The Rhubarb Festival
February 9 – 13, 2022
“Rhubarb is impossible to predict, but even more impossible to resist.”
Andrea Shin Ling
Back for a 43rd year, Rhubarb transforms Buddies into a hotbed of experimentation, with artists challenging our notions of what art-making and art-watching can be. As Canada’s longest-running festival of experimental performance, Rhubarb is the place to encounter the most adventurous ideas in performance and to catch familiar and unfamiliar artists venturing into uncharted territory.
“What does it mean after a year such as this, to regenerate one’s practice? What have we left to deteriorate, and what do we use as fodder and fuel for new creation?”
– Andrea Shin Ling
Following this past year’s festival’s manifestation as a book, Rhubarb is transforming once again, with design lead Andrea Shin Ling creating a large-scale installation in the Chamber space that will serve as a site for artists to respond to, engage with, and leave their mark on. Her Rhubarb project, Calculus of an infinite rot, part 1, experiments with designed decay in organic objects, complicating ideas around decay and regeneration as paired processes in nature.
graphic design by Omar Rivero
Wednesday, February 9 – 7:30PM
Claudia Edwards + Tram Nghiem
Thursday, February 10 – 7:30PM
Friday, February 11 – 7:30PM
Lara Kramer + Ruby Caldwell Kramer
Brawk Ward + Esther Splett
Saturday, February 12 – 7:30PM
Sarah Garton Stanley
Sunday, February 13 – 2PM
festival director Clayton Lee
design lead Andrea Shin Ling
programming committee Shannon Cochrane, seeley quest, Keijaun Thomas + Arielle Twist
Clayton (he/him) is a Toronto-based performance artist. Previous performances include (◕‿◕✿) at The Performance Arcade in Wellington, New Zealand and Chapter’s EXPERIMENTICA in Cardiff, Wales; Duets for Beginners (SummerWorks); Chew, Chew, Swallow, Spit (Rhubarb Festival); and Informal Beginnings (Katzman Contemporary’s Duration & Dialogue II). His publication Brandy, the Virgin Slayer – Missed Connections appears as part of the BOOK MACHINE Project at Centre Pompidou in Paris, now part of its permanent Kandinsky Collection. Clayton is also the Managing Producer of Selfconscious Productions, which presents the annual CanadaHub at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Andrea Ling (CA) is an architect, artist, and researcher working at the intersection of design, fabrication and biology. Her work focuses on how the critical application of biological and computational processes can move society away from exploitative systems of production to regenerative ones. She is the 2020 S+T+ARTS prize winner for her work as the 2019 Creative Resident at Ginkgo Bioworks designing the decay of artifacts in order to access material circularity. She graduated from the MIT Media Lab, Mediated Matter group, where she was a research assistant on the Aguahoja project. Andrea is an architect with the Ontario Association of Architects and a founding partner at designGUILD, a Toronto-based art & design collective. She is currently an A&T fellow at the Institute of Technology and Architecture at ETH Zurich.
Moe Angelos is a theatre artist and writer. She made Book Club performances with FADO Performance Art Centre and with Rhubarb in 2020, when Zoom was a business video conferencing platform. She’s one of the OBIE-Award winning Five Lesbian Brothers and has worked at NYC’s Wow Café since 1981. Moe works with The Builders Association and she’s been a mentor in Queer/Art/Mentorship. Now, she’s developing a piece with the Builders about clickworkers called I Agree to the Terms that will premiere in 2022 at NYU’s Skirball Center. During Covid-19, she’s appeared on Zoom, Twitch and Streamyard.
Ruby Caldwell Kramer + Lara Kramer
Lara Kramer is a performer, choreographer, and multidisciplinary artist of mixed Oji-cree and settler heritage. She lives and works in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang/Montreal. Her choreographic work and research over the last thirteen years have been grounded in intergenerational relations, intergenerational knowledge, and the impacts of the Indian Residential Schools of Canada. She is the first generation in her family to not attend the Residential schools.
Ruby Caldwell Kramer loves cats and painting. Matter/Matter + Memory is the first paired performance work for Ruby and Lara. She performed in This Time Will be Different in 2018, a group work created by Lara Kramer and Emilie Monnet.
