| A new curator has stepped into the spotlight for Centaur Theatre’s Wildside Festival, the boundary-blasting showcase of independent works from Quebec and beyond, appropriately billed as the “hottest two weeks of winter”. For the 2020 edition, Rose Plotek, the former Associate Director of the National Theatre School’s Directing Program, has selected eight trailblazing works, including Centaur’s choice for the Best of the 2019 Fringe Festival, Vancouver’s Multiple Organism.
This year’s delectable smorgasbord of provocative theatre embraces comedy, dance, bouffon, music, and storytelling … sometimes all at once! Sarah Segal-Lazar will be doing double-duty as she remounts Don’t Read the Comments, her 2018 Fringe Fest bouffon talk-show based on a true incident, and participates in the Offside as a featured musical guest. For R&B music lovers, Montreal’s own Queen of Soul, Michelle Sweeney, pays tribute to the late, great Aretha Franklin with Her Songs, My Story, accompanied by fave Montreal pianist, Taurey Butler. Toronto’s Alyssa Martin and her Rock Bottom Movement company bring the angst-ridden, surreal satire, Hollow Mountain, and sister Torontonian, Queer playwright and performer, Celia Jade Green, investigates sexual consent and violation in Wah Wah Wah. For one night only, Matt Goldberg returns with Confabulation, an evening of true stories told by ordinary people based on the theme of Games. For the first time in its history, the edgy festival will be presented at Centaur as well as at Théâtre La Chapelle, a venue known for its artistic eclecticism, where Cabal Theatre will perform its latest creation, Chattermarks. Many of the productions include engaging post-show talkbacks.
“The creative diversity of Wildside and the multiplicity of audiences it appeals to grow steadily every year. We are so lucky to have such an accomplished theatre-maker as Rose [Plotek], who is so plugged-in to emerging artists that are exploring and stretching the limits of theatrical storytelling, and addressing issues that speak to a wide spectrum of adventurous theatre lovers. It’s wild and wacky; bold and brazen … it’s just what everyone needs to jump-start the New Year.”
– Eda Holmes, Centaur Theatre Artistic and Executive Director
Johanna Nutter once again takes the reins to program Offside, the musical side of the festival. All Offside events take place in Centaur’s main floor gallery, following the final performance of the evening. This year’s musical legends, to whom a slew of local musicians will pay homage on two separate Saturday nights, are Stevie Wonder (January 11th) and The Rolling Stones (Jan. 19th). Local graffitied hot spot, Barfly, is in the house again this year with Mark Goodwin & Guests on Friday January 10th and Sarah Segal-Lazar headlines the Thursday January 16th line-up of artists playing Mood Music. On Sunday, January 12th, stick around for a short show in the Centaur gallery at 9 PM. Collectively created by Hooks and Crooks, TOMORROW is an immersive transmutation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as parable for climate change, and our relationship with a terrifying future, with text by Josh Johnston, Ryan Bommarito, and, of course, William Shakespeare himself.
For an added bonus, Centaur’s next mainstage production—Erin Shield’s riveting Stratford Festival hit, Paradise Lost—will overlap with the Wildside Festival. “Erin’s brilliant play and our Wildside selections definitely share audacious approaches to contemporary theatre”, said Ms. Holmes. “Anyone attracted to Wildside will be equally entertained and challenged by Paradise Lost and vice versa. It’s quite the intoxicating theatrical cocktail, without the hangover!” Get $28 tickets to Paradise Lost by presenting a Wildside proof of purchase at the Box Office.
Please see below for the complete festival line-up. For exact dates & times, consult our website.
Don’t Read the Comments
Presented by: Sermo Scomber Theatre
Created by: Sarah Segal-Lazar in collaboration with the cast
Directed by: Sarah Segal-Lazar
Featuring: Cara Krisman, Gabe Maharjan, Joy Ross-Jones, Sarah Segal-Lazar, Dakota Jamal Wellman
Stage Manager: HeatherEllen Strain
Assistant Director (Original Production): Mahalia Golnosh Tahririha
At a live TV talk show, delve into the “grey areas” of sexual encounters and consent, through the dark arts of clown and bouffon and through the power of true storytelling.
One of the Montreal Gazette’s Top 5 Montreal Fringe 2018 shows
Nominated for Best English Production, Montreal Fringe
(Centaur Theatre, 2018)
Nominated for Best Clown Show, Montreal Fringe
(Montreal Clown Festival, 2018)
Winner for Most Promising English Company, Montreal Fringe
(Segal Centre for Performing Arts, 2018)
WARNING: This show contains mature language and content. Please be advised that the show deals with the subject of sexual assault.
A talkback is scheduled after each show.
