WORLDPLAY 2016

 

                                        

 

February 13th @ 8pm:  Body Indian by Hanay Geiogamah (Kiowa & Delaware Native American)

                            

                            Directed by Naomi Simpson

February 14th @ 8pm:  Between Life and Death by Gao Xingjian (China)                        

                             Translated by Gilbert C. F. Fong

                             Directed by Julian Cervello

February 19th @ 8 pm:  Terrorism by The Presnyakov Brothers (Russia)                       

                             Translated by Sasha Dugdale

                             Directed by Wendy Merk

 

February 20th @ 8 pm:  603 by Imad Farajin (Palestine)

                            
                              Translated by Hassan Abdulrazzak
                              Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

Where:  The BELFRY ARTS CENTRE, Studio A, 1291 Gladstone Ave. Victoria, BC.

Entrance by donation


February 13th @ 8pm:  Body Indian by Hanay Geiogamah (Kiowa & Delaware Native American)

                               Directed by Naomi Simpson

 

Body Indian

In Body Indian, first produced in 1972 and published in 1980, Hanay Geiogamah illustrates the warring forces of self-destruction and survival instinct that he sees in the American Indian (Geiogamah's preferred term). Taking place in a small impoverished apartment outside the Oklahoma reservations, this play is a microcosm of the life of the American Indians as they strive to survive and cope with their world and their weaknesses. On the surface Body Indian can easily be interpreted as a simple commentary on the Indians' long-running battle with alcoholism, but at its core lies a defiant Indian spirit refusing to give up on survival.

Hanay Geiogamah

 

Although he fills many roles -- director, producer, screenwriter, editor, teacher, and mentor -- Hanay Geiogamah is mainly recognized as the most important Native American playwright of the late twentieth century. In his plays Geiogamah strives to portray contemporary American Indian life for both Indians and non-Indians.

Geiogamah was born in Lawton, Oklahoma to a Kiowa father and Delaware mother. He graduated from Anadarko High School and studied journalism at the University of Oklahoma. He later received his Master's degree in theater from Indiana University Bloomington. Following his graduation, he landed a job as the public affairs liaison for Commissioner of Indian Affairs Louis Bruce within the Bureau of Indian Affairs under President Richard Nixon. In late 1971, Geiogamah formed a theater group at the La MaMa Experimental Theater Club in New York City's Lower East Side. His first play was Body Indian in 1972 followed by Coon Cons Coyote and Foghorn. The group produced his final play 49 in 1975. He founded the 16-member American Indian Theatre Ensemble in New York City in 1972, which was the first company to perform Native American plays for Indian people.
In 1980, Geiogamah became the author of New Native American Drama: Three Plays, published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Geiogamah later formed the widely acclaimed American Indian Dance Theatre, which gave its first public performance in 1987 with Geiogamah as its director and Barbara Schwei as its producer. The 24-member dance troupe represented about 18 Indian nations and toured both nationally and internationally. The dancers wore a variety of traditional costumes, and the music was performed on traditional instruments made by the performers. The group made their New York City debut in 1989 in Manhattan's Joyce Theater.

Geiogamah serves on the National Film Preservation Board established in 1988 as an advisory body to the Librarian of Congress' National Film Registry.

From 2002 to 2009, Geiogamah served as the director of the UCLA American Indian Studies Center and was a founder and co-director along with Jaye T. Darby, Ph.D. of "Project HOOP" (Honoring Our Origins and Peoples), a national, multi-disciplinary initiative to establish Native theater in tribal colleges, Native communities, K-12 schools, and mainstream institutions.

Naomi Simpson has been an active member of the Victoria Theatre Community for over a decade. She recently directed the acclaimed Theatre Inconnu production of In The Next Room (or the vibrator play), but is perhaps better known for her work on stage playing a wide variety of roles. Selected local acting credits include: True West, Uncle Vanya (Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre), Copenhagen, Simon Stephen’s Pornography, The Crackwalker (Inconnu), The Beauty Queen of Lenane, Dancing at Lughnasa, Pack of Lies (Langham), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Three Penny Opera (WhoS), and just last summer in Puente Theatre and SNAFU's critically acclaimed co-production of Lieutenant Nun.
When not acting, Naomi can often be found playing country music in various taverns, bars and festivals.


February 14th @ 8 pm:  Between Life and Death by Gao Xingjian (China)
                             Translated by Gilbert C. F. Fong

                             Directed by Julian Cervello

Between Life and Death is a haunting story of one woman’s recollections at the end of her life. Told through monologue, dance, and images the play utilizes a fragmented approach to character, with two performers playing the primary role – dancer and actor, and delves into modern themes of identity, alienation and the desire for redemption.

Gao Xingjian is a Chinese émigré novelist, playwright, and critic who in 2000 was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature “for an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity.” He is also a noted translator (particularly of Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco), screenwriter, stage director, and a celebrated painter. In 1998, Gao was granted French citizenship.

Gao's drama is considered to be fundamentally absurdist in nature and avant-garde in his native China. His prose works tend to be less celebrated in China but are highly regarded elsewhere in Europe and the West.

When Gao Xingjian won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2000, he became the only Chinese writer to achieve such international acclaim. The Chinese University Press is the first publisher of his work in the English language. Indeed, The Other Shore is one of the few works by the author available in English today. The Other Shore: Plays by Gao Xingjian contains five of Gaos most recent works: The Other Shore (1986), Between Life and Death (1991), Dialogue and Rebuttal (1992), Nocturnal Wanderer (1993), and Weekend Quartet (1995). With original imagery and in beautiful language, these plays illuminate the realities of life, death, sex, loneliness, and exile. The plays also show the dramatists idea of the tripartite actor, a process by which the actor neutralizes himself and achieves a disinterested observation of his self in performance.

Gilbert C. F. Fong is professor of the Department of Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong and heads several research projects, including the history of Hong Kong drama, movie and television subtitling, Gao Xingjian, and translated drama. An acclaimed translator, he translated many plays, including works by Gao Xingjian, winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature, into English.

Julian Cervello is a local actor at the beginning of his directing career. He is the artistic director of Scrumpy Theatre which has produced three plays by Geoffrey Chaucer, entirely in Middle English: Canterbury Cocktails, The Wyf of Bathe*, The Friar versus the Summoner, also Two Person Othello, Hanna Moscovitch’s Essay*, a staged reading of Eugene O Neill’s domestic tragedy, A Long Day’s Journey into Night*, and Boiler Room Suite. Selected acting credits include Lieutenant Nun (Puente & SNAFU), War of the Eagles (Kaleidoscope), The Crackwalker, Pornography, In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play (Inconnu), Macbeth (Tempest), Joyful Noise (Peanut Butter People), No Such Thing (Blood Orange), Our Town (Soulpepper).

*Directed by Cervello


February 19th @ 8pm:  Terrorism by The Presnyakov Brothers (Russia)
                              Translated by Sasha Dugdale

                              Directed by Wendy Merk

 

Terrorism

 

Writing plays is a delicately negotiated compromise between the subtleties of literary ambition and the pragmatic limitations of the stage. On the evidence of Terrorism, the Presnyakov Brothers negotiate with style. It has a brutal elegance, the kind of brilliantly nuanced crudity which heralds notable theatre.
The play opens with a bomb scare at an airport that sparks a banal discussion between three passengers on the nature of terrorism. Terrorism, we are told, gains its power by its reasonlessness: anyone might be its target, and being an innocent civilian is no protection. Its only aim is fear, by which we are manipulated and controlled...

