A Weekend of Competitive Theatre
Student written, directed, produced & performed
Feb. 12-14, 2015
Adjudicated by Dr. Baņuta Rubess
Every February, a plethora of original one act plays compete for five coveted awards over the three nights of this annual adjudicated festival. The University of Toronto Drama Festival has spawned numerous performers who have gone on to become stars of stage and screen: Ted Follows, David Gardner, Don Harron, Arthur Hiller, William Hutt and Donald Sutherland – to name a few. 77 years since its inception in 1936, and now in its 23rd year since Trevor Rines resurrected it in 1993, the U of T Drama Festival continues to provide a high profile showcase for up-and-coming theatrical talent as well as an accessible avenue for U of T students to perform and direct on the historic Hart House Theatre stage. This year also marks the 14th Drama Festival of only accepting original student written plays, serving as a much needed showcase for talented U of T playwrights.
Per evening – General Admission
Students & Seniors $10
www.uofttix.ca or 416.978.8849
Dr. Baņuta Rubess is a director and writer with a string of innovative productions to her credit for audiences in Europe and Canada. One of the first dozen women to win the Rhodes Scholarship, she has a doctorate in history from Oxford University. Formerly a denizen of the Toronto theatre scene, she created groundbreaking works for Nightwood Theatre, Theatre Direct, and Tapestry New Opera Works, and for a heady four years, was Associate Artist at Theatre Passe Muraille.
In 1998, she moved to Riga, Latvia, to participate in the development of a new democracy, returning to Toronto in 2012. Currently she is working with choreographer Julia Aplin on a project called Seven Documentary Theatres of Love, and she is about to premiere Katie of Heilbronn: An Obsession by Mr. Heinrich von Kleist at the Centre for Drama at the University of Toronto. She has been teaching academic and practical courses in drama at the University of Toronto since 2010.
The Awards Ceremony took place Saturday night after the evening’s public adjudication.
President’s Award for Best Production
Presented to the producing company of the play that best combines the requirements for the other awards with professionalism in the Festival as a whole. Awarded to UC Follies for The Evening of the Dead.
Robert Gill Award for Best Direction
Presented to the director who achieved the highest artistic and technical quality of transition from script to stage, and who expressed the clearest vision. Awarded to Trevor Barette from St. Michael’s College Troubadours for Önd.
I.A.T.S.E. Award for Technical Achievement
Presented to the technical crew who best achieved an original and artistic design suitable to the play, and who best found unity with the director. Awarded to the company of UC Follies for Swim to the Moon.
Donald Sutherland Award for Best Performance
Presented to the individual, distinctive group, or ensemble that achieved the highest quality of delivery, character development and interaction. Awarded to Remi Long of the Hart House Players for her performance in Let My Mind Run Dry.
Robertson Davies Playwriting Award
Presented to the writer who achieved the highest level of creativity, development and clarity of vision in an original script. Awarded to Zack Standing from UC Follies for Evening of the Dead.
Award of Merit
Presented at the discretion of the Adjudicator. Canadian Theatre Heritage Award for Best Tableau Awarded to the company of Victoria College Drama Society’s Chase Williams and the Case of the Missing Fixture.
Award of Merit
Presented at the discretion of the Adjudicator. The Oscar Wilde Award for Best Word Play to Ilan Tzitrin of Trinity College Drama Society’s Guillotin.
Award of Merit
Presented at the discretion of the Adjudicator. The Best Greek God to Shak Haq of Woodsworth College’s The Bacchae.
Award of Merit
Presented at the discretion of the Adjudicator. The Heart on your Sleeve Award to the company of UC Follies’ Swim to the Moon.
Award of Merit
Presented at the discretion of the Adjudicator. The Best Ond-semble to the company of St. Michael’s College’s Önd.
Award of Merit
Presented at the discretion of the Adjudicator. The Hedda Gabler Award for Complex Character to Cassidy Sadler for Hart House Players’ Let My Mind Run Dry.
Thursday, February 12
- Dream, As You Like, St. Michael’s College / Troubadours
- Let My Mind Run Dry, Hart House Players
- Chase Williams and the Case of the Missing Fixture, Victoria College Drama Society
Friday, February 13
- Önd, St. Michael’s College / Troubadours
- Guillotin, Trinity College Drama Society
- The Bacchae, Woodsworth Performing Arts Collective
Saturday, February 14
- Fanny, Fluff and Dandruff, UTM
- Swim to the Moon, UC Follies
- Evening of the Dead, UC Follies
Dream, As You Like
Dream, As You Like, is a devised piece of theatre exploring Shakespearean characters who have less than optimal endings. The cast and crew experimented with what would have happened to the characters if they had chosen a different path. The cast worked with the writer/director to explore the characters that spoke to them most through improvisational exercises and usage of original Shakespearean text. The script was developed during the rehearsal process around the thematic ideas discussed by the cast.
Let My Mind Run Dry
How do you hide from a reality no one can see?
Chase Williams and the Case of the Missing Fixture
Chase Williams and the Case of the Missing Fixture is a farcical crime comedy following the titular Chase Williams in his latest and greatest caper. Unknowing that his own disgruntled friend Skip has stolen the city’s prized Spotlight, Chase sets off to recover the missing monument. But with one friend hospitalized and another trying desperately to cover her tracks, Chase is sent on a wild goose chase (get it?) for a prize Skip is doing everything in her power to hide. A sleazy doctor, an epic betrayal, and a high-strung chief of police who’s just trying to do what’s right in this world? Chase Williams faces them all without stopping for breath. From his first moments at the scene of the crime to his climactic joint interrogation/coronary artery bypass surgery, he will not rest until justice does. Which is never. Because justice never rests. Justice. Chase. Williams.
In Önd, you will meet a somewhat traditional, wealthy, 19th-century Norwegian family, the Ranks. Their substantial home, situated in the midst of the Norwegian mountains, is being ravaged by a winter storm. Harald discovers a traveler on the road and insists upon his lodging at Harald’s home; the storm has risen to lethal proportions. Our mysterious traveler, Andar, is welcomed by Frida, Harald’s wife, and inducted into the lives of the family; baptism by fire one might call it. Through the course of his stay Andar witnesses the fevered intellect of Frida, Harald’s naïve attempts to placate her, and the complete lack of communication between the two of them. Andar is thus poked and prodded, waking and sleeping, by the toxic atmosphere arising in their home and, pushed to his wits end, is finally forced from his shell of awkwardness and detachment to the benefit of the Rank’s crumbling household.
Guillotin is not a misspelling: the play features 18th century physician Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, whose name somehow became eponymous with a device he did not invent, with a symbol of exactly the cruelty he wanted to abolish. During the Reign of Terror, Joseph was briefly arrested, and Guillotin takes advantage of this historical set-up. The one-act tragicomic play is set in a Parisian prison cell, where Joseph finds himself with a mirthful but thoughtful teenage girl named Lucie. Through a series of wistful and whimsical interactions, Joseph, Lucie and a guard, Arsène, gradually discover what each of them is really doing in such a place.?
Dionysus has returned to Thebes; site of both his mother’s sacred tomb, and of his betrayal by an ignorant Theban public. Thebes no longer sacrifices to him, no longer honours his name and that of his mother Semele and, therefore, no longer deserves its blessed existence. Through the bitter struggles of royalty and undiluted revelry of Bacchic followers, this play discovers the hubris of a king, the piety of a grandfather, and the madness of a God defied.
Fanny, Fluff and Dandruff
Froggie’s losing her hair and Fanny’s losing his mind. Struggling to make ends meet, they must accept clientele who force them to examine their biggest, most irrational fears face-on. For Froggie, the balding hair salon owner, she must fulfill the superficial needs of Milagros, the bored housewife. As for Fanny, a failing dancer-turned-failing stripper, he must live out a wheelchair fantasy with Jupiter, a bored househusband. Inevitably, the negotiations between personal and professional conduct coagulate into a pool of cosmic irony and hair trimmings, and no one’s sure if they find the universe’s sense of humour particularly humorous.
Swim To The Moon
Swim to the Moon is a ritualistic journey through space and time. It explores perceptions of memory through a series of different myths and paths of a self-creating pilgrimage.
Evening of the Dead
Four friends band together to try and survive a zompocalyptic Toronto, and each other. It’s a Grave new world, with the same crumby people.