Paul graduated from John Abbott College in the Professional Theatre Program in 2005, and since then has designed for a number of Montreal projects. He has also worked at F.A.C.E. school as a designer, technician & coach, and at Tangente, a contemporary dance presenter in Montreal as technical director. Teaching workshops has also been an important part of his development as an artist and mentor. In 2013, along with fellow designer & educator David-Alexandre Chabot, he co-founded CHA, a design collective aimed at creating & sharing design-based works with artists across different disciplines. Paul is continually studying and exploring in the visual arts, where he blends his passion for lighting with in-situ & gallery based installations.
Stanford Cheung is a Neo-Speculative Artist working as a concert pianist, intermedia poet, and sound architect from Toronto who maintains an active international performing career as a recitalist and soloist North America, the UK, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Embodying a plethora of artistic outputs from literary publications, installation art, graphic scores, electronics, improvisations, recordings, to interactive concerts, Stanford collaborates with a broad range of renowned artists including The Honourable Elizabeth. A. Baker, Morgan Fisher, Steven J Fowler, Scott Hunter, Jonathan Kawchuk, Nobuo Kubota, Elæ Moss, Marc di Saverio, and Jordan A.Y Smith among others. Such collaborations have resulted in cross-disciplinary creations that have been exhibited/forthcoming at institutions including the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Orpheus Institute Belgium, the Kitakyushu Centre for Contemporary Arts, Harvard University, The University of Edinburgh, Christchurch University, and Osaka University.
Presently, Stanford is a Doctoral music student at McGill University where his research dissertation is “Wabi-sabi Behind the Scenes in Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Async.”
Claudia Edwards + Tram Nghiem
Claudia Edwards is a performance artist of Indo-Guyanese and British descent, exploring
issues of identity, memory, queerness, power, and decolonization. Their approach is conceptually driven, and formally determined by operation and circulation, spanning the forms of relational performance, experimental dance, photography, video, text, and objects.
Tram Nghiem is a queer Vietnamese/Chinese artist working with stills and moving images. Trained in digital video through professional work, their art practice uses process-based inquiries, digital/analog methods, and often reworks personal and public archives as art.
Currently based in Brooklyn, New York, Jesús Hilario-Reyes (born 1996, San Juan, Puerto Rico) is an interdisciplinary artist with a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts Studio from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Recently a recipient of the Leslie Lohman Museum Fellowship, the Drawing a Blank Artist Grant, and the upcoming Bemis Center Residency (2022) program. Jesús Hilario-Reyes has exhibited/screened both nationally and internationally, most notably at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Black Star Film Festival and Mana Contemporary. While situating their practice at the crossroads of sonic performance, new media, and expanded cinema, their iterative works examine carnival and rave culture throughout the West, to take on a necessary satirical approach to undermine the systems at play.
Jessica Johns is a nehiyaw aunty with English-Irish ancestry and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta. MAPS is a visual rendering of microbial connection between people and land. Made with dehydrated SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), my kokum Eileen Smith’s thread, and beads, MAPS denotes all the places family members and friends have built homemade kombucha using offspring from the mother SCOBY.
Myung-Sun Kim is an artist and a curator, born in Seoul, South Korea and currently based in Toronto, Canada. Her practice explores questions around belonging, inheritance, kinship and lineage. She has presented her work across North America and in Finland, including Art Gallery of Ontario, MOCA Toronto, FADO Performance Art Centre, and Plug In ICA. As a curator, she has led curatorial programming at galleries and festivals including Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, Inside Out Film Festival, The Theatre Centre, and most recently at the Toronto Biennial of Art as the Curator of Public Programming & Learning.
Liliefeldt is a Toronto based Performance Artist and painter. As a South African woman who immigrated to Canada at a young age, her work often draws directly from this culture and her lived experiences in order to talk about issues related to the politics of identity as it intersects with gender and race. She is interested in the possibilities of the body in space and the effect of time in a space. Her work examines the cultural conventions of spectatorship and the links between emotional/psychological states and physical experience.
