THE 38TH RHUBARB FESTIVAL
FEBRUARY 15 - 26

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“The wildest theatre fest in town”

— Toronto Life

FESTIVAL DIRECTOR MEL HAGUE

Canada’s longest-running new works festival returns for a 38th year. Rhubarb transforms Buddies 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 venturing 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.

The Rhubarb Festival is funded, in part, by the Government of Canada | The Rhubarb Festival est financé en partie par le gouvernement du Canada.

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 image of Anna Mayberry, Scotty Dont, + Gitanjali Lena by Tanja-Tiziana.

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 15-19

Click here to download the Week One Schedule at a Glance

Week One Kick Off // Wednesday 8:00pm til Late

THE RHUBARB HAUNTED HOUSE

The ghosts of Rhubarbs past take over the Buddies space, as artists unleash the creative energies stored in the building and re-engage with their Rhubarb pieces.

THE ARTISTS
co-curators Chad Dembski + Mel Hague
featuring David Bateman, Daniel Ellis, Virgilia Griffith, the Independent Aunties, Justin Manyfingers, Alistair Newton, Fay Slift, Brian Solomon, Trixie & Beever + Jacob Zimmer

Rhubarb Launch Party

February 15 // 10:00PM // in the cabaret

The 38th Rhubarb Festival kicks off with a late-night party in the cabaret.

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Mainstage Programming // Thursday-Sunday

columnheader_transIN THE CHAMBER

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Dur à Cuire

8:00PM (2:30PM Sunday)

Through acrobatics, dance, and knife-throwing, artist Scotty Dont explores the weight and absurdity of the gender and racial tropes that society imposes on othered bodies.

THE ARTISTS
interpreter Scotty Dont

FIND THEM ON
facebook / twitter / instagram

Kill Your Lovers

8:30PM (3:00PM on Sunday)

An aspiring camera operator finds herself on the set of an indie femdom porno. A video/play hybrid exploring the queer female gaze and the ethics of what turns us on.

THE ARTISTS
creator + playwright Anais West
creator + videographer + choreographer Shauna Griffin
director Fay Nass
performers Nneka Croal, Jeff Gladstone + Sara Vickruck

Joan of Arc w Guns

9:00PM (3:30PM on Sunday)

An immersive museum exhibit from the distant future chronicles the rise of a ‘dark age’ brought on by the figure of Joan of Arc. With a live band.

THE ARTISTS
director + creator John-Philip Faienza
performers + creators William Ellis, Marina Moreira, Mariana Medellin + Jackie Rowland
performers, composers + creators Roberto Ercoli + Teri Madonna
sound design + systems Benjamin McCarthy
video design + systems Jonathan Carroll
stage manager Alisson Escobar

FIND THEM ON
facebook / twitter

IN THE CABARET

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Kooni

8:00PM (2:30PM on Sunday)

A queer Persian man contrasts his life in Canada with an imagined one in Iran, integrating the two through live performance and video.

THE ARTISTS
writer + performer Izad Etemadi
director + dramaturge Liza Balkan
filmmaker Moze Mossanen
scenographer Trevor Schwellnus

FIND THEM ON
facebook / twitterinstagramthe internet (Izad Etemadi) / the internet (Liza Balkan)

The Only Good Indian v 2.0

8:30PM (3:00PM on Sunday)

Pandemic Theatre tackles identity, the pluriverse, and the politics of death in this absurdist-inspired, satirical performance/lecture.

THE ARTISTS
Pandemic Theatre
lead creator Jivesh Parasram
co-creator Tom Arthur Davis

FIND THEM ON
facebook / twitter

Masterful

9:00PM (3:30PM on Sunday)

Performance artist lo bil seeks an aesthetic independent of categorization. An experiment in failure with the best of possible intentions.

THE ARTISTS
artist lo bil
outside eye Cathy Gordon

FIND THEM ON
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SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

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He’s Built a Fucking Time Machine

February 16 + 17 // 10:00PM // in the chamber

A man’s body runs on a treadmill, while his spirit travels through spacetime.
NYC/Toronto-based AnimalParts presents the final part of their Tenderpits trilogy: He’s Built A Fucking Time Machine, an interactive meditation on looking back, moving forward and what it truly means to be present.

THE ARTISTS
AnimalParts

creators +performers Anthony Johnston + Nathan Schwartz
producer Johnnie Walker

FIND THEM ON
facebooktwitterinstagram the internet

Nasty Kwe

February 17 // 10:00PM // in the cabaret

An apocalypse has wiped out all of humanity except for three indigenous comics: a Dene, an Ojibway, and a Mohawk. Who will become the supreme leader of the world? Things are about to get nasty, so prepare for some low-down inter-tribal shenanigans. Blending sketch comedy, stand-up, and traditional territorial rivalry, Manifest Destiny’s Child is bringing the salt to the table!

THE ARTISTS
Manifest Destiny’s Child
writers + performers Melissa DelearyCourtney SkyeJL Whitecrow 

FIND THEM ON
facebook / twitter

FADO Performance Art Centre presents
Monomyths Stage 13: Freedom to Live
in association with The Rhubarb Festival

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

FADO Performance Art Centre and Rhubarb are proud to welcome Staceyann Chin’s unique voice back to the stage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre.

This is a rare opportunity to experience the powerful and provocative work of Staceyann Chin, an out spoken-word poet, performance artist, and LGBT rights and political activist. In her MONOMYTHS performance, Chin weaves excerpts from her 2015 solo performance Motherstruck! with new thoughts and words ruminating on survival and action strategies for living in the current political situation in the USA as an intersectional life-term activist. 

THE ARTISTS
artist Staceyann Chin
curated by Shannon Cochrane + Jess Dobkin

FIND THEM ON
Staceyann Chin: facebook / twitter
FADO: instagram / twitter / facebook / the internet

fadologo-rgb monomythsMONOMYTHS invites a diverse collection of artists, scholars, and activists to revise Joseph Campbell’s conception of the hero’s journey through performance art, lectures, workshops, and other offerings. Staceyann Chin’s performance is part of the final instalment of the series, taking place at The Theatre Centre and Buddies from February 15–19. More info on the FADO website.

 

Week Two // February 22-26

Click here to download the Week Two Schedule at a Glance

Week Two Kick Off // Wednesday 8:00pm til Late

RHUBARB DOES MOVIE NIGHT

Queer film and video art take over the Buddies building to kick off week two of Rhubarb, presented in partnership with Inside Out and Images Festival.

Full programming for Rhubarb Movie Night will be announced January 23.

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Mainstage Programming // Thursday-Sunday

IN THE CHAMBER

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Mesh

8:00PM (2:30PM Sunday)

A sacred fight space where performers and stuffed animals come together using kalaripayattu, kink, and dance to evoke intimacies of queerness.

THE ARTISTS

creator, producer, assistant director + performer Gitanjali Lena
director Gein Wong
choreographer Maria Victoria Mata Soledad
performers Bilal Baig, Jasbina Justice + Sheesha Yadil
movement coach Brandy Leary
stage manager Samson Brown

FIND THEM ON
the internet (eventual ashes) / the internet (anandam dance theatre) / the internet (victoria mata)

Shadow Girls

8:30PM (3:00PM on Sunday)

The internal conflicts of two ‘straight’ women around bisexual desire and identity are articulated through overhead projection art and performance.

THE ARTISTS
creators + performers Claren Grosz + Keshia Palm
animators Jocelyne Lamarche, Sydney Herauf, Kathleen O’Reilly + Maya Findlay

FIND THEM ON
facebook / twitter / instagram / the internet

Interspatial Life Formers

9:00PM (3:30PM on Sunday)
no performance on Thursday

Open Fortress, Ceramic TL and Bryce Kushnier create an environmental performance celebrating light, sound, and movement; inner and outer space; econoline psychedelia; and life on earth.

THE ARTISTS
Open Fortress
dancers + collaborators Alexandra Blumas, Lee Gelbloom, Jolyane Langlois + Anna Mayberry
music composer + collaborator David Psutka
lighting designer Bryce Kushnier

FIND THEM ON
facebook / instagram / the internet

IN THE CABARET

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M/F (choose one)

8:00PM (2:30PM on Sunday)

A funny little binary tale helps you sort out any gender confusion, thoroughly and definitively answering that age-old question: Are you a boy or a girl?

THE ARTISTS
director Elley-Ray Hennessy
assistant director Veronika Hurnik
writer + performer Sonny Mills
performer David Benjamin Tomlinson

The People v. The Cock of Basel

8:30PM (3:00PM on Sunday)

A live transcription of the 15th century trial of an egg-laying rooster plays out against images of drag queens and other pop culture references, interrogating the evolving politics and performance of “crimes against nature.”

THE ARTISTS
performers + creators BAMBITCHELL

FIND THEM ON
twitter / the internet

Sarap

9:00PM (3:30PM on Sunday)

A Filipinx horror drag cooking show re-imagines the tastes and tales that bring us home.

THE ARTISTS
writer + performer Patrick Salvani / Ms. Nookie Galore
director kumari giles
sound designer Khary Mathurin
projection artist Shirina Qureshi
costume designers Afi Browne + Franny Moreno

FIND THEM ON
 instagram / the internet

SPECIAL PRESENTATIONS

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Lido Pimienta

February 23 // 9:00PM // in the chamber

A one-night-only performance by Toronto indie-music sensation Lido Pimienta, in collaboration with director Gein Wong.

THE ARTISTS
performer + creator Lido Pimienta
director Gein Wong

The Youth/Elders Project

February 23 // 10:00PM // in the chamber

After months of learning, sharing, and exploring our queer lives and histories, members of our Youth/Elders Project ensemble present their work to an audience for the first time, as they prepare for a Mainstage production in May 2017.

The Youth / Elders Project is a year-long community arts collaboration between Buddies, The 519, and Senior Pride Network that brings together young and old to create a living document of our personal queer histories, integrating text, movement, music, and design.

THE ARTISTS

directed by Evalyn Parry with LeeLee Davis + Vanessa Dunn
performers + creators Jordan Campbell, Daniel Carter, Brian Cope, Monica Garrido, Genady Gavleshov, Riley Kelk, Bella Larsen, LeZlie Lee Kam, Neila Lem, Lila Pine, Russell Powell, Shauna Sloan + Ty Sloane

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100 Decibels

February 24 // 10:00PM // in the cabaret

Winnipeg-based troupe 100 Decibels bridges the gap between the hearing and Deaf communities through mime, physical comedy and storytelling, tenderly depicting the ups and downs of human connection.

THE ARTISTS
performers Joanna Hawkins + Christopher De Guzman

FIND THEM ON
facebook

Black Lives, Black Words

February 24 + 25 // 10:00PM // in the chamber

Local black playwrights write ten-minute plays responding to the theme “Do Black Lives Matter today?” The project that has explored the Black diaspora experience in Chicago, Minneapolis, and London, UK, gets its first Toronto iteration, in a partnership between Rhubarb, Obsidian Theatre, and the National Arts Centre.

THE ARTISTS
project creator Reginald Edmund

FIND THEM ON
facebook

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Emerging Creators Unit

 

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

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Week One
February 17 + 18 // 6:00PM

Khwaja Sera

Billo, a sex worker from the khwaja sera (third gender) community based in Heera Mandi, Lahore, Pakistan, and her estranged brother Arsalan have not spoken in 15 years. The very thing that still binds them together is also what haunts them.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer Bilal Baig
director Esther Jun
performer Ash Knight
technical direction Nida Haroon

FIND THEM ON
the internet

Aquarius

In April 1975, the Aquarius bathhouse in downtown Montreal was firebombed, killing three patrons, two of whom were never identified or claimed. Aquarius tells the story of two men who met in the bathhouse that night.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer François Macdonald
director Sunny Drake

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Week Two
February 24 + 25 // 6:00PM

Anato/mía

After facing a fundamental impasse, a person’s consciousness becomes fractured. Anato/mía is a physically poetic exploration of trauma, healing, and how body and mind find their way back to each other.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer Sofía Rodríguez
director Tawiah Ben Eben M’Carthy

The Queen in Me

The infamous Queen of the Night from Mozart’s The Magic Flute stops singing mid-performance to take the opera singer playing her on a musical journey of personal reflection and discovery.

THE ARTISTS
creator + performer Teiya Kasahara
director Andrea Donaldson

FIND THEM ON
twitter / instagramthe internet youtube

photo by Greg Wong

Starting at 8pm (and sometimes as early as 6pm), and 2:30pm on Sundays, 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 are also exhibitions in the building that you can only see before the shows start, so be sure to show up early.

The Evening Pass

This gets you into a whole night of Rhubarb and the 12-ish shows that happen at Buddies that day. And remember, Rhubarb starts at 8pm and shows are not individually ticketed. So that show you want to see at 9:30? If you just show up at 9 you will probably be out of luck and all the tickets were sold to people who came for the whole evening.

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.

Emerging Creators Unit

These shows are earlier in the evening, starting at 6pm every Friday and Saturday. A pay-what-you-can ticket gets you into all of the Emerging Creators Unit performances in an evening, or buy an Evening Pass if you’re planning to see shows later in the night.

Artist Announcement: The 38th Rhubarb Festival

Canadian Heritage

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When do things happen?

WEEK ONE PROGRAM
February 16-19 // Thurs-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2:30pm

WEEK TWO PROGRAM
February 23-26 // Thurs-Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2:30pm

EMERGING CREATORS UNIT
February 17, 18, 24 + 25 at 6pm

THE RHUBARB HAUNTED HOUSE
February 15 at 8pm

RHUBARB DOES MOVIE NIGHT
February 22 at 8pm

Ticket Prices

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

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.

RUSH TICKETS // PWYC
A limited number of pay-what-you-can tickets will be available every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 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 a lot of Rhubarb-ing? Buddies Rewards members get exclusive access to half-price return tickets when they come to see a second night of performances in the same week.

Once you’ve signed up, just buy your Rhubarb tickets like you normally would and we’ll email you an access code for a half-price ticket to any other night during that week of Rhubarb.

Click here for more info and to sign up for Buddies Rewards.

lead image by Tanja-Tiziana

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