Stories are the most precious currency of theatre and are at the heart of our mission at Centaur. Now more than ever we must seek out the stories that are in urgent need of being told – stories with the capacity to open our hearts and minds and create light in the darkness.
Eda Holmes
Artistic & Executive Director,
Centaur Theatre

Centaur Theatre has risen to the challenge of presenting a post-pandemic season within the ‘new world’ parameters for the performing arts. “The two key elements of programming a so-called season this year were to keep local artists working and Montreal audiences engaged”, said Eda Holmes, Centaur’s Artistic and Executive Director. “What we’ve planned so far opens up new avenues to connect with our patrons and provides the rare luxury of more time to devote to the discovery and creation of new work. Come January, we’ll reassess as to how to proceed in the spring and onward.”

THE PORTICO PROJECT kicks the season off on Centaur’s spacious stairway and veranda from September 24th to October 3rd, happily participating in the city’s lively buzz of the month-long special edition of the  Journée de la culture.  Artists of all ethnicities and sexual orientations are encouraged to apply before the July 17th deadline with ideas for short 10 to 20-minute pieces. “Montreal is such a hotbed of talent; we hope to be inundated with unique proposals from new and established artists that push live performing arts in new directions to explore how this unprecedented time in history has affected us as individuals, communities and nations.” All events are pay-what-you-decide and Montrealers can expect a fun, immersive closing event.

Centaur has invited Vancouver’s Boca del Lupo to bring its intriguing Red Phone performance piece to Montreal, to play in between the five rotating Portico shows. Part interactive theatre and part social intervention, Red Phone was conceived by Boca del Lupo’s Artistic Director, Sherry Yoon, and designed by Jay Dodge, with technology by Carey Dodge. Inside a hand-crafted, fully enclosed phone booth equipped with a red phone and teleprompter, two audience members engage in a five-to-seven minute conversation written by emerging, provocative playwrights Alice AbracenOmari Newton and others. The ensuing scripted conversation, driven by the teleprompter and interpreted by the two audience members, invisible to each other, provides an anonymity that heightens the intimacy of the encounter, and results in a one-of-a-kind theatrical experience akin to singing in the shower.

CENTAUR WORKS launches later in October (dates TBC). This initiative includes readings and workshops throughout the season to encourage writers and develop scripts for possible future Centaur seasons. Audiences will have the unique opportunity to contribute to embryonic works simply by showing up–whether that is online or in person–thereby providing invaluable feedback integral to the development process, forging a whole new relationship between patrons and theatre creators through the work itself.

What is January without the Wildside Festival’s ‘hottest two weeks of winter’? Curated by Rose Plotek, independent Montreal director and theatre maker, Centaur presents WILDSIDE REDUX in January 2021. The programming, to be released in the autumn, will be structured in accordance with all post-pandemic health and safety policies for public gatherings, and will include online events. Given the extraordinary events leading up to and shaping this winter’s festival you can expect truly eclectic and audacious programming for the 24th edition – it will be wilder than ever!

Once Covid-19 put an abrupt halt to the popular, free-wheeling Conversations routinely held in Centaur’s gallery, ONLINE SATURDAY SALONS were born. Currently on hiatus, the live Salons will return in the fall with bi-monthly segments on both Facebook and YouTube, where all past episodes can be viewed. Ms. Holmes and esteemed friends will be taking on anything and everything related to Centaur and theatre … past, present and future. The guest line-up will be announced officially in the fall.

Also ongoing throughout the year is the family-friendly TD SATURDAY MORNING CHILDREN’S SERIES. This year’s five events will be available on select Saturdays at 10:30am on Centaur’s YouTube Channel so the whole gang can gather round in their PJs to watch.

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