'A play with this title has an obvious resonance right now. But the extraordinary thing about this deft and brilliant piece by Siberia’s Presnyakov Brothers is the way it extends ... This is a play about the breakdown of society in contemporary Russia. What astonishes is the cool, sardonic wit that the Presnyakov brothers bring to their task ... beautifully realised in Sasha Dugdale’s translation ... Russian society may be in disarray, but, on the evidence of this and the recent work of Vassily Sigarev, a sense of dislocation yields first-rate drama' - Guardian


'A bitter, funny, penetrating look at the toxic effects of living with fear. Terrorism isn’t about victims or perpetrators or one savage act. It’s a series of takes on a society broken by horror and suspicion, turning against itself ... Terrorism shrugs off more ideas in quarter of an hour’s wit than most political debating plays do in an evening' - Observer

The Presnyakov Brothers are writers, playwrights, screenwriters, directors, theatre producers, and actors. The sons of an Iranian mother and a Russian father, Oleg was born in 1969 and Vladimir in 1974. Both brothers graduated from the same school: M. Gorky Urals State University in Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast. Until recently, they were both also on the faculty of that same university: Oleg in literary theory and philology, and Vladimir in literary theory and psychology. Together, the two founded the university’s Youth Theatre, "Theatre under the name of Christina Orbakaite", an organization committed to producing experimental theatre work.

Oleg and Vladimir also write in tandem; all their plays are presented and published under their chosen joint name: The Presnyakov Brothers. Students of language, the Presnyakov brothers are praised in Russia for their attention to natural-sounding speech, dialogue that sounds “overheard on the street.” Their cool, sardonic wit enlivens their plays, and together, they create bitter and funny examinations of life in a post-Soviet Russian culture.

Sasha Dugdale is a poet, playwright, and translator, born in Sussex, England. She has worked as a consultant for theater companies in addition to writing her own plays. From 1995 to 2000, she worked for the British Council in Russia. She is author of the poetry collections The Estate (2007), Notebook (2003), and Red House (2011) and has translated Russian poetry and drama, including Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.

Wendy Merk graduated from the Theatre Department of the University of Victoria, and went on to produce, write, direct, and act in plays, musicals, operas, and film in Victoria and Toronto.

Now a permanent resident of Victoria, as a director, Wendy is notorious for her offbeat productions of Gilbert and Sullivan, including HMS Pinafore, The Gondoliers, Ruddigore, and Pirates of Penzance (complete with bobbies on bicycles). She also likes to direct classical plays with a twist, often casting women in male roles particularly in her work with the Victoria Shakespeare Festival: Much Ado About Nothing, Lysistrata, and The Tempest.

As an actor, Wendy is famous for her high-spirited characterizations, including 'Ruth' in Pirates of Penzance, 'Buttercup' in HMS Pinafore, 'Mother Courage' (title role), and 'Mother Superior' in Nunsense.

Wendy’s most beloved singing telegram character is 'Helga the Opera Viking'. She has also created and managed the Coventry Carollers for over 20 years.


February 20th @ 8 pm:  603 by Imad Farajin

                               Translated by Hassan Abdulrazzak
                               Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

603 brings us to the core of the Israeli justice system where we meet Palestinian prisoners Mosquito, Boxman, Slap, and Snake as they cope with ten years of incarceration, and the uncertainty of when, if ever, they will be released. In cell 603, imaginations run wild as our four prisoners take refuge in fantasy in an attempt to escape the crushing realities of history.  

Have their then-heroic acts become pointless?  Are the walls really moving?  Is madness the only escape? If and when freedom comes, will they know it?  Will they trust it?

“Through Farajin’s beautifully drawn characters we are reminded in the most distressing way of the insanity created by confinement, but also of the unbending will to survive, and the vigor of resistance in its many forms.” – Nathalie Handal, from the introduction to Inside/Outside: Six Plays from Palestine and the Diaspora

Imad Farajin worked as an actor for nine years and started writing plays in 2002. He studied acting at the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts. He performed in Al Kasaba Theatre’s Alive from Palestine: Stories Under Occupation, which was devised by the company and has toured throughout the world. In 2007, he won the Qattan Foundation’s Young Writer’s Award for his play Chaos. His play 603 was presented as a staged reading at the Royal Court Theatre in November 2008 and at Al Balad Theatre in Amman, Jordan, in February 2009. Since then, a production of 603, directed by Manal Awad, has toured various theatres in the West Bank, as well as Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Imad also writes extensively for television. Within Palestine, Farajin may be better-known as the writer of controversial satire series Homeland on a String, aired on Palestine TV, which provoked angry responses from Hamas officials in 2010. Farajin, however, insisted at the time that his work mocked the Palestinian Authority as much as Hamas, and that political satire was a vital vehicle for public debate in Palestine.

Hassan Abdulrazzak is of Iraqi origin, born in Prague and living in London. He holds a PhD in molecular biology and has worked at Harvard and Imperial College. Hassan’s first play Baghdad Wedding, was staged at Soho Theatre in 2007 to great acclaim. It went on to have productions in Australia and India and was also broadcast on BBC radio 3. Hassan’s play The Prophet was performed at The Gate Theatre in 2012 and was based on extensive interviews in Cairo with revolutionaries and soldiers, journalists and cab drivers. More recently he was commissioned by the Kevin Spacey Foundation to write Dhow Under The Sun, a play for 35 young actors, which was staged in Sharjah, UAE (Jan 2015). He was also commissioned by Untold Theatre to write Catalina, the story of the Moorish slave of Catherine of Aragon (Ovalhouse Theatre 1-4 April 2015). His comic monologue play Love, Bombs and Apples was selected out 114 scripts to be part of the PlayWROUGHT3 festival and was staged at the Arcola Theatre (July 2015) as part of the Shubbak festival. His short play Lost Kingdom was selected out of 75 scripts to be part of San Francisco's Golden Thread ReOrient 2015 festival. His essays have been published in the Guardian, the Edinburgh Review and Al-Ahram Weekly. His poems have been published in Snakeskin and in We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War edited by Nadje Al-Ali and Deborah Al-Najjar. He is currently working on a number of theatre, TV and film projects.

 

Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winner director. She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing in both poetry and drama, and a BA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in Film Production from the Pacific Film & New Media Academy. Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival Faustfest, Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles, El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera, Cruel Tears/Lágrimas Crueles, a Puente and Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre co-production, and as co-writer, The Umbrella, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Puente Theatre’s Gruff. In 2014, Mercedes won the Canadian Stage Award for Direction at the SummerWorks Festival with her play El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera. She is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and the artistic director of Puente Theatre.

 


 

WORLDPLAY

 

A festival of staged readings of plays from around the world

WorldPlay

Puente has presented staged readings of over 60 plays from around the world, from countries such as China, Japan, Chile, Kenya, Nigeria, Italy, Holland, Russia, Iraq, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Mexico, USA, Lithuania, Russia, South Africa, India, Cameroon, Syria, the Philippines and Barbados, as well as several plays with multicultural content by Canadian writers.

Many members of the immigrant community and from a wide variety of cultures have been included in WORLDPLAY as performers or as presenters, giving information about the play and its cultural background. For some of them, it was the first time they were able to see, on stage, an example of the valuable contributions their countries have made to world theatre.

A large number of these plays have never before been presented in Canada. Some of these were Letters for Tomas by Chilean Malucha Pinto, Happy New Century Dr. Freud by Mexican Sabina Berman, Boxcar by Mexican-American Silvia Gonzalez, Harvest by Manjula Padmanabathan from India, Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom by Gillian Slovo and Victoria Brittain from England, and The Woman who Fell From the Sky by Victor Hugo Rascón Banda from Mexico.

Plays such as Letters for Tomas, The Dark Night of Marguerite de Roberval, Three Marias and a Rose, Pereira Declares, The Pilgrimage of the Nuns of Concepción, etc. were translated from the Spanish specially to be presented at WORLDPLAY.

