Continuing their mandate to showcase outstanding new
plays that come from and speak to Québeckers, Infinithéâtre (IT)
Artistic Director Guy Sprung is proud to present Season 22, Write
from the Heart of Québec
. Infinithéâtre is the sole theatre in
Québec (in French or English) whose mission is to develop, promote, produce and
broker only plays written or adapted by Québec and Indigenous Canadian writers.
Plays developed at Infinithéâtre regularly get produced as part of
upcoming IT seasons and across the country. Season 22 offers premieres,
final-draft scripts, and crafted early readings of inspired, original work,
including a favourite touring show, prize-winning scripts, transformative
year-long new play mentorships, and an anticipated mainstage production—the
final phase of a multi-character historical epic. The company stages stirring,
entertaining, relevant theatre that explores and reflects the issues,
challenges and possibilities of contemporary Québec from the perspective of its
diverse English-language minority. Their professional work is driven by the
fundamental belief that theatre that speaks to and about the lives, the hopes
and the tragedies of its home community has the best possibility of creating an
electric connection between stage and audience; the essence of great theatre.
Post-show artist talks are held for every production.

Another central axiom in IT’s drive to stage exciting
theatre is their view that creatively performing in non-traditional venues
heightens and focuses the audience’s attention and renders the whole experience
more alive. Tapping into a non-traditional venue gives a play both context and
subtext. The final essential goal in Infinithéâtre’s programming is the
conviction to reach out and dialogue with senior high school and college
students. Season 22 production and outreach programming info below.

Infinithéâtre’s 2019-20 Season, Write from the Heart of Québec

Kafka’s Ape
by Guy Sprung, Sept. 3-6 at Beijing’s Qinglan Theatre

Kafka’s Ape upends
the notion of civilization and what it means to be human in a world of
routinized inhumanity.

This lauded and touring (off-Broadway, Ontario,
Québec, Tokyo, Beijing) tour-de-force starring Howard Rosenstein headed to
Beijing after April in Tokyo. Audiences were wowed by the experience and the
talkbacks. From Sprung: “We were treated with true hospitality and
courtesy, and each night performed to larger audiences, with the final show
sold out; an audience of polite, curious and enthralled
young Beijingers, intrigued by the anti-war politics of the play. We
had a talkback on the final night that went on for longer than the show itself
and would have gone on even longer if we didn’t have to strike the set. We felt
proud to represent Québec and build a small cultural bridge as the only
Canadian theatre company invited to China during the current Canada/China
diplomatic imbroglio.” Gabriel Safdie was instrumental in liaising with Chinese
theatre artists to secure the privilege of an invitation to perform in Beijing,
the theatre is proud to welcome him to the Board of Directors. 

12th annual playwriting competition, submission deadline September 3

Every year Infinithéâtre seeks innovative and
challenging new works by dedicated Québec and Indigenous playwrights, with a
jury of professionals deciding on the top scripts (2019 jury presided by
Alexandria Haber and included Marianne Ackerman, Gerry Lipnowski, and Patricia
Saxton). The first place winner receives the Kevin prize of $3,000, named after
late Infinithéâtre board member and great supporter, Kevin Tierney. The
second place winner receives $1,500.Winners also receive a professional
staged reading in the highly regarded The Pipeline reading series. Write-On-Q!
has been the major source of original plays for numerous seasons’ repertoires.

Winners of the 2019 Write-On-Q! competition:

1st Place Kevin prizeColour
by Oren Safdie. From jury member Gerry Lipnowski: “A selection
process for building the Smithsonian African American Museum of History and
Culture provides the background for a substantial, convincing and entertaining
look at racial identity and politics.”

2nd PlaceDivide and Rule by
Vishesh Abeyratne. From jury member Alexandria Haber: “An original and amusing
take on a complex topic with a surprising outcome. It left me with the feeling
that though the play in itself was light and comedic in style, the issue at
hand carried a lot of weight.”

annual reading series, Dec. 5-8 at Rialto Theatre and KIN Gallery

Free public play readings where the audience takes
centre stage, offering valuable feedback that furthers script development and
helps choose future seasons.

Colour Blind by Oren
Safdie, Write-On-Q! 1st prize. A fictionalized account of the
jury deliberations surrounding the selection of an architect for the
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in
Washington, D.C.

Divide and Rule by
Vishesh Abeyratne, Write-On-Q! 2nd prize. In a thrift
shop in British Columbia, a heated exchange between two Sri Lankan employees
breaks out into a fight.

Mazel Tov by Marc-André Thibault. Isabelle
is Jewish, Patrick isn’t. They are getting married. The wedding is not the one
we hoped for. The marriage is even worse…

Our Lady of the Ice by
Alyson Grant. Set in Antarctica in a church carved out of ice presided over by an excommunicated, female Catholic
priest. The piece has the feel of myth while hauntingly current.

Fight On!
by Guy Sprung, with commentary by Drew Hayden Taylor, March 16-29 at Centre St. Jax

The full production of this epic, historical
recounting of the occupation and colonization of the Canadian West, inspired by
the real life of Frank Dickens (son of Charles) during his service in the North
West Mounted Police. In English, French, Cree and other First Peoples’

Said Sprung about the progression of the work: “We
have consolidated and refined Part One and Part Two of Fight On! into a
zany, entertaining evening of bent-history theatre. The feedback from
audiences, actors and designers from the two staged developmental workshops has
had a tremendous impact on the evolution of both the historical content and the
entertainment potential in what we believe will be a memorable event on the
cultural calendar of Montréal. We are also conscious of the incredible
opportunity of performing in the extraordinary St. Jax space, a very special
venue ideally suited to this ambitious production that will heighten audience

Infinithéâtre’s Playwright’s Unit, Cohort 2019

The Unit is a 12-month process of
committed dramaturgical support where jury-selected playwrights take an early
draft of their play and transform it into a production-ready
script. The year culminates with a week of free staged readings at notable
Montréal theatres. This year’s cohort is Alice Abracen, Anna Burkholder,
Corrina Hodgson, David Sherman, Kate Hammer and Paul Van Dyck.

student outreach

This highly-developed school outreach program for
senior high school and college students supports teachers by integrating
theatre into school curriculums. Students’ imaginations and curiosity are
stimulated by the plays while they learn how to articulate complex opinions on
the performances. Interactive talkbacks are hosted after every performance.

is culturally-diverse-minority-language-proudly-English-Québecker-Canadians,
and aims to reflect this unique existential nexus.

Infinithéâtre—Le théâtre Québécois in English