Wednesday, April 11, 2012



a post-Easter parade of performance possibility

Harborfront Centre’s exciting myriad of cultural programs enables artists and audiences to take part in unique and innovative arts activities. Designed to give performing artists the opportunity to develop new work, this year’s installment of HATCH sports a generous number of queer, and queer-friendly artists involved in projects ranging from a drumming, tap-dancing, cheerleading, band, to ghosts from faded seafaring tales, Liberace inflected dramas, and a series of connected stories about several strangers who share the same bed in the same hotel room at different times.

Operating as a performing arts residency, HATCH is comprised of four proposals that are accepted annually. Each project is then each given a one-week residency at Harbourfront where the availability of space, resources, and a guest curator contribute to a valuable work-in-progress element of the overall process so crucial to the development of new work. Each week ends in a Saturday night public presentation, followed by a talkback session facilitated by the curator. These sessions punctuate the whole program as a much-needed opportunity for artists and spectators to respond to each other as the project meets its first audience.

This year’s guest curator, and acclaimed performance artist Jess Dobkin “loves that as artists and audiences [we get] the privilege of seeing something where the focus is on process. “ She feels that this is something largely unavailable to artists on a public scale, and considers the Harbourfront program to be a valuable and much needed resource for the community at large. Her own solo performance piece, Everything I’ve Got, was developed as part of HATCH in 2010, went on to become a full production at Buddies In Bad Times Theatre, and the script has been recently published in a special volume of The Canadian Theatre Review.

Dobkin elaborates on the program when she explains that “part of idea of HATCH is to do some experimenting, to take the week in a space and kind of come in with some specific questions and inquiries.” She feels that “while there are similarities and points of connection and links [the projects] are all quite different.” Audiences are given the rare opportunity to see something being worked through, as opposed to a finished project, thereby giving the spectator and the creator a unique interactive experience facilitated by talkback sessions following the presentation.


Jenn Goodwin & Camilla Singh

aggression and enthusiasm, kindness and rage, pride & regret

April 14

Starring Jenn Goodwin and Camilla Singh, Mortified adopts the format of a band in order to encompass a range of activities. Creating a sonic experience through movement and mayhem, the performance results in a “concert” that explores aggression and enthusiasm, kindness and rage, pride and regret, through tap dancing, cheerleading and drumming.

Goodwin is from Burlington, Ont., where she fell out of a window of a speeding car and walked away. She grew up playing with Barbie, listening to Black Sabbath, hosting make-out parties in her parents’ basement, and falling in love weekly. Her academic and performance credits include a BFA at Concordia University in Contemporary Dance with a minor in Video. Her dance work has been performed all over Canada, NYC, Amsterdam, Australia and Brussels.

Camilla Singh left her role as curator of Toronto’s MOCCA to experiment with materials in her studio and probe the questions that had formed around the experience of working in an office for a decade. She is currently researching and producing a series of uniforms for curators called Uniforms for Non-Uniform Work which will comprise a solo exhibition at the Art Gallery of York University in 2013.

The Empty Whole Group


“nothing that has made contact with the sheets can ever be fully bleached away”

April 21

Governor General Award-nominated playwright and actor Salvatore Antonio will be developing, as part of HATCH, a new performance creation exploring the expression – or lack thereof – of intimacy in all its banality, disconnectedness and solitude. A revealing and unsparing foray into the human need for emotional connection, sexual release and tactile contact, THE SHEETS, THE… lays bare the incongruities and intricacies of intimate relations between individuals both together and alone. At once sexually raw, dark, emotionally complex and fragile, the stories that unfold in THE SHEETS, THE… link together several strangers who share the same bed in the same hotel room at different times. While the sheets may be washed, and the surface stains removed, nothing that has made contact with the sheets can ever be fully bleached away.

Writer, actor and director Salvatore Antonio founded The Empty Whole Group as an i

nclusive extension of his independent creative work; bringing together other progressive performers and creators – both established and emerging – in a collaborative spirit with the purpose of exercising their artistic strengths, and stretching newer branches of their creative expression. The end result is a fresh, yet informed, new vocabulary for theatrical performance. Around a central idea or story, Antonio brings together well-suited artists to help build and “flesh out” a new work, with the specific focus of blurring the line between theatre, music, dance, and visual art. The end result is a more experiential performance extending past the perceived boundaries of most traditional artistic disciplines.

Paper Laced with Gold - Paper Laced Productions

truck stops, daydreaming, and waiting tables

April 28

Paper Laced Productions is writer/co-director Maggie MacDonald and producer/co-director Stephanie Markowitz. They focus on themes of gender, physical difference, class, and environmental issues, pursuing social justice through art that communicates passionately, and without irony. Their choice to work with artists from a mix of disciplines as performers is one of the ways they achieve a raw, innocent, performance style that minimizes the feeling of separation between audience and performer. 

MacDonald and Markowitz first collIn 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened the heart of North America to seafaring ships, and the river lost its rapids and twisted where it used to turn. The young people who lived on its banks saw their roots washed away in the current. Now that the industries that asked the river to reroute are crumbling, the ghosts of the Seaway’s lost towns mingle with the living, forever looking for a place to settle. Paper Laced with Gold is a new musical about two of these lost characters, living on the banks of this once thriving part of Ontario. For 10 years, Betty has been waiting tables at a truck stop, day-dreaming her life away. One night, Kevin, a young thug with a familiar face, tries to steal her car. While awaiting the police, Kevin recognizes Betty as his old babysitter, and she recognizes him as a frightened, closeted teen. Slowly they reveal their mutual recognition, and Kevin tells the story of what brought him to the truck stop.

2005 with their post-apocalyptic musical, The Rat King Rock Opera, which was successfully mounted three times – at the Alchemy Theatre in Toronto, Indie Unlimited Fest at Harbourfront Centre and at the Lucille Lortel Theater in New York City. This year, Belle and Sebastian's Stevie Jackson joins the duo as musical collaborator on Paper Laced with Gold.

Pantheon - Kids on TV

“an apocalyptically gay band”

May 5

Kids on TV emerged from the Toronto party Vazaleen in the spring of 2003. John Caffery, Minus Smile and Roxanne Luchak have collaborated with musicians such as Boy George, Man Parrish, Shunda K of Yo Majesty, Julie Faught, Katie Stelmanis of Austra, and Diamond Rings. Throughout its history, the group has made short films and videos that have screened at festivals internationally. In addition, Kids on TV transform environments with live video projections. The party-starting band has played in clubs, warehouses, farms, festivals and bathhouses. Kids on TV have worked in schools as music teachers in collaboration with Mammalian Diving Reflex as well as facilitators at Converge, an annual conference in Toronto dealing with gender and sexuality. Since its inception, the group has toured Canada, the US and Europe, has played over 250 shows, and released music on several labels, most notably Chicks on Speed Records and The Co-operative of Blocks Recording Club. Kids on TV honours local roots planted by General Idea, Fifth Column and Will Munro. Kids on TV is an apocalyptically gay band.

Combining bouncy house music, old-school hip hop, Liberace piano drama, mutant super-hero roller-disco battles, love songs between closeted 20th-century artists and epic choral arrangements, Pantheon celebrates the historical and fictional figures of Kids on TV’s personal and collective mythologies. It explores inspiring, strange and obscure figures of resistance and sexual revolution. The works liberate and create positive space, and do so by referencing queer history, struggle and culture through music, dance, film, performance, and politics.


for further info re. tickets and times see

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