We are lucky to have been in touch with two excellent translators from Japanese into English: Cody Poulton (Victoria) and Yoshi Yoshihara (Vancouver). It is thanks to them that we have been able to present 6 plays from Japan.

Because of WORLDPLAY, we have been in e-mail contact with writers from India, Japan, Chile, United States, England, Kenya, Nigeria, Mexico and more.   All have been thrilled to have their plays presented in Canada.

Puente was able to send US $300 to the Centre for Constitutional Rights in New York gathered during a benefit performance of Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom, a play about the people detained without charge at the Guantanamo Bay prison.

Puente has been able to produce and present three WORLDPLAY plays: Letters for Tomas by Malucha Pinto, The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Victor Hugo Rascón Banda, and The Pilgrimage of the Nuns of Concepción by Jaime Silva.

Members of our audiences have expressed that attending WORLDPLAY gives them a unique, special experience of theatre, not only because of the cultural diversity but also because of the particular style of performance a staged reading demands.

All participants in WORLDPLAY, actors, directors, managers, translators, musicians and presenters, are volunteers. Puente pays only the playwrights, who receive their royalties.   Donations at the door contribute to the space rental costs.   Thank you!

We can truly say WORLDPLAY is a community effort.

All WORLDPLAY staged readings of plays from around the world are performed at the
BELFRY ARTS CENTRE, Studio A, 1291 Gladstone Ave. Victoria

 


WORLDPLAY 2015

 

                                        

 

February 8th @ 8pm:  Love Letters to Stalin by Juan Mayorga

                            

                             Translated by María E. Padilla

                             Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

February 15th @ 8pm:  Oxygen by Ivan Vyrypaev                           

                             Translated by Sasha Dugdale

                             Directed by Emma Zabloski

February 22nd @ 8 pm:  Yerma by Federico García Lorca                            

                             Translated by Ursula Rani Sarma

                             Directed by Kathleen Greenfield

 

March 1st @ 8 pm:  Lieutenant Nun by Elaine Avila

                            

                              Directed by Kathleen Greenfield & Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

Where:  The BELFRY ARTS CENTRE, Studio A, 1291 Gladstone Ave. Victoria, BC.

Entrance by donation


February 8th @ 8pm:  Love Letters to Stalin by Juan Mayorga

                             Translated by María E. Padilla

                             Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

 

Love Letters To Stalin (Spain)

On 18 April 1930, the Russian writer Mikhail Bulgakov received a personal phone call from Stalin. The two men talked about the censorship of Bulgakov’s work, but ultimately nothing was resolved. "Cartas de amor a Stalin" ("Love Letters to Stalin") imagines the devastating effects of that phone call on the writer, as it explores the complex relationship between power and art.

Juan Mayorga is one of the most important Spanish playwrights of his generation.  His first play, Siete Hombres Buenos (Seven Good Men), was awarded second place in the Marques de Bradomin Prize in 1989.  Since this first accolade, Mayorga has won a series of national awards, most prominently, Spain’s National Theatre Prize, which he was awarded in 2007 for services to Spanish theatre.  Mayorga’s work has been translated into many languages and performed widely throughout the world.  In addition to his role as playwright, Juan Mayorga has adapted versions of classical dramas for the Spanish stage.  In January, 2007 he provided a version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People for Madrid’s Centro Dramatico Nacional (CDN), for which he also adapted King Lear in February, 2008.  He was a founding member of – and continues to collaborate with – the El Astillero theatre company that was established in 1993.  In 1998 he began teaching dramaturgy, history of thought, and sociology at the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramatico in Madrid.

Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winner director. She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing in both poetry and drama, and a BA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in Film Production from the Pacific Film & New Media Academy. Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival Faustfest, Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles, El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera, Cruel Tears/Lágrimas Crueles, a Puente and Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre co-production, and as co-writer, The Umbrella, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Puente Theatre’s Gruff. In 2014, Mercedes won the Canadian Stage Award for Direction at the SummerWorks Festival with her play El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera. She is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and her first children’s book Lunar is forthcoming later this year. Mercedes is the artistic director of Puente Theatre.


February 15th @ 8 pm:  Oxygen by Ivan Vyrypaev
                             Translated by Sasha Dugdale

                             Directed by Emma Zabloski

Oxygen   (Russia)

Russian playwright Ivan Vyrypaev is a proponent of the experimental school of New Drama where plot and character are no longer the basis of drama. New Drama playwrights often interview subjects and use their words verbatim as dialogue, attempting to knit a semblance of character from the words with the action happening not on stage, but in recollection. Such plays have become fairly common over the years, but Oxygen takes it a few levels further. Conceived, in the author’s words, as a “live concept album,” Oxygen is not exactly a play, but not exactly performance art either. Though scripted, it feels like a concert.

Ivan Vyrypaev(born August 3, 1974) is a Russian playwright, screenwriter, film director, actor, and art director of the Praktika Theatre in Moscow.

Poet, playwright, and translator Sasha Dugdale was born in Sussex, England. She has worked as a consultant for theater companies in addition to writing her own plays. From 1995 to 2000, she worked for the British Council in Russia. She is author of the poetry collections The Estate (2007), Notebook (2003), and Red House (2011) and has translated Russian poetry and drama, including Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard.

Emma Zabloski is Ottawa-valley born and raised, with French-Ukrainian roots. As artistic director of Zopyra Theatre, she creates original, intimate, and multidisciplinary theatrical events that engage the audience as active creative participants. In Victoria, her work has appeared at the Belfry Theatre's 2012 Spark Festival and at Theatre SKAM's Bike Ride in 2012 and 2012. Her artistic journey has brought her to the University of Ottawa to study theatre, to Poland to train with the Grotowski Workcenter, and most recently to Calgary for the One Yellow Rabbit's Summer Lab. Emma is also member of Victoria-based Catflap Collective and the Ottawa Stilt Union.


February 22nd @ 8pm:  Yerma by Federico García Lorca
                              Translated by Ursula Rani Sarma

                              Directed by Kathleen Greenfield

 

Yerma  (Spain)

 

Young couples have everything to look forward to. A few years enjoying each other’s company before finally bringing a new life into the world. This is all that Yerma desires. But she has not been blessed with a child and, as years of childless marriage turn into decades, her obsession with motherhood grows. Yerma explores the plight of a young wife desperate to conceive, and the bitterness that mounts when desires are thwarted and dreams are slowly crushed by the passing of time.

Federico García Lorca (1898-1936) is without doubt the most famous Spanish playwright of the twentieth century. His poetry and plays are studied in universities worldwide and his work is frequently performed, both nationally and internationally. He was born in Fuente Vaqueros in the southern province of Granada at the end of the nineteenth century. This rural childhood influenced the themes and imagery of much of his work, in which elements from nature and traditional Andalusian country life are often present. As a young man, Lorca initially studied law at the University of Granada. Here, he also took up studies in poetry and art. In 1919, however, Lorca left Granada to study in Madrid, where he lived in the Residencia de Estudiantes (Students’ Residence). Lorca’s stay at the Residencia de Estudiantes was pivotal in terms of the people he met and his future career as both a poet and dramatist. The Spanish surrealist painter Salvador Dalí and the French film maker Luis Buñuel also lived at the Residencia, as well as a number of young Spanish poets who would later come to be known as the Generation of 1927, of which Lorca would also become part. Gradually, during his time in Madrid in the Residencia (where he stayed until 1928), Lorca built up his reputation as a well-known poet and playwright.

Ursula Rani Sarma is an Irish/Indian playwright, screenwriter and poet. She grew up in County Clare, Ireland and has a BA from University College Cork and an MPhil from Trinity College Dublin.

