GCTC announces great stories, innovative concepts and two world premieres at third annual undercurrents: theatre below the mainstream festival

Today, the Great Canadian Theatre Company proudly presented an exciting line up for the 2013 undercurrents: theatre below the mainstream festival.  Now in its third year, the festival has become one of the most anticipated events of Ottawa’s theatre season.

“Ottawa audiences and artists have truly embraced undercurrents – with ticket sales increasing 25% year over year,” says Festival Director Patrick Gauthier. “The third edition of the festival promises to follow in the footsteps of its predecessors.”

The festival showcases six productions – plus an audience participation installation – created and produced by independent theatre companies from Ottawa, Toronto and Victoria, BC.  The 2013 line up was announced today by festival Director Patrick Gauthier and GCTC Artistic Director Eric Coates.  Three of the six are Ottawa productions and two of those are world premieres.

“This year’s Festival showcases creators who are taking risks and challenging the medium,” says Gauthier. “All tell great stories and tell them in innovative ways.”

GCTC created the festival in 2011 to give independent theatre companies and emerging artists in Ottawa an opportunity to develop and present their work. GCTC is committed to promoting Ottawa and national artists not only by presenting their work in its intimate Studio Theatre but also by providing mentorship in production management, grant writing, dramaturgy and touring.

 SKIN – A World Premiere

What if you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin? Your professional, domestic, ancestral, or your next of kin skin? Inspired by the Selkie legend (seals that shed their skins to become humans on land), SKIN explores the desire to shed one’s role and what gets left behind. Fiercely funny, dramatic and explosively physical, SKIN incorporates singing, live original music built upon the constellations of freckles, moles and scars of each performer.

A Deluxe Hot Sauce (Ottawa, ON) production. Written & Created by: Nick Carpenter, Sarah Finn, Chantal Hayman, Anne Janelle, Annie Lefebvre, Kelly Rigole, Martha Ross, Alix Sideris, Doreen Taylor-Claxton, Kristina Watt.  Directed by Martha Ross.

Hip Hop Shakespeare: Live Music Videos

Setting the works of rappers like Jay-Z, Tupac, Notorious B.I.G. and Kanye West to Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet and more, this 50-minute live show perfectly encapsulates 21st century mash-up culture. This is the ultimate celebration of the power of rhythmic language in a remixed world.

Winner – Outstanding Concept – Ottawa Fringe Festival (2012)

A  411 Dramaturgy Co. (Ottawa, ON) production. Created and Performed by: Melanie Karin and David Benedict Brown.

The Ladies of the Lake – A World Premiere

A physically devised piece that blends evocative movement, original music, and text to create the imagined story of the Lady of the Lake from the Arthurian legend.   This premiere culminates Skeleton Key Theatre’s term as GCTC’s Theatre Company in Residence.

A Skeleton Key Theatre (Ottawa, ON) production. Created by Kate Smith, Catriona Leger and John Doucet. Directed by Catriona Leger.

The Public Servant

A tragic-comic theatrical portrait of the women who manage the affairs of the country, The Public Servant offers a glimpse into the working life of a federal employee.  The material for this play was mined from the events and practices of the different generations of Canadian civil servants going back to the 1930 ’s.

A Theatre Columbus (Toronto, ON) production. Created by Jennifer Brewin, Haley McGee, Sarah McVie and Amie Rutherford. Directed by Jennifer Brewin.

Little Orange Man

Meet Kitt, a high-octane Danish girl, whose greatest delight comes from re-enacting her grandfather’s grisly folk tales to young neighbourhood children.  Kitt invites the audience to play and connect by firing  up some inventive homemade technology to extract and re-enact the audience’s dreams.

Outstanding Overall Production – Ottawa Fringe (2012)

Pick-of-the-Fringe – Vancouver Fringe (2011), Victoria Fringe (2011)

Vancouver Playhouse Award – Vancouver Fringe (2011)

A Snafu Dance Theatre (Victoria, BC) production. Co-created and Directed by Kathleen Greenfield, Co-created and performed by Ingrid Hansen

Little Iliad

Two childhood friends reconnect on Skype. One is a Canadian soldier on his way to Afghanistan; the other is a writer who wants them to create a performance together based on a little-known fragment from the Trojan War. One performer is live and the other is a projection on a small, blank, clay figurine, with the audience listening in on headphones. Little Iliad is a disarmingly simple and intimate performance, part reading, part film, part poignant biographical content.

“A profound and poignant synthesis of art and war.” Irish Theatre Magazine

An Evan Webber & Frank Cox-O’Connell and Harbourfront Centre (Toronto, ON) production, in association with Cork Midsummer Festival and the Banff Centre. Created and performed by Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O’Connell.


Here’s your chance to make some theatre and eat it too! This interactive interstitial performance runs approximately 20 minutes and takes place in the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre lobby before and in between Festival performances.  Bread is an audience participation project built around the making and baking of bread. Seth and Ruby are leaving the neighbourhood, forever and have invited 10 of their best friends over to teach them how to make bread.  Ten friends are invited into the “kitchen” to mix and knead dough as Seth and Ruby deal with the impending change in their lives.

Each friend will make a single loaf, which will rise and bake as they go off and enjoy other productions at the undercurrents festival. At the end of the evening they will get to take home their very own loaf of fresh baked bread.

Created and Performed by Karen Balcome and Geoff McBride.  Concept developed in collaboration with Kevin Orr and Theatre 4.669

GCTC’s undercurrents: theatre below the mainstream runs from February 5 – 17, 2013.

Show times:

Each of the 6 productions run approximately one hour and is presented 5 times throughout the 12 day festival.  During the week there are two performances a night – at 7:00 and 9:00 PM. On Saturday and Sunday show times are 1:00, 3:00, 7:00 and 9:00 PM.  Bread runs approximately 20 minutes and is presented 15 times throughout the festival at 12:30, 2:30, 6:30, and 8:30 PM. Please check the festival schedule for dates.

For the full festival schedule visit: http://www.gctc.ca/whats/undercurrents

Tickets go on sale November 15, 2012.

                Single tickets – $15, 

                3-show Flexpass – $40, 

                6-show Flexpass – $60

Reservations to participate in Bread (10 places per show) need to be booked through the GCTC Box Office.  Ticket price is ‘pay what you can.’

By Phone: GCTC Box Office at 613-236-5196

In Person: GCTC Box Office at 1233 Wellington Street West, at the corner of Holland Avenue

Online: http://www.gctc.ca/box-office/buy-tickets

The Fritzi Gallery located on the second floor of the Irving Greenberg Theatre Centre (GCTC) offers the public a unique dialogue between two artistic disciplines – theatre and fine art. The work you see on the gallery walls reflects the artist’s impressions and emotional response to a script.

Beginning February 2, the Fritzi Gallery will exhibit paintings by six local artists. Each of the artist’s works was inspired by an undercurrents production.

The vernissage will be on Thursday, February 7, 2013 from 6:00-9:00pm