Her Songs, My Story
Presented by: Michelle Sweeney & Company
Written by: Michelle Sweeney
Script Editor: Margot Bégin
Directed by: Margot Bégin
Musical Director: Taurey Butler
Featuring: Michelle Sweeney & Taurey Butler
Montreal soul icon Michelle Sweeney embarks on a deeply personal journey lived through the music of Aretha Franklin; finding profound moments of intersection in love, loss and redemption.
WARNING: Mature themes; not suitable for young children.
Presented by: Rock Bottom Movement
Choreographed by: Alyssa Martin
Directed by: Alyssa Martin
Original Music by: Sydney Herauf
Featuring: Drew Berry, Brayden Cairns, Samantha Grist, Sydney Herauf, Krista Newey
Supported by: Canada Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Canadian Stage, National Ballet of Canada’s CreativAction Programme, Toronto Dance Theatre
A darkly absurd dance theatre work that follows five friends as they navigate the inner rocky territory of their psyches through demonic possession, self-mutilation and radical dance.
WARNING: 14+. Partial nudity; foul language
Multiple Organism (18+)
Centaur Theatre Best English Production,
Montreal Fringe 2019
Presented by: Vancouver’s Mind of a Snail Puppet Company
Created & performed by: Jessica Gabriel & Chloe Ziner
A surrealist comedy about having a body and how it is seen by others. Gender-bending. Nudity. Projections. Puppetry. Original music. Sentient toothbrushes.
Winner of Patron’s Pick, Montreal Fringe 2019
Winner of Critic’s Choice Innovation Award,
Jessie Richardson Theatre Awards 2018
Winner of Edgy as F— Award, Orlando Fringe 2018
Winner of Pick of the Fringe, Vancouver Fringe 2017
Winner of Artistic Risk Award, Vancouver Fringe 2017
Winner of Georgia Straight Critic’s Pick Award, Vancouver Fringe 2017
Winner of Cultchivating the Fringe 2017
WARNING:18 +. Nudity; sexual content; cartoonish death/suicide
Wah Wah Wah
Presented By: Wah Wah Wah Theatre
Written By: Celia Jade Green
Directed By: Bilal Baig
Featuring: Celia Jade Green
Production management and lighting design by: Echo Zhou
Through extreme physicality, tantrums and pigs, a young queer woman grapples with the messiness of being violated. What happens if I love it and hate it at the same time?
SummerWorks/Theatre Centre Emerging Artist Award (Celia Green)
NOW Magazine Outstanding Production
NOW Magazine Outstanding Direction (Bilal Baig)
A talkback is scheduled after each show.
Collectively created by: Hooks and Crooks
Directed by: Caite Clark
Stage Management and Sound by: HeatherEllen Strain
Lights, Costume, Set, and Projections by: Aurora Torok
Text by: Josh Johnston, Ryan Bommarito, and William Shakespeare
An immersive transmutation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as parable for climate change, and our relationship with a terrifying future. This 20-minute show will be presented in the Centaur Theatre Gallery.
Presented by: CABAL
Written by: Joseph Shragge
Directed by: Anthony Kennedy
Dramaturgy by: Kyle Croutch
Choreography by: Michelle Rambharose
Featuring: Benita Bailey, Jillian Harris, Roxane Loumède, Alex Petrachuk, Meagan Schroeder
Costumes by: Sophie El-Assaad
Set Design by: Bruno-Pierre Houle
Sound Design by: Devon Bate
Lighting Design by: Jon Cleveland
French Translation and Consultant: Gabrielle Chapdelain
Does a treaty end the war? In Antarctic wastes,
two estranged sisters and a crumbling paramilitary outfit collide.
Come to Bleeding Falls, where fog meets ice.
Award-winning (META 2018) contemporary performance ensemble; 12 nominations ranging from performance to design to new writing.
* Chattermarks will be presented at Théâtre La Chapelle: 3700 St-Dominique, H2X 2X7.
The performances on January 17 and 21 will be surtitled in French.
Wildside ticket buyers & Centaur subscribers pay $20 instead of $30 for Chattermarks tickets. Box Office: 514-843-7738
Presented by: Confabulation
Featuring: True-life stories from seven storytellers
Confabulation is Montreal’s original autobiographical storytelling series, presenting monthly showcases of true stories, based around a different theme each time. This year’s Wildside edition explores games: party, personal, political … really all kinds!
$50 – Regular Adult
$40 – Season subscribers/seniors/students/under 30s
$16 – Regular Adult
$13 – Season subscribers/seniors/students/under 30s
Paradise Lost Tickets
$28 when you show a proof of purchase for Wildside at Box Office
$20 for Wildside ticket buyers and Centaur subscribers