Monthly Archives: April 2012

Artist Profile: Lorenzo Pagnotta

Let me introduce b current’s own Lorenzo Pagnotta, who will be leading games during the Uth Daze All-Day Celebration! Based on Augusto Boal’s “Games for Actors and Non-Actors,” Lorenzo’s activity will leave your senses ignited and your imagination inspired. The games will begin at 1pm on Sunday, May 6 on the south side lawn of Wychwood Barns.

Lorenzo has taught drama workshops to both seniors and youth in community centers throughout Montreal, and also enjoys performing. He aspires to continue growing as a performer, facilitator, and researcher; harmoniously combing his skills in both doing theatre and analyzing it.

His latest projects include performing the title role in a comical adaptation of Hamlet which toured throughout southern Italy (Teatromania); playing a variety of characters in classroom settings as an actor simulator (Ryerson’s Interpersonal Skills Training Centre); and working as a production assistant for Like an Old Tale (Jumblies Theatre) and Obeah Opera (b current).  Lorenzo recently completed an MA in Italian Studies at McGill University, specializing in contemporary Italian theatre, and holds a BA in Drama and Italian Studies from the University of AB.

Artist Profile: The Stemmatics Collective

We’re so excited to present our next artist profile on the talented women that make up the Stemmatics Collective! They’ll be performing a play about the interactions between neighbours and strangers, and how growth can change a community. Come out to the Christie Studio at Wychwood Barns on Sunday, May 6 to see their performance! Showtime will be at 3pm.

Director/ Performer:

Copper Brown is a Toronto born writer, theatre performer and aspiring director. Copper currently works as the AMY (Artist Mentoring Youth) Graduate Program Assistant Co-ordinator. Some of her performances include:  Face Value (AMY Project), Step Right Up (AMY Project), Ways to Get Ahead  (House of Jazz). Directing credits include: Combat (Summerworks , Assistant Director to Claire Calnan and Allison Cummings) Ways to Go Home (House of Jazz, Director), Kim’s Convenience (Soulpepper, Assistant Director to Weyni Mengesha), Derailed (AMY Project, Assistant Director to Lisa Codrington and Megan Watson), and Ways to Get Ahead (House of Jazz, Director). Copper believes that this is all just a start to her journey of creating, learning, and giving back to those who have helped her along the way and those who continue to help her evolve as a person. As Copper would say “challenge yourself!”

Assistant Director/Performer:

Abhi Yogasegaran has always been drawn to storytelling through movement. Her interest first began at age 7 when she began her training in Bharathatya (classical Indian ballet). It was through this art of storytelling, she gained an interest in speech writing and acting and often performed during her school career. She was given the opportunity to perform with dancer Pedro Salazar in an Afro-Cuban contemporary piece which was performed at the Luminato Festival. Since being a part of The A.M.Y Project, Abhi has grown a passion for creatively collaborating and performing with other women. She is eager and joyful to be working with familiar and new artists in this collective. Abhi carries a B.A in Humanities from York University.

Performer & Script Co-ordinator:

Amber Williams-King Expressing herself through a variety of mediums, Amber Williams-King is a 22 year old aspiring artist trying to find the balance between success, love and passion. Whether as a writer, photographer or illustrator, she is continuously examining the world and the people in it, painting portraits of pain, love and truth that question and challenge the meanings of beauty and what it is to be normal in an ever evolving world. With a flow that is slick and melodic, she strives to connect the spaces between her Antiguan roots and her Toronto branches. In 2010, she participated in the AMY Project (Artists’ Mentoring Youth) and helped create the theatrical collaboration Step Right Up which received 3 / 4 stars from NOW magazine and went on to be featured at the Summerworks festival and the Young Centre for the Performing Arts. By the next year, she had written her own play Love and its Dialects (directed by Shamelia Joseph) which ran as a part of Paprika Festival at Tarragon Theatre in March 2011. In 2010, she received first-honourable mention for her poem Dub Insomnia in the Scarborough Arts Council’s Writer’s Month literary competition and more of her poetry can now be seen in the anthology Holla! A Collection of Womenