Adjudicated by Autumn Smith
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. Over 80 years since its inception in 1936, and since Trevor Rines resurrected it in 1993, the U of T Drama Festival has provided 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 17th Drama Festival of only accepting original student written plays, serving as a much needed showcase for talented U of T playwrights.
About the Adjudicator
Autumn Smith is an artist innovator, director, curator and educator and is currently the Curator and Producer of Community Engagement and Education for Canadian Stage. Autumn holds an MFA from York University in Theatre Direction with an Emphasis on Teaching and is also a conservatory trained actor (Oxford School of Drama/UK). Ms. Smith is a member of faculty at AMPD (York University) and Centennial College. As a director and educator Ms. Smith led the Dora Award winning company MacKenzieRo for over a 9 year period in addition to working with companies such as: the Canadian Children’s Opera Chorus, U of T/Sheridan, The National Ballet/Stratford Project, The Shaw Festival, The Tarragon Theatre, George Brown Theatre School and Stagedoor Manor in Association with the American Theatre Wing, StageWest Mississauga, Theatre 20, The Druid Theatre/Galway and the Oxford Playhouse/UK. Most recently, Autumn curated and directed the Territorial Tales project for Canadian Stage which has just completed its inaugural tour of Ontario. Upcoming: Autumn will be directing Pirates of Penzance for the Canadian Children’s Opera Company in May.
THURS., FEB. 7
Jews In Baseball: The Musical / Independent submission
By Angelo O. O’Leary and Lenny Rosenbloom
Directed by Angelo O. O’Leary and Lenny Rosenbloom
About: Jews in Baseball: The Musical is an epic, an homage, and a passion project that Angelo O. O’Leary and Lenny Rosenbloom have been working on since they watched A League of their Own. The year is 1942, and World War II rages on across the sea. But for a contingent of Brooklynites who never reported for duty, baseball is still king. Seamus G. Giannetti and Leor Ben-Abraham are two rival ballplayers who are forced to play on the same team after most of the other players are sent to the front lines. Tensions rise and tempers flare as Leor and Seamus butt heads. Can they learn to work together in time to help their ragtag team of ne’er-do-wells win the big game?
An Other Tries to Speak: A Theatrical Mixtape / Ember Island Players
By the Collective
Directed by Maya Wong
About: An Other Tries to Speak is an anthology of pieces from six Asian artists. Featuring a mix of comedy and serious drama, this show examines themes of racism, identity and belonging, and is as diverse as the artists it features.
The 2nd Annual 2018 McGill Drama Festival / U of T Improv
By the U of T Improv Company
Directed by Victoria Watson-Sepejak
About: For the second straight year in a row the world famous 2018 McGill Drama Festival is coming to the University of Toronto Drama Festival!! You, the audience, will choose the “never before seen” plays performed here tonight! Drama, Intrigue, Post-Modernist Abstractionism, and more, is all guaranteed when the accomplished McGill class of 2018, takes the stage!
FRI., FEB. 8
Statistics / SMC Troubadours
By Shreya Jha
Directed by Anastasia Liu
About: It is 1951. The race to find the structure of DNA is in full swing, and strong-minded, tight-lipped scientists work side by side in a lab at King’s College London. Among them: Rosalind Franklin, a young, brilliant female scientist surrounded by male colleagues.
On the other side of the stage, it is 2017. Rose and Angie, two students entering their fourth year of undergrad, grapple with the medical school admission process as well as the stress, the pressure, and deadlines their university throws at them.
As each timeline plays out, two female scientists from different eras, dealing with two different types of institutional pressures, form a connection of grit, motivation, self-doubt, and the desire to constantly keep learning and growing.
Outstretched / Trinity College Drama Society
By Emily Powers
Directed by Jennifer Dufton
About: Four years after the death of his sister, Diana, Hyatt finds a collection of video clips she intended to make into a film. Many of the clips center around a young Kate, her first love. Hyatt gets in contact with Kate, hoping to learn more about his sister and the film as an act of closure. Past relationships are exposed and Hyatt has to come to terms with his sister’s queerness. Lauren, Kate’s roommate and friend, tries to be there for Kate, while battling bulimia. Kate and Lauren struggle to balance caring for one another and taking care of themselves. The play is structured around five memory monologues performed to the projections of Diana’s video clips. Initially, the monologues recall Hyatt’s childhood memories with his sister. As the play moves forward, the boundary between Hyatt and Kate begins to dissolve and Kate becomes more involved within these monologues until she performs the last one as a poem. Lines between the characters get blurry and merge as they learn how to (or forget how to) navigate youth, loss, and memory.
After Icarus / University of Toronto Mississauga Drama Club
By Max Ackerman
Directed by Mackenzie Burton
About: Today’s the day Abe and Moe finally reach the wall. After The Fall, they went on the run to pursue freedom from their dystopian regime. With freedom less than a day away they envisage what life will be like on the other side, free from the harsh restraints of The President and his cronies.
SAT., FEB 9
Cordelia / UC Follies
By Lauren Lacey
Directed by Nicole Bell
About: Cordelia is a portrait of a young woman always slightly out of reach. A constellation of short scenes create a multi-perspective play that tells the story of her life from those around her.
Lone Island Lovers / SMC Troubadours
By Mick Robertson
Directed by Will Dao
About: Lone Island Lovers explores the maternal lineage of a person’s inability to articulate experiences of sexual misconduct.
Lady lives in a world where everyone has their own Island. With water on every side, Lady’s opportunities just go on forever; or at least that’s what her Mom says. Lady’s island is neighboured by her Mom’s, her best friend’s and her boyfriend’s. Lady and her boyfriend are building a land bridge to connect their Islands, so that they can finally be together. They are in a caring yet stagnant state, until Lady is hit by a love bomb… by someone else.
Honey Lemon Green Tea / Victoria College Drama Society
By Bailey Irene Midori Hoy
Directed by Max Cameron Fearon
About: “Hi, I’m Bailey. Borderline Bailey.”
An autobiographical piece, Honey Lemon Green Tea explores how mental illness and trauma can fracture one’s sense of self, and how strength and self-forgiveness can carry us through the dark. Three actors embody Bailey at different ages as she explores the events that shaped her into who she is now — Borderline Personality Disorder and all.
“I’m not cured. I’ll never be cured.”
IATSE Local 58 Award for Technical Achievement
Awarded the the Company of Cordelia, produced by UC Follies
Donald Sutherland Award for Best Performance
Awarded to Frosina Pejcinovska of Lone Island Lovers, produced by the SMC Troubadours
Robert Gill Award for Best Direction
Awarded to William Dao and Ahlam Hassan of Lone Island Lovers, produced by the SMC Troubadours
Robertson Davies Award Playwriting Award
Awarded to Emily Powers of Outstretched, produced by the Trinity College Drama Society
President’s Award for Best Production
Awarded to the Company of Lone Island Lovers, produced by the SMC Troubadours
Awards of Merit and Viewer’s Choice
Per evening – General Admission
Students & Seniors $10
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