Sarah Garton Stanley
Director, dramaturg, and Ph.D. Candidate in Cultural Studies at Queen’s University, Sarah Garton Stanley is originally from Montreal, now lives on the unceded and ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaq People in Southwest Nova Scotia. During her tenure as the Associate Artistic Director of English Theatre at the National Arts Centre, she led The Cycle(s). Sarah co-founded SpiderWebShow and FOLDA and co-invented SketchSpace. Sarah spent the first part of her life trying to be extraordinary. Having failed at that… she is spending the second half of her life working towards being ordinary and developing rituals to say goodbye to the things that no longer serve her in this quest.
Brawk Ward + Esther Splett
Esther Splett incorporates performance art into their experimental electronic music and describes themself as “the ghost of Emily Brontë resurrected as a bottle blonde synth player who just wants to have fun but can’t.”
Brawk Ward tries to imagine other paths their addictions can take beyond the fork in the road offered in recovery programs: either “jails, institutions, and death” or abstinence. The only “beyond” Brawk has found has been through poetry, object puppetry, and drag.
Together Esther Splett and Brawk Ward are nothing more than “gays and BPD art hoes” used to curb moisture, control odor, and soothe minor skin irritations.
december 19, 2021. i identify as a white, invisibly-disabled, transgendered artist and recipient of the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). a few years ago, my work shifted to root itself in the teachings received during crisis times and it is now weaved so that survival needs, such as housing and income security, are better matched. when my basic needs are secured, this practice aims at systemic change in Toronto. when, like now, my housing is unsafe, my health is affected and my friends are helping to their limits, it is not “about” basics anymore; it my own survival. my website has not been updated for several months.
Since graduating in 1984, Johannes has presented work across Canada and internationally. In 2013, he presented a collection of his videos at FIFA in Montreal and the following year presented the performance, “Island” at M:ST Festival, Calgary, as well as venues in Shanghai and Chongqing, China. His photographic and collage work has been featured in galleries in Vienna, Berlin, Shanghai, Hamburg, Caen and Mexico City. From 2011-14 he facilitated the Intensive Performance Art Workshop at Artscape Gibraltar Point and and started the curatorial project S.P.A.N.E.. He was also a member of the curatorial team Duration And Dialogue (2015-17). In 2019 the Copenhagen Contemporary Museum commissioned him to create a score for their permanent collection and performed at the International Biennial of Asuncion, Paraguay. In 2020, Johannes was the artist-in-residence at Western University’s McIntosh Gallery in London, Ontario, presenting the exhibition Listening To Trees.
This year’s festival takes on a different shape than previous editions of Rhubarb. It is intentionally smaller—with no repeat performances—in an effort to provide more robust support to artists, and allow for the projects to be in ongoing conversation with one another.
Your Rhubarb tickets grants you access to all the programming on that day, featuring the artists listed under that day in the “festival schedule” tab.
Launched to mark the festival’s 35th anniversary, The Rhubarb Archive is a (hopefully) comprehensive list of all the projects, performances, experiments, parties, and special events to ever grace the stage at Canada’s longest-running new works festivalVISIT THE ARCHIVE
“TORONTO’S GO-TO EVENT FOR THOUGHT-PROVOKING, POLITICAL, ADVENTUROUS ENTERTAINMENT”
“ONE OF THE BEST EVENTS ON THE TORONTO THEATRE CALENDAR”
“A TORONTO THEATRE INSTITUTION”
“THE WILDEST THEATRE FEST IN TOWN”
“RHUBARB IS IMPOSSIBLE TO PREDICT, BUT EVEN MORE IMPOSSIBLE TO RESIST”
-My Gay Toronto
Dates & Times
A limited number of free tickets will be available for each festival night – these can be purchased through our online ticketing system.
With awareness of the ongoing and evolving pandemic, we’re selling tickets in a phased rollout, starting with 25% of tickets being on sale. With Ontario theatres currently closed to the public until January 26, we will be monitoring the situation and will update ticketholders and the public (via website and social media) once restrictions affecting the festival dates are announced.
For more information on our COVID safety measures, including our vaccination policy, click here.