Kathleen Greenfield is dedicated to collective creation, the development of new work and community involvement. Her interests and experience are in site-specific outdoor performance, puppetry, folk stories and women, alternative education practices, and community activism. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a Directing Specialization from the University of Victoria and is currently a Collective Member of the Wayward School. Kathleen has directed the premiere productions of many new works including Little Orange Man (SNAFU), Kitt and Jane (SNAFU-Belfry Spark Festival), The Shoes (Humble Wonder Theatre-Belfry Incubator Project) and Bullfrog Lullaby (head through painting).


March 1st @ 8 pm:  Lieutenant Nun by Elaine Avila
                               Directed by Kathleen Greenfield & Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

Lieutenant Nun  (United States)

Lieutenant Nun is based on the true story of Catalina de Erauso who lived, loved, and fought as a man, a Conquistador, on the frontier of the New World.

Elaine Avila is a Canadian/American playwright of Azorean descent, with a passion for exploring untold stories, from the true account of a female conquistador (Lieutenant Nun) to Portuguese migration (Lost and Found in Fado, Kitimat). Frequently incorporating music, politics and humor, her work has been described as “bold, intelligent, forthright, spirited, compassionate…inviting, wide-ranging” (Caridad Svich), “open, generous” (Erik Ehn) and with “Loads of talent…a wonderful writer, tremendously gifted, reliable, and innovative.” (Suzan-Lori Parks). She was born in Maryland, raised in San Jose, California, and lives/has lived in Vancouver, British Columbia; Los Angeles, New Mexico and New York. Elaine is the Playwright in Residence at Pomona College in Los Angeles in 2014-2015. She is the former Endowed Chair and Head of the MFA Program in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico, founder of the LEAP Playwriting Program at Vancouver's Arts Club Theater, and currently a Playwrights Theatre Centre Associate in Vancouver, in residence from 2013-2016. She has worked as a dramaturge in numerous capacities, notably in cross-cultural work with Pangaea Arts on collaborations involving Inuit Storyteller Michael Kusugak and Chinese Opera. She received her MFA in Writing for Performance from CalArts, where she worked closely with adored mentors Suzan-Lori Parks, Erik Ehn, Alice Tuan, and Brian Freeman.

Elaine was recently distinguished as a descendentes notáveis (Notable Descendant) for her theater work by the Government of the Azores, Portugal.

Kathleen Greenfield is dedicated to collective creation, the development of new work and community involvement. Her interests and experience are in site-specific outdoor performance, puppetry, folk stories and women, alternative education practices, and community activism. She holds a BFA in Theatre with a Directing Specialization from the University of Victoria and is currently a Collective Member of the Wayward School. Kathleen has directed the premiere productions of many new works including Little Orange Man (SNAFU), Kitt and Jane (SNAFU-Belfry Spark Festival), The Shoes (Humble Wonder Theatre-Belfry Incubator Project) and Bullfrog Lullaby (head through painting).

 

Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, and award-winner director. She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing in both poetry and drama, and a BA Honours in Philosophy from the University of Victoria, as well as a Diploma in Film Production from the Pacific Film & New Media Academy. Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival Faustfest, Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles, El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera, Cruel Tears/Lágrimas Crueles, a Puente and Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre co-production, and as co-writer, The Umbrella, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Puente Theatre’s Gruff. In 2014, Mercedes won the Canadian Stage Award for Direction at the SummerWorks Festival with her play El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera. She is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and her first children’s book Lunar is forthcoming later this year. Mercedes is the artistic director of Puente Theatre.

 


 

WORLDPLAY 2014

 

                                        

 

February 9th @ 8pm:  Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss

                             Translated by Geoffrey Skelton with lyric adaptation by Adrian Mitchell

                             Directed by Julian Cervello

February 16th @ 8pm:  The Container by Clare Bayley
                             Directed by Justin Carter

February 23rd @ 8 pm:  Così by Louis Nowra
                             Directed by Graham McDonald

March 2nd @ 8 pm:  Way to Heaven by Juan Mayorga, Translated by David Johnston

                             Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

Where:  The BELFRY ARTS CENTRE, Studio A, 1291 Gladstone Ave. Victoria, BC.

Entrance by donation


February 9th @ 8pm:  Marat/Sade by Peter Weiss

                             Translated by Geoffrey Skelton with lyric adaptation by Adrian Mitchell

                             Directed by Julian Cervello

 

Marat/Sade   (Germany)

The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, usually shortened to Marat/Sade, is a 1963 play by Peter Weiss.  The work was first published in German.  Incorporating dramatic elements characteristic of both Artaud and Brecht, it is a bloody and unrelenting depiction of class struggle and human suffering which asks whether true revolution comes from changing society or changing oneself.  Marat/Sade is set in 1808 and concerns a performance by members of the asylum in which the Marquis de Sade was incarcerated from 1801 to 1814.  At the warden’s suggestion, de Sade directs his fellow inmates in a dramatic re-creation of the assassination of Jean-Paul Marat in 1793.  What follows is an intense dialectical contest between de Sade and Marat.  According to Weiss, de Sade personifies anarchy, self-indulgence, and individualism, while Marat, a pre-Marxist revolutionary, believes that the end justifies the means, no matter how violent the means may be.

Peter Weiss (1916-1982) was a German writer, painter, graphic artist, and experimental filmmaker of adopted Swedish nationality. He is particularly known for his plays Marat/Sade and The Investigation, and his novel The Aesthetics of Resistance.  Weiss earned his reputation in the post-war German literary world as the proponent of an avant-garde, meticulously descriptive writing, as an exponent of autobiographical prose, and also as a politically engaged dramatist.  He gained international success with Marat/Sade, the American production of which was awarded a Tony Award and its subsequent film adaptation directed by Peter Brook.  His Auschwitz Oratorium, The Investigation, served to broaden the debates over the so-called "Vergangenheitspolitik" or "politics of history."  Weiss' magnum opus was The Aesthetics of Resistance, called the "most important German-language work of the 70s and 80s.  His early, surrealist-inspired work as a painter and experimental filmmaker remains less well known. 

 

Weiss was a Marxist and an exponent of the Theatre of Cruelty: his stated theatrical purpose was to shock his audiences into suffering and atoning for the violent insanity of modern society.

 

Julian Cervello is a local actor at the beginning of his directing career.  He is the artistic director of Scrumpy Theatre which has produced three plays by Geoffrey Chaucer, entirely in Middle English: Canterbury Cocktails, The Wyf of Bathe*, The Friar versus the Summoner, also Two Person Othello, Hanna Moscovitch’s Essay*, and a staged reading of Eugene O Neill’s domestic tragedy, A Long Day’s Journey into Night*.

 

*Directed by Cervello


February 16th @ 8 pm:  The Container by Clare Bayley
                             Directed by Justin Carter

The Container   (England)

The Container tells the story of five migrants – two Afghans, two Somalis and a Turkish Kurd –seeking a new life in the UK.  The play deals with asylum, racial and religious persecution.  It was staged at the Edinburgh festival in 2007, where it won the Amnesty International 2007 Freedom of Expression Award and a Fringe First award.

Clare Bayley is a playwright, and former Theatre Editor of The Independent, as well as freelance journalist and theatre critic.  Her first play, The Container, won a Fringe First Award in 2007 and the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award.  It was revived by the Young Vic in 2009.  Her second play, a new version of Victoria Benedictsson’s The Enchantment, premiered at the National Theatre in 2007.  Her other plays include The Woman Who Swallowed A Pin (Southwark Playhouse); Northern Lights (also produced on radio); and a screenplay Corridors in The Air, for which she was awarded the Sunday Times Screenwriting award.

Justin Carter has been a performer on and off for the last 18 years.   His artistic endeavours have included dance, acting, comedy, and food.  Justin attended The William Davis Centre in Vancouver and went on to perform in commercials, film, and theatre.  He also spent five years with the ‘Throw Us A Line’ comedy improv troupe. Justin has also performed in theatre festivals across Canada with his one man show, Son of Africville.


February 23rd @ 8pm:  Così by Louis Nowra
                              Directed by Graham McDonald

 

Così    (Australia)

 

Così was first performed in 1992 at the Belvoir St Theatre in Sydney, Australia.  Set in a Melbourne mental hospital in 1971, Così is semi-autobiographical, and is the sequel to Nowra's previous semi-autobiographical play, Summer of the Aliens.  The play was adapted into the 1996 film Cosi.

 

Set several years after the events of Summer of the Aliens, Lewis is now in a strained relationship with a bossy woman named Lucy, and in a friendship with political extremist, Nick.  Lewis is always desperate for work as he states "I need the money".  The venue is a theatre that smells of "burnt wood and mould", the cast are patients with very diverse needs, and the play is Mozart's Così Fan Tutte. Through working with the patients, Lewis eventually discovers a new side of himself which allows him to become emotionally involved and to value love, while anti-Vietnam war protests erupt in the streets outside.

 

Louis Nowra is an Australian writer, playwright, screenwriter, and librettist.  He is best known as one of Australia's leading playwrights.  His works have been performed by all of Australia's major theatre companies, including Sydney Theatre Company, Melbourne Theatre Company, Queensland Theatre Company, State Theatre Company of South Australia, Belvoir, and many others, and have also had many international productions.  His most significant plays are Così, Radiance (both of which he turned into films) Byzantine Flowers, coming of age tale Summer of the Aliens and The Golden Age. In 2006 he completed The Boyce Trilogy for Griffin Theatre Company, consisting of The Woman with Dog's Eyes, The Marvellous Boy, and The Emperor of Sydney.  His 2009 novel Ice was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award.  His script for 1996 movie Cosi, which revolves around a group of mentally-ill patients who put on a play, won the Australian Film Institute Award that year for Best Adapted Screenplay.  Nowra's work as a scriptwriter also includes a credit on Irish-set Janeane Garofalo comedy The MatchMaker and globespanning Vincent Ward romance Map of the Human Heart, which was invited to the Cannes Film Festival.  His radio plays include Albert Names Edward, The Song Room, The Widows and the five part The Divine Hammer, which aired on the ABC in 2003.


In March 2007, Nowra published a controversial book on violence in Aboriginal communities, Bad Dreaming.  He was also one of the principal writers for landmark, multi award-winning 2008 SBS TV series, First Australians. Nowra is also a cultural commentator, with essays and commentary appearing regularly in The Monthly and the Australian Literary Review as well as major newspapers.

Graham McDonald is a freelance theatre artist and the former Associate Artistic Director of Theatre Inconnu.  Locally Graham has worked with Intrepid Theatre, Theatre SKAM, The VSS, The Belfry, Fear No Opera, and this is his fourth time working with Puente Theatre.  Graham's recent directing credits include Don Pasquale by Rossini, Blackbird by David Harrower, The Walworth Farce by Enda Walsh, The Crackwalker by Judith Thompson, Shining City by Conor McPherson, Pornography by Simon Stephens, The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee, The Caretaker by Harold Pinter, and Moscow Stations adapted from the novel by Vendict Yerofeev by Steven Mulrine which had its Off Broadway debut in NYC last year.  Graham's next directing project is Così Fan Tutte with Fear No Opera.


March 2nd @ 8 pm:  Way to Heaven by Juan Mayorga, Translated by David Johnston
                               Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

Way to Heaven (Himmelweg, Camino del Cielo)    (Spain)

Way to Heaven explores the terrible phenomenon of Jewish complicity in covering up the reality of the Holocaust.   It is based on the compulsory acting that played out in the “model camp” of Theresienstadt, located near Prague.   The play is a historical amalgam; combining aspects of the infamous show camp and the famous July 1944 Red Cross visit to inspect the camp, as well as its subsequent approval by the Red Cross.   This awesome “dress rehearsal” is played out in the shadow of the Nazi death machine, which is evoked by the trains arriving promptly at 6 a.m. every morning, and the ever-present ramp leading to the death chambers and crematorium.   As the play makes relentlessly clear, the façade of normalcy – children playing, a balloon seller, a mid-day meal and the petty drama of young lovers – all serve to mask the grim reality of what was really a transit labor camp on the way to Auschwitz.   Starvation and disease was the norm at Theresienstadt even though the Nazis lauded the camp as the safe haven for the Jewish cultural elite of Germany, Czechoslovakia and Austria.   Indeed there was an amazing amount of art, music and theater produced by the inmates, before they were shipped East to their deaths.   Hence the tragic irony played out in Way to Heaven.

 

In German, it’s ‘Himmelweg’.  In English, it’s ‘Way to heaven’.  Such beautiful expressions in either language.  Yet they mask a deadly reality – cynical euphemisms for the ramp that leads Jewish concentration camp inmates to their deaths.  They are linguistic disguises, just as performance becomes a disguise in Way to Heaven to conceal the horrors of concentration camp life from a Red Cross Representative.  Rather than gas chambers and cruel guards, the Representative sees nothing unusual, as the Jewish inmates are forced to perform ‘normality’ for their visitor.  Duped by what he sees, the Representative goes away satisfied that the rumours of inhumane Nazi death camps are untrue.

Yet how much power does a performance have to deceive?  Was the Representative really duped or was he happy to believe in the superficial pretence of reality in front of him?  When faced with the bombastic and intimidating theatrics used by governments today to conceal atrocities, are we - unlike the Representative - prepared to speak out?

Juan Mayorga is one of the most important Spanish playwrights of his generation.  His first play, Siete Hombres Buenos (Seven Good Men), was awarded second place in the Marques de Bradomin Prize in 1989.  Since this first accolade, Mayorga has won a series of national awards, most prominently, Spain’s National Theatre Prize, which he was awarded in 2007 for services to Spanish theatre.  Mayorga’s work has been translated into many languages and performed widely throughout the world.  In addition to his role as playwright, Juan Mayorga has adapted versions of classical dramas for the Spanish stage.  In January, 2007 he provided a version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People for Madrid’s Centro Dramatico Nacional (CDN), for which he also adapted King Lear in February, 2008.  He was a founding member of – and continues to collaborate with – the El Astillero theatre company that was established in 1993.  In 1998 he began teaching dramaturgy, history of thought, and sociology at the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramatico in Madrid.

Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-diciplinary artist and writer.  She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada.  Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival "Faustfest," Shining Through, With Open Arms, El Jinete, A Mariachi Opera, and as co-writer, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre, The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop, and Gruff, for Kaleidoscope's Family Theatre Festival.  Mercedes' upcoming productions of her plays are The Umbrella, co-written with Judd Palmer with original music by Bučan Bučan (February 28th), and Lágrimas Crueles/Cruel Tears, a Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre and Puente co-production (April 29th - May 11th). Her latest film credit, camera and cinematography, is for the feature-length documentary about the singer/songwriter Feist, Look At What The Light Did Now (Revolver Films 2010).  Mercedes is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and the artistic director of Puente Theatre.

 


WORLDPLAY 2013

 

 

March 7 @ 8pm:  The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, Adapted by Edward Kemp

                             Directed by Graham McDonald

March 8 @ 8pm:   Andorra by Max Frisch, Translated by Michael Bullock
                             Directed by Naomi Simpson

March 9 @ 8 pm:   Suspicious Moves by András Maros
                              Directed by Joel Bernbaum

March 10 @ 8 pm:  Hurricane by Nilo Cruz

                             Directed by Katheleen Greenfield

Where: The BELFRY ARTS CENTRE, Studio A, 1291 Gladstone Ave. Victoria, BC.

Entrance by donation


March 7 @ 8pm: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov, Adapted by Edward Kemp
                             Directed by Graham McDonald

 

The Master and Margarita

Mikhail Bulgakov’s rich, magical realist novel with its intertwining storylines pits the power of evil against the power of compassion.  The Devil pays a visit to Stalinist Moscow in the guise of a professor of black magic and wreaks havoc in the city, exposing the hypocrisy, greed and corruption of its citizens. Themes of love, compassion and the quality of mercy are explored in three parallel stories.  Two are set in the fervently atheistic Moscow of the 1930s and the third, as told in the narrative of the eponymous Master’s rejected novel, is set in Jerusalem at the time of Procurator Pontius Pilate during the last days of Jesus’ life.

Mikhaíl Afanasyevich Bulgakov was a Soviet Russian writer and playwright active in the first half of the 20th century.  Bulgakov worked on The Master and Margarita for twelve years and it was published posthumously in 1967, quickly acquiring cult status.  The enigmas at the heart of this poetic maelstrom of a novel remain timeless and prescient, affirming Bulgakov’s place as one of Russia’s greatest 20th-century writers.

 

Edward Kemp is a UK-based writer, theatre director, translator and dramaturg. Edward is beginning his second year as Artistic Director of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Graham McDonald is a freelance theatre artist and the former Associate Artistic Director of Theatre Inconnu.  Locally Graham has worked with Intrepid Theatre, Theatre SKAM, The VSS, The Belfry, and this is his third time working with Puente Theatre.

CAST:

 

THE MASTER, Jason Stevens
MARGARITA, Naomi Simpson
WOLAND / AFRANIUS, Garth Martens
PONTIUS PILATE / STRAVINSKY, Ted Phythian
IVAN, Julian Cervello
FAGOTT, Shayne Avec i Grec
BEHEMOTH, Celine Richmond
AZAZELLO, Mily Mumford
HELLA, Naomi Simpson
BERLIOZ, Blair Moro
TREPAN TREPANOVICH, Celine Richmond
RIMSKY, Emma Condé
VARUKHA, Mily Mumford
ANDREI, Ted Phythian
RATSLAYER, Julian Cervello
ALOYSIUS, Shayne Avec i Grec
KAIFA, Julian Cervello
PAGODA, Jason Stevens
ARlMAN, Garth Martens
GLUMOV, Naomi Simpson
NATASHA, Emma Condé
ARCHIBALDOVICH, Ted Phythian
ARCHIBALDIKOVA, Naomi Simpson
NURSE, Mily Mumford
FRIEDA, Emma Condé


March 8 @ 8 pm:  Andorra by Max Frisch, Translated by Michael Bullock
                               Directed by Naomi Simpson

Andorra is a play written by the Swiss dramatist Max Frisch in 1961.  The original text came from a prose sketch Frisch had written in his diary titled Der andorranische Jude (The Andorran Jew).  The story is about a young man, Andri, in a mythical country named Andorra.  Andri is mistaken for being Jewish; in his isolation, he comes to accept his otherness with a mixture of pride and obstinacy.

Max Rudolf Frisch (May 15, 1911 – April 4, 1991) was a Swiss playwright and novelist, regarded as highly representative of German-language literature after World War II.  In his creative works Frisch paid particular attention to issues relating to problems of human identity, individuality, responsibility, morality and political commitment.

Naomi Simpson has been an active member of the Victoria Theatre Community for over a decade. She recently directed the acclaimed Theatre Inconnu production of In The Next Room (or the vibrator play), but is perhaps better known for her work on stage playing a wide variety of roles.   She will be playing Maryina in Uncle Vanya, this June, with Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre.   Naomi has taken part in four previous WorldPlays as an actor, and thanks Puente Theatre for this opportunity.

CAST:

 

ANDRI, Julian Cervello
BARBIN, Mily Mumford
TEACHER, Graham McDonald
MOTHER, Wendy Cornock
SEñORA, Tannis Parry
PRIEST, Cam Culham
SOLDIER, Blair Moro
INNKEEPER, Alex Judd
DOCTOR, Ted Phythian
SOMEBODY, Odile Nelson
JOURNEYMAN, Bill Nance
CARPENTER, Jason Stevens


March 9 @ 8 pm:   Suspicious Moves by András Maros
                               Directed by Joel Bernbaum

Suspicious Moves

Mother and son.  Two lonely people who are incapable of understanding each other.  Matt (the son) accuses his mother that there have been ‘suspicious moves’ around her apartment, again, just like when she was robbed. Well, it wasn’t actually real robbery, since Carol (the mother) handed the robbers everything they asked for.  She gave all her valuables away—to complete strangers.  She was standing at the opened door, waving goodbye to the robbers who left with stuffed bags.  Afterwards she didn’t remember one thing about it.

Can a—seemingly hopeless—estranged mother–son relationship be redeemed?  How and why did they turn away from each other?  Because Carol’s version, stating that Matt didn’t have a sense of humour, should not be enough of a reason.

Suspicious Moves was performed by the National Theatre of Pécs and a year later by the Hungarian Theatre of Budapest.  Both productions ran successfully and received great reviews.

 

András Maros (1971) is a writer and playwright.  He is one of the most important Hungarian authors of his generation, having won national and international awards and fellowships.  He has written four books of fiction, his fifth one is coming out this May (2013).  Three of his plays, Seesaw, Suspicious Moves, and Trash, have been produced at prestigious Hungarian theatres.

Besides fiction and plays, András occasionally writes screenplays.  His script Overnight was turned into a German-Indian-Hungarian co-oproduced movie in 2007.  He also translates plays from English.
Website: andrasmaros.com

Joel Bernbaum is a theatre artist and journalist.  He is excited to be a part of his second WorldPlay Festival.

 

CAST:

 

CAROL, Pippa Catling

MATT, Chris Mackie


March 10th @ 8 pm:  Hurricane by Nilo Cruz
                                   Directed by Kathleen Greenfield

Hurricane is a play about three people adrift in their lives who have formed a kind of family that is torn apart by a major storm on an unnamed Caribbean island. The three characters act as though they are husband, wife and sort-of grown child, though the exact nature of their relationships isn't clear or important. They are a family, which gives each of them a sense of purpose, identity and comfort as they survive one difficult day after another.

Nilo Cruz is a young Cuban-American playwright whose work has been produced widely around the United States.  His plays are many and include Night Train to Bolina, Dancing on her Knees, A Park in Our House, Two Sisters and a Piano, A Bicycle Country, Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams, Lorca in a Green Dress, Beauty of the Father, and translations of Lorca's Doña Rosita the Spinster and The House of Bernarda Alba.  In 2003, Cruz received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his play Anna in the Tropics, becoming the first Latin American playwright to receive this honour.

Kathleen Greenfield is dedicated to collective creation, the development of new work and community involvement.  Her interests and experience are in site-specific outdoor performance, puppetry, folk stories and women, alternative education practices, and community activism.  She holds a BFA in Theatre with a Directing Specialization from the University of Victoria and is currently Project/Events Coordinator at Discovery Coffee and Collective Member of the Wayward School.  Kathleen has directed the premiere productions of many new works including Little Orange Man (SNAFU), Kitt and Jane (SNAFU-Belfry Spark Festival), The Shoes (Humble Wonder Theatre-Belfry Incubator Project) and Bullfrog Lullaby (head through painting).

CAST:

 

FORREST, Trevor Hinton

RIA, Rosa Stewart

APARICIO, Laura Anctil


WORLDPLAY 2012

 

                          

 

February 5: The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway
                  Directed by Kate Rubin

February 12: Paz by Alicia Payne
                  Directed by Ana de Lara

February 19: Nocturnal by Juan Mayorga, Translated by David Johnston
                  Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

February 26: How Can I Explain a Thing so Beautiful by Elizabeth Pringle
                  Directed by Will Weigler

February 5 @ 8 pm: The Rez Sisters by Tomson Highway
                             Directed by Kate Rubin

The Rez Sisters spans a summer in 1986, when seven women, all related by birth or marriage, decide to travel to Toronto to participate in "THE BIGGEST BINGO IN THE WORLD."  Each woman offers the audience a different attitude toward life on the reservation, as well as their individual dreams of escaping it.

Tomson Highway is a celebrated Canadian and Cree playwright, novelist, and children's book author.   His plays The Rez Sisters and Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, both won him the Dora Mavor Moore Award and the Floyd S. Chalmers Award.  Highway has also published a novel, Kiss of the Fur Queen (1998), which is based on the events that led to his brother René Highway's death of AIDS.  He also has the distinction of being the librettist of the first Cree language opera, The Journey of Pimooteewin.

Kate Rubin has lived and worked professionally as an actor and drama teacher in Victoria for the past 25 years.  Having performed and taught with many local theatre companies including Giggling Iguana Productions, Puente Theatre, Theatre Inconnu, and The Belfry Theatre; she is presently co-directing Gina McIntosh in WAVE Theatre's production of Rosie at Intrepid Theatre Studio in mid February.  Kate runs her own drama studio where she administrates, teaches, directs and coaches youth and adults.  She thanks everyone involved in the reading for their time and effort, and to the unifying spirit that brought this wonderful play back to life once again.

CAST

Pelejia -  Gail Roach-Leforte
Philomena -  Gerry Ambers
Veronique - Asma Antoine
Marie-Adele Starblanket -  Krystal Cook
Annie Cook -  Renee Livernoche
Emily Dictionary -  Kim Harvey
Zhaboonigan -  Caitlinn O'Leary
Nanabush (Seagull, Bingo Master, Night Hawk) -  Rob Hunter
Narrator -  Erin Macklem


February 12 @ 8pm: Paz by Alicia Payne
                             Directed by Ana de Lara

Paz A child goes missing after her nanny is fired.  The missing child’s mother confronts the nanny in a park. Featuring an ethnically diverse cast, the answer to the question “Who’s child is this?” takes on expanded meaning. In many Canadian communities, nannies and live-in-care-givers abound. Many of them have left their homes and work in foreign lands.  They’re more than an employee but not a relative so when it comes to their employer’s family structure, where do they fit in?

Development History:
In 2011, PAZ was accepted for a one-on-one session at the Black Theatre Workshop conference “Since Mama Done Got Off the Couch” in Montreal.  It was a finalist in the 2010 and 2011 Doorway Arts Ensemble Play Reading Series in Washington, DC.  Before that, PAZ received a workshop presentation at b current’s rock. paper. sistahz 7 festival in May 2008. b current subsequently recommended an Ontario Arts Council Theatre Creator’s Reserve grant that enabled the playwright to rework the script and incorporate feedback provided by a group of Filipina live-in caregivers at a private reading.  Excerpts from PAZ were first read at a Salon Luncheon during the 2006 AfriCanadian Playwrights Festival.

Alicia Payne is a Toronto-based performer, writer and artist educator. Born to West Indian parents, she immigrated to Canada from England as a child. The inspiration for PAZ comes from Alicia’s time as an au pair (live-in-care-giver) in France and an article she read about a nanny who kidnapped a child.

Ana de Lara (Born Ana Bartulabac) immigrated to Canada from the Philippines at the age of seven.  She grew up in Victoria, BC and studied acting at Presentation House Film and Theatre School in Vancouver, under the direction of Catherine Caines and Anthony Holland.  De Lara's films have screened internationally at numerous festivals including the Rhode Island International Independent Film Festival and the Montreal World Film Festival. She has received funding and support from the BC Arts Council and the National Film Board, and is a Women in the Director's Chair alumnae.  She has also worked as an acting instructor for numerous schools, including the Screen Actors Studio, the Victoria Motion Picture School, and the Pacific Film and New Media Academy.

CAST

 

Paz - Ana de Lara

Mrs. Knowles - Tracey Roath

Kim - Natalie Pepin

Narrator - Joane Wannan


February 19 @ 8 pm: Nocturnal by Juan Mayorga, Translated by David Johnston
                               Directed by Mercedes Bátiz-Benét

Nocturnal (Animales Nocturnos) When you're alone in a big city, how far would you go to make a new friend?
Two men meet in a restaurant.  The smaller of the two blackmails the other into becoming his friend.  Unless the one does what the other says, he will be turned into the authorities as an illegal immigrant.  Nocturnal is a brilliant new satire about obsession, insomnia, and blackmail by one of the most important Spanish playwrights working today.

Juan Mayorga is one of the most important Spanish playwrights of his generation.  His first play, Siete Hombres Buenos (Seven Good Men), was awarded second place in the Marques de Bradomin Prize in 1989.  Since this first accolade, Mayorga has won a series of national awards, most prominently, Spain’s National Theatre Prize, which he was awarded in 2007 for services to Spanish theatre.  Mayorga’s work has been translated into many languages and performed widely throughout the world.  In addition to his role as playwright, Juan Mayorga has adapted versions of classical dramas for the Spanish stage.  In January, 2007 he provided a version of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People for Madrid’s Centro Dramatico Nacional (CDN), for which he also adapted King Lear in February, 2008.  He was a founding member of – and continues to collaborate with – the El Astillero theatre company that was established in 1993.  In 1998 he began teaching dramaturgy, history of thought, and sociology at the Real Escuela Superior de Arte Dramatico in Madrid.

Mercedes Bátiz-Benét is a multi-diciplinary artist and writer.  She was born and raised in Mexico and in 1997 she moved to Canada.  Productions of her work include Faust: Ignis Fatuus, at the international festival "Faustfest," Shining Through, Lágrimas Crueles, With Open Arms, and as co-writer, The Secret Sorrow of Hatchet Jack Macphee for The Caravan Farm Theatre, and The Erotic Anguish of Don Juan with the Old Trout Puppet Workshop.  Her latest film credit, camera and cinematography, is for the feature-length documentary about the singer/songwriter Feist, Look At What The Light Did Now (Revolver Films 2010).  Mercedes is the poetry, fiction, and non-fiction editor at Bayeux Arts, and the Artistic Director of PUENTE Theatre.

CAST

 

Tall Woman - Alexandra Wever

Tall Man - Harris Anderson

Short Woman - Mily Mumford

Short Man - Judd Palmer


February 26 @ 8 pm: How Can I Explain a Thing so Beautiful by Elizabeth Pringle
                               Directed by Will Weigler

How Can I Explain a Thing so Beautiful is an encounter with the 16th-century Spanish mystic Carmelite nun Teresa of Ávila as she talks to herself, to a fish she's eating for supper, to a mouse who has moved into her convent, and (in her imagination) to her imprisoned friend Juan de la Cruz, her mother, her Inquisitors, and God. It is a wonderfully funny, touching and spiritual one-woman play that is rich with hope.

Elizabeth Pringle is a playwright, director, actor, and arts & media producer/educator.  She has written plays, musicals, opera and zarzuela adaptations, operettas, articles, poems, websites, grants, a film and more.  She loves working with language and image to discover meaning and hopefully make art.  She has taught emerging playwrights and actors in DC (Theatre Lab, Kennedy Center, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Young Playwrights) and beyond.  Elizabeth is also the creator/director of The Shortie Awards: International Film and News Festival, celebrating and promoting youth-made media.

