre producers. Over the years, the Indie Trade Forum morphed into the TAPA Trade Series which provides ongoing professional development to the full spectrum of TAPA members all year-long. Recognizing the shifting demographics and needs of the current indie environment, TAPA is proud to partner, once again, with Buddies 20 years later to launch the re-conceived version of the Indie Theatre Trade Forum as Indie X.

Rhubarb is not like other festivals

There are plenty of different ways to see performances, you rarely see only one show, you’re travelling from place to place, and you often end up seeing something you never expected. Here’s a handy cheat sheet to help you decide what you want to see, and explain how you go about seeing it.

THE EVENING PASS
This gets you into a whole night of Rhubarb and the 12-ish shows that happen at Buddies that day.

THE PERFORMANCES
Starting at 8pm (and sometimes as early as 7pm), there are shows happening in both spaces at Buddies (the Cabaret and the Chamber), so when you arrive at the theatre pick the show you want to see first, and 30 minutes later when it’s done you can either stay where you are or move to the other space for your next performance. There is a different set of shows each week – so keep coming back. There’s also exhibitions in the building that you can only see before the shows start, so be sure to show up early.

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS
These shows are special events that happen after the regular program for one or two nights only. Admission to Special Presentations is included in your Evening Pass.

TAKE YOUR SPACE
On the first Sunday of the festival, we’re handing over the entire building to a group of artists who will transform it into an artistic playground for you to explore. You can wander around and see what you want for as long as you want; watch, participate, or move on to the next thing – it’s up to you. Plus, if you’ve got a ticket for any other night of the festival, all these performances are free.

Buy Tickets

WHEN DO THINGS HAPPEN?

WEEK ONE PROGRAM
February 17-20, 7-11pm

WEEK TWO PROGRAM
February 24-27, 7-11pm

EMERGING CREATORS UNIT
February 19, 20, 26 + 27, 6-7pm

TAKE YOUR SPACE
February 21, 7-10pm

INDIE X
February 28, 9am-6pm

TICKET PRICES

EVENING PASS // $20
Gets you into everything happening that night at Rhubarb, including the emrging creators unit, special presentations, exhibitions, and parties.

TAKE YOUR SPACE // $20
Full access to Take Your Space on Sunday, February 21. You can also get in for free by presenting your evening pass for any other day of the festival

EMERGING CREATORS UNIT // PWYC
If you are just coming for the Emerging Creators Unit presentations, tickets are pay-what-you-can and only available at the door.

INDIE X // $20-$35
Full day, half day, and group rates available for the Indie X conference on Sunday, February 28. Click here for full schedule and registration details.

RUSH TICKETS // PWYC
A limited number of pay-what-you-can tickets will be available every Thursday, Friday and Saturday on a first-come first-served basis. Rhubarb Rush Tickets can be purchased in person at the box office from 12-6pm for that evening’s performances, limit 2 per person and subject to availability.

Buddies Rewards

Are you doing alot of Rhubarb-ing? Are you planning to see more shows at Buddies this year? Sign up for Buddies Rewards to earn discounts with every ticket you buy. Click here for more info and to sign up for Buddies Rewards.

image of Donna Michelle St Bernard, Ange Loft, and Neil Lapierre by Tanja-Tiziana

You may also be interested in: