THE GAY HERITAGE PROJECT
JANUARY 6 - 31
“Funny, imaginative, thought-provoking… a wide-ranging and wildly entertaining inquiry into what it means to be gay.”
— The Globe & Mail
Three of our country’s most gifted creator/performers set out to answer one question: is there such a thing as a gay heritage? In their search, they uncover a rich history not often shared and shine new light on contemporary gay culture. The result is a hilarious and moving homage to the people who came before us and the events that continue to shape our lives.
This Dora-nominated smash hit production and audience favourite comes back to Buddies for a limited engagement before embarking on a nation-wide tour.
Using their personal histories and individual cultural heritages as jumping off points, each of the three creators behind The Gay Heritage Project set out to discover their connections to queer people and events in the past. Working closely with historian J. Paul Halferty, they spent hours researching the ancient anecdotes, secret correspondences, and overlooked footnotes that currently comprise queer history. What they discovered was an array of heroes and stories that inspire, comfort, challenge, and empower.
Paul, Damien, and Andrew bring these people and stories to life on stage in rapid-fire succession using a highly physical, comedic, and fast-paced performance style. They offer us an eclectic mix of historical characters and reenactments that shed light on the forgotten champions and occurrences that created our community. In doing so, they educate us about our past and inspire us to further unearth an expansive but overlooked part of our history.
The Gay Heritage Project goes on the road
Following its Toronto engagement, The Gay Heritage Project will tour to cities across western Canada.
The Citadel Theatre (Edmonton, AB)
The Cultch (Vancouver, BC)
The Belfry Theatre (Victoria BC)
part of the SPARK Festival
The Gay Heritage Project was developed in Buddies Residency Program, sponsored by BMO Financial Group. buddiesinbadtimes.com/residency
image of Paul Dunn, Andrew Kushnir, Damien Atkins, and Marla by Tanja-Tiziana.
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★★★ 1/2 (OUT OF 4)
“CELEBRATORY, UPBEAT, AND DEEPLY MOVING”
-TORONTO STAR (READ ARTICLE)
★★★ 1/2 (OUT OF 4)
“FUNNY, IMAGINATIVE, THOUGHT-PROVOKING… A WIDE-RANGING AND WILDLY ENTERTAINING INQUIRY INTO WHAT IT MEANS TO BE GAY.”
–GLOBE & MAIL (READ ARTICLE)
“UNRELENTINGLY ENTERTAINING… ONE OF THE MOST EXHILARATING EVENINGS IN THE THEATRE THAT YOU WILL EVER HAVE”
-MY GAY TORONTO (READ ARTICLE)
★★★★ (OUT OF 5)
“UNDER ASHLIE CORCORAN’S DIRECTION, THESE TALENTED ACTOR/SINGERS INSPIRE AND AMUSE, AMAZE WITH THE CONNECTIONS THEY MAKE AND MAKE US WANT TO HEAR MORE OF THEIR TALES.”
-NOW MAGAZINE (READ ARTICLE)
Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents
THE GAY HERITAGE PROJECT
created and performed by DAMIEN ATKINS, PAUL DUNN & ANDREW KUSHNIR
directed by ASHLIE CORCORAN
set & lighting design by KIMBERLY PURTELL
video design by CAMERON DAVIS
sound design by THOMAS RYDER PAYNE
dramaturge J. PAUL HALFERTY
DAMIEN ATKINS (Creator/Performer)
For Buddies: Real Live Girl. Selected credits: Angels in America, The Way of the World, The Caretaker, King Lear, The Importance of Being Earnest (Soulpepper); Someone Else, Unidentified Human Remains…, Shopping and Fucking (Crow’s Theatre); Seussical (YPT); The Clockmaker (Tarragon); Geometry in Venice, Amadeus, Cabaret (Segal Centre); The Retreat From Moscow (Neptune Theatre); Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Amadeus, Frost/Nixon, 7 Stories (Canadian Stage); four years at Stratford, one year at Shaw. As playwright: miss chatelaine (TPM, The Grand); Good Mother (Stratford); Real Live Girl (Buddies/The Grand/MTC); Lucy (Canadian Stage/Ensemble Studio Theatre – NYC, Delaware Theatre Co.); The Mill, Part Four: Ash (Theatrefront). Damien has taught Vocal Masque at the National Theatre School of Canada, and he has been a playwright-in-residence at the University of British Columbia, The Canadian Stage Co. and Crow’s Theatre. He has been nominated for four Dora Awards for acting and writing, winning twice. Upcoming: London Road (Canadian Stage), Beatrice and Virgil (Factory Theatre).
ASHLIE CORCORAN (Director)
Ashlie is Artistic Director of the Thousand Islands Playhouse for which she has directed Third Floor, The 25th Annual Putnam County and Salt-Water Moon. She is also the Artistic Producer and founder of Toronto’s Dora Award winning Theatre Smash for which she has directed Tiny Dynamite, Tijuana Cure, A Boy Called Newfoundland and The Ugly One and produced Norway.Today. Ashlie also directs opera, including The Magic Flute at Opera Philadelphia, Don Giovanni, Le Lauréat and Three Sisters Who are Not Sisters at the Glenn Gould School, RCM and The Bear, Cinderella, Isis & The Seven Scorpions and The Brothers Grimm at the Canadian Opera Company. Ashlie is a past Shaw Festival Director Intern, was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award (for The Ugly One), was short-listed for the Pauline McGibbon Award and is a past Urjo Kareda Emerging Artist at the Tarragon Theatre. Upcoming: THE UGLY ONE: Theatre Smash/Tarragon Theatre
CAMERON DAVIS (Projection Designer)
Selected credits include: projection designer: Yukonstyle (Canadian Stage); CRASH (Theatre Passe Muraille); Beyond the Farm Show (Blyth Festival); Feng Yi Ting (Spoleto Festival USA/Lincoln Center Festival/Luminato Festival); Chile con Carne (Alameda Theatre); Every Letter Counts (Factory Theatre); Cruel and Tender (Canadian Stage); Swimmer (68) (Hopscotch Collective); The Book of Esther (Blyth Festival); Rock ‘n’ Roll (Canadian Stage/Citadel); video designer: Dance Marathon (bluemouth inc – various international festivals). Cameron also teaches and mentors projection design at the National Theatre School of Canada.
PAUL DUNN (Creator/Performer)
Paul’s recent acting credits include the world premiere of Tim Luscombe’s Pig, (here at Buddies earlier this season), Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Driftwood Theatre), Woof in HAIR (Grand Theatre, London), Hermann in East of Berlin (Tarragon Theatre and national tour), and performances in After Akhmatova (Tarragon), Peter Pan and Dangerous Liaisons (Stratford), The Middle Place (SummerWorks), Hana’s Suitcase (YPT premiere and tour), The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? (Canadian Stage), After the Orchard (NAC), Snowman, Steel Kiss/Gulag (Buddies in Bad Times), and his own one-man show BOYS (Theatre Direct). He was a member of the Stratford Festival’s acting company for seven seasons, appearing in numerous Shakespeare plays, as well as Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra, David Young’s Glenn, and the premieres of Timothy Findley’s Elizabeth Rex and Peter Hinton’s The Swanne. As a playwright, his work includes BOYS, High-Gravel-Blind, and Offensive Shadows. He is currently developing Outside, with Roseneath Theatre, about homophobia, bullying and GSA’s in high-schools. Paul is a graduate of Grant MacEwan University and the National Theatre School of Canada, where he has been a regular guest instructor.
PAUL HALFERTY (Dramaturg)
Paul Halferty is in the final stages of completing his Phd dissertation, a history gay male theatre in Toronto at the University of Toronto. His work has been published in Theatre Research in Canada, Canadian Theatre Review, and in the anthology Queer Theatre in Canada. He is associate editor of TRANS(per)FORMING Nina Arsenault: An Unreasonable Body of Work, published by Intellect Press, and is a contributor to the anthology. He has taught at York University, the University of Toronto, and at Brock University, mainly in the areas of theatre history, acting, gender and sexuality studies.
ANDREW KUSHNIR (Creator/Performer)
Andrew is a Toronto-based actor, playwright and community arts worker, as well as creative director of Project: Humanity (PH), an organization raising awareness of social issues through the arts. Select acting credits: Passion Play (Convergence/Sheep No Wool/Outside The March), Spelling Bee (Thousand Islands Playhouse), The Middle Place (PH, Canadian Stage, Theatre Passe Muraille, national tour), Frankenstein (Catalyst Theatre, 3 national tours), Habitat (Theatre Network), The Last Five Years (Theatre&Co.), Offensive Shadows (Studio 180). His play The Middle Place is an award-winning piece of verbatim theatre about youth homelessness, which has toured Toronto high schools, has been produced for general audiences in Toronto three times, and has toured nationally. Andrew is currently playwright-in-residence at the Tarragon Theatre and developing a new verbatim work at The Theatre Centre. He is a graduate of the University of Alberta’s BFA Acting program and a 2013 recipient of the university’s Alumni Horizon Award. Upcoming: COCK (Studio 180)
THOMAS RYDER PAYNE (Sound Designer)
Thomas Ryder Payne is a Toronto based composer and sound designer. Starting as a songwriter with a 4-track recorder, Thomas has followed a varied musical career including studying with composer James Tenney, recording and touring for six years with the Juno nominated band Joydrop and producing numerous records. Recent work has focused on theatre, dance and film including designs for Soulpepper (Kim’s Convenience, La Ronde), Stratford (The Matchmaker, Othello), CanStage (Someone Else, Middle Place), Tarragon (The Little Years, If We Were Birds, Leo), Toronto Dance Theatre (Everyday Anthems), NAC, Theatre Calgary, GCTC, Nightwood, YPT, Factory, Modern Times, Crows and many others. Thomas has received 2 Dora awards and 12 nominations.
KIMBERLY PURTELL (Set and Lighting Designer)
Kimberly is thrilled and honoured to be working with this fabulous group of artists on The Gay Heritage Project. Most recently she designed the lights for Proud (GCTC), Waiting for Godot (Stratford Festival), Race (Canadian Stage), Entertaining Mr. Sloane and La Ronde (Soulpepper), Falsettos (Acting Up Stage), The Normal Heart (Studio 180), Svadba (Philadelphia Opera), Loveloss (Dancemakers), and the set and lighting for Crash (Theatre Passe Muraille). She is a recipient of the Pauline McGibbon Award and three Dora Awards for lighting design.
Every Thursday, stick around after the show for a lively conversation with the creators of The Gay Heritage Project and different special guests every night.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 14
with special guests S. Bear Bergman and Catherine Hernandez
THURSDAY, JANUARY 21
with special guests Katie Sly and Chy Ryan Spain
THURSDAY, JANUARY 28
with special guest Samira Moyheddin
TUESDAYS – SATURDAYS AT 8:00PM // SUNDAY AT 2:30PM // ALL PREVIEWS AT 8:00PM
Wednesday, January 6 // 8pm (preview)
Thursday, January 7 // 8pm (opening night)
Friday, January 8 // 8pm
Saturday, January 9 // 8pm
Sunday, January 10 // 2:30pm
Tuesday, January 12 // 8pm
Wednesday, January 13 // 8pm
Thursday, January 14 // 8pm
Friday, January 15 // 8pm
Saturday, January 16 // 8pm
Sunday, January 17 // 2:30pm
Tuesday, January 19 // 8pm
Wednesday, January 20 // 8pm
Thursday, January 21 // 8pm
Friday, January 22 // 8pm
Saturday, January 23 // 8pm
Sunday, January 24 // 2:30pm
Tuesday, January 26 // 8pm
Wednesday, January 27 // 8pm
Thursday, January 28 // 8pm
Friday, January 29 // 8pm
Saturday, January 30 // 8pm
Sunday, January 31 // 2:30pm
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