Will Weigler has been a community-based director, teacher, and playwright for over twenty-five years.  He is the author of the award-wining book Strategies for Playbuilding: Helping Groups Translate Issues into Theatre, and has been seen around Victoria in role as the 19th century political reformer Amor de Cosmos.  Will recently completed his PhD in Applied Theatre at the University of Victoria, where he now teaches.  For his doctoral dissertation, he analyzed hundreds of descriptions of people’s most unforgettable moments as audience members so that he could develop a theory about what made those moments so astonishing.  Based on his analysis, he developed a vocabulary of staging strategies that offers community participants and theatre artists a way to collaboratively engage the power of the theatrical event.  Just prior to immigrating to Canada from the US, Will wrote, produced, and directed Common Wealth, a large-scale intergenerational musical play created in collaboration with the Settler community of Darrington, Washington, and the nearby members of the Sauk-Suiattle First Nations tribe.

CAST

 

Teresa of Avila - Gina McIntosh


WORLDPLAY 2011

Sunday, January 30, 8 PM
When Smiles Are Done, by Singaporean Goh Poh seng (1936-2010) Directed by Lina de Guevara.
Full of humour and incisive dialogue, this play tells a story of family conflicts. Goh is among the pioneer Singaporean writers and one of the first to use "Singlish", the characteristic Singaporean popular language.

Sunday, February 6, 8 PM
Geez!, by Indonesian Putu Wijaya, directed by Lina de Guevara.
A man comes back to life and the reactions of his family and friends really surprise him! Engaging and quirky, Geez! is a wonderful example of avant-garde Indonesian theatre.

Sunday, February 13, 8 PM
Girls Shouldn't Play Soccer, by Catalonian Marta Buchaca, translated by Elisabet Ráfols and Tom Bentley-Fisher, directed by Lina de Guevara.
Apparently simple, there's a dark mystery in this play set in a waiting room of a hospital after a car crash.

Sunday, February 20, 8 PM
Dreary and Izzy, by First Nations playwright Tara Beagan, directed by Erin Macklem.
Of Ntlaka'pamux (Thompson River Salish) and Irish Canadian heritage, born and raised in Alberta, Tara has become well known by her outstanding plays, one of which, Thy Neighbour's Wife, won the 2005 Dora Mavor Moore Award.


WORLDPLAY 2010

The Pilgrimage of the Nuns of Concepción by Jaime Silva (Chile)
Translated by Rosa Stewart
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Aurash by Bahram Beyza’ie (Iran)
Translated and adapted by Soheil Parsa & Brian Quirt
Directed by Will Weigler

The Person by Alfred Farag (Egypt)
Directed by Erin Macklem
The reading was followed by a presentation of the participants in a workshop inspired on The Person, conducted by visiting director Majdi Bou-Matar.

Living Memories: Kenya’s Untold Stories by Al Kags (Kenya)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 2009

Tara by Mahesh Dattani
Directed by Lina de Guevara

My Rabbi by Joel Bernbaum & Kayvon Khoshkam
Directed by Kayvon Khoshkam

Bus Stop by Gao Xingjian
Directed by Lina de Guevara

The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Victor Hugo Rascón Banda (Mexico)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 2008

King Kong Palace or Tarzan’s Exile by Marco Antonio de la Parra (Chile)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Two Men at Play with Life by Kishida Kunio (Japan)
Directed by Judith MacDowell

Mama by Tanaka Chikao (Japan)
Directed by Judith MacDowell

Bay the Moon by Mahmoud El-Lozy (Egypt)
Directed by Yasmine Kandil

The Good Hope by Herman Heijermans (Netherlands)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 2007

The Dark Night of Marguerite de Roberval by Jaime Silva (Chile)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Shine, My Dear Planet Earth by Soh Kuramoto (Japan)
Translated by Yoshi Yoshihara
Directed by Judith MacDowell

Boss Kanduz’s Apartment Building and War and Peace by Tawfik Al-Hakim (Egypt)
Directed by Yasmine Kandil

The Victim by Chicano Teatro de la Esperanza (USA)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 2006

Three Marias and a Rose by David Benavente (Chile)
Translated and directed by Lina de Guevara

Mum, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl by Marty Cham
Directed by Lina de Guevara

The Trial by Laurel Smith & Mathew Behrens
Directed by Judith McDowell

The Striped Leopard by Oby Obyerodhyambo (Kenya)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 2005

Happy New Century, Dr. Freud by Sabina Berman (Mexico)
Translated by Kisten Nigro
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Godzilla by Yasuhiko Ohashi
Translated by Cody Poulton
Directed by Judith MacDowell

Boxcar by Silvia González (USA, Mexico)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Guantanamo: Honor Bound to Defend Freedom by Gillian Slovo & Victoria Brittain (England)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 2004

Happy New Century, Dr. Freud by Sabina Berman (Mexico)
Translated by Kirsten Nigro
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Where the Power Lies by Yusuf Al-‘Ani (Iraq)
Directed by Judith McDowell

The King’s Elephant by Sa’Dallah Wannous (Syria)
Directed by Judith McDowell

The Happy Lads by Tsuchida Hideo (Japan)
Translated by Cody Poulton
Directed by Lina de Guevara
Playwright and translator were in attendance.

Life Letters by Mel Tobias (Philippines)
Directed by Lina de Guevara
Stories of a wanderer, written by a Vancouver resident formerly of Manila, Hong Kong, Cannes, San Francisco, and other cities, based on abundant correspondence with relatives and friends. Playwright was in attendance.


WORLDPLAY 2003

The Pillar Clock by Manami Hara (Japan, Canada)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

D.P.’s Colonial Cabaret by Laura Cranmer (Canada)
Directed by Frank Maher

Wedding Day at the Cro-Magnons’ by Wajdi Mouawad (Lebanon)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

House of Sacred Cows by Padma Viswanathan (India, Canada)
Directed by Lina de Guevara
Assitant director - Raji Basi


WORLPLAY 2002

Three Suitors: One Husband by Guillaume Oyono-Mbia (Cameroun)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Mindaugas by Justinas Marcinkevicius (Lithuania)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

The Wedlock of the Gods by Zulu Sofola (Nigeria)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

No one’s died laughing by Pieter-Dirk Uys (South Africa)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 2001

The Dark Night of Marguerite de Roberval by Jaime Silva (Chile)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Theatrical Adaptation of Oblomov by Ivan Goncharov (Russia)
Directed by Kate Wilkinson

The Gods are not to Blame by Ola Rotimi (Nigeria)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

The Surrogate Mother by Comfort Ero (Nigeria)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 2000

The Dybbuk by S. Anski ( Russia)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Letters for Tomas by Malucha Pinto (Chile)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Kanasibetsu by Soh Kuramoto (Japan)
Directed by Kate Wilkinson

Something in the Air by ICTUS (Chile)
Directed by Lina de Guevara


WORLDPLAY 1999

Mirad: A Boy From Bosnia by Ad de Bon (Holland)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Pereira Declares by Antonio Tabucchi (Italy)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

Harvest by Manjula Padmanabhan (India)
Directed by Lina de Guevara

WorldPlay

Staged readings of plays from around the world

WorkPlay

A reading series of plays-in-progress

Story Telling

If you're interested in telling your story - we can help.

Workshops

Theatre Tools: workshops, training and presentations

For Your Inspiration

For Your Inspiration is a new arts outreach initiative created by the Canada Council in collaboration with design company Cause + Effect to highlight 22 of Vancouver’s and Vancouver Island's most vibrant culturally diverse arts organizations!

PACT

Professional Association of Canadian Theatres

 

Puente Theatre gratefully acknowledges the support of:

Puente Theatre Supporters