WELCOME TO RHUBARB: a message from Laura Nanni

For 32 years, Rhubarb has brought new work to Toronto audiences. This year, with a spirit of defiance, critique and playful optimism, the work at the festival responds to the immediate pressures of our changing world.
We have witnessed global political and social climates become increasingly divisive. There is a shift towards extremism and away from acceptance. There is growing pessimism, fear and antagonism expressed between geographic, political and social groups. The state of our own city echoes this. What we need is to come together and bridge the divides.
Rhubarb responds to this with convergence and intersection. Here, boundaries are pushed and complex issues are considered. Here, dissident voices are given a platform. Here, difference is embraced and celebrated. Artists of different traditions and mediums come together to find new methods of creation. This year’s work explores the complexities of citizenship, personal identity and community building.
For the first time in the festival’s history, artists meet audiences on sidewalks, streets and subways to transform the urban landscape and play with our expectations of what is possible in public spaces. Toronto acts as a source of inspiration as artists take back and re-imagine our city with you.
You are an integral part of this process of convergence. Together, we will discover new possibilities for performance, for our city and for the world in which we live.
We hope to see you here.

-Laura Nanni, Festival Director

Be sure to join us tonight as we open the 32nd Rhubarb Festival. Whether you’re starting at the theatre, or catching one of the three mobile works that hit the streets tonight (News Commutes at Union Station, Intersection Project at Yonge & Bloor or k[NO]w places at Yonge & Dundas), everything converges at Buddies. Then we’ll celebrate into the wee hours with our Festival Kick-Off Bash featuring DJ Blackcat and interactive visuals from Ben Chaisson.