The OFFTA festival, a live arts festival, will be held from May 28 to June 6, 2021, in parallel with the Trans-Americas Festival (FTA). After being one of the first festivals to be held in a pandemic context in 2020, OFFTA will once again offer a mostly online edition, in order to comply with the health measures in place. Programming is designed to allow everyone’s imaginations to venture off the beaten track and relearn how to be together. OFFTA is an unparalleled opportunity to discover what emerging living arts artists have evolved in the past year.
Filmed all over the city, the works of this edition can be viewed live and via rebroadcast (until June 12) on a web platform created for the occasion. The public is invited to purchase a pass to enjoy all the shows. No reservations are required to access the majority of the festival’s shows, micro-performances, workshops and festive events.
Three strong themes
The OFFTA and its partners are on the move and are putting forward mobile installations to better reach the public in their neighborhoods or via their daily newspapers.
Angélus, an old dairy truck equipped with twelve loudspeakers, will depart on May 28 from Quebec City, as part of the International Theatre Crossroads in Quebec City and will crisscross the 138 through many villages before finishing its journey in Montreal. The sound performance of the truck is designed to be caught in flight, pique the curiosity of passers-by and sneak into everyday life. During the ten days of the festival, the performers will keep an online travel diary, documenting daily the ordinary and extraordinary splendours of their journey.
In partnership with le Carrefour international de théâtre de Québec
Petit Fun Palace
On June 6, the Petit Fun Palace caravan will leave the metropolis to begin a tour that will take it to Quebec City, Marsoui, Bic, Sherbrooke and Ottawa. The small mobile pavilion, a caravan fiercely negotiated by the OFFTA team in the era of the bidding around recreational vehicles, will be at different locations in Montreal for the duration of the OFFTA and will offer a meeting space with multiple configurations with discussions, performances and DJ sets.
In partnership with le Carrefour international de théâtre de Québec, le Centre de Création Diffusion de Gaspé, le Théâtre du Bic/Les gens d’en bas, le Centre des arts de la scène Jean-Besré, Le Trillium, Salon58 and pro scena
The beau of queers artists
The 15th edition of OFFTA gives a lot of room to queer and LGBTQIA artists. Four projects are explicitly nourished by the experiences of their creators and rooted in LGBTQ communities. They bear witness, directly or through unusual paths, to the diversity of these experiences and allow a meeting between these artists and the general public.
Why, Gahd, WHY?!
The Gahds, mistresses of drag, kitsch and drama, are inspired by the 22 major Arcanes of tarot and conjure evil spells, like sacrifices on the glamorous and grotesque altar of pop culture. Uma Gahd and Selma Gahd pay tribute to Quebec’s iconic astrologer, JoJo Savard.
Give Me A Fucking Break
Using the vampire myth as a form of incarnation and as a narrative-building methodology, Give Me a Fucking Break is a diversion of vampiric codes that tends to imagine common symbols, dissemination of poetic clues about the speculative. Performers who host allegorical spaces of doctored voices, patched sounds, diversitiies of objects and readings of texts take part in this work.
Une caresse animée
Video windows open and close in a succession and overlay of spaces. An “I,” addressing his webcam, imagines habitable worlds to escape the destructive chaos that surrounds him.
Ville Lumière. Noir
JJ Houle is an interdisciplinary artist from the living arts who makes a space between theatre and performance, just like her work Ville Lumière. It’s black.
Women and society
While the pandemic and confinement have profoundly altered our lives and our relationships with others, OFFTA presents three projects carried by women that tell each of their present reality.
How can we heal our bodies after experiencing sadness and fear? After denouncing and fighting abuse, how can pain be turned into light? Luz: Earth is an act of collective care in which the healing words of Mexican women resonate through the hands of six embroiderers in order to sew hope.
At equal distance between the call of which you are the hero, corporatist narrative, telephone psychotherapy, the Kafkaesque maze, the suave proximity of intimate calls and the cold distance of robotic techno-communications, The Responder is an over-structured telephone work of art, playing with the mortification and atonal delights imposed by the ordinate structures of all human desires to be heard, to know themselves, to be heard, and to be heard.
Comment j’ai guéri à l’aide de PowerPoint
How I Healed Using PowerPoint is a testimonial/conference of a woman who discovered her uniqueness during depression. She tells us how she tamed the world’s best-known software and the intimate relationship she developed with it to tame her dark ideas. Having the strength at the beginning only to produce a point, it then comes to life and reproduces. By declining punctuation marks, fonts of character and a panoply of transitions, she brings us to life on her initiation journey, which revealed unsuspected interests and a forgotten sensibility.
At the moment, the festival passes are on sale and the artists’ projects and the schedule are unveiled on the offta.com. Starting May 17, each pass holder will receive a link to access the festival’s broadcast platform.
Four passes, all offering access to all the programming, are offered: the $25 access and then the solidarity at $45, $65 and $85 that enhances your purchase with a donation of $20, $40 or $60, respectively. One third of the pass revenue will be donated to the artists in order to enhance their cachet. Thus, the commitment of festival-goers helps to support the festival, as well as the artists who are presented here.
The continuation of this 15th edition of the festival is in line with the recommendations for social distancing and the public health guidelines issued by the various public health authorities. Compliance with these recommendations and guidelines is essential to prevent the spread of the virus, and we ask festival-goers to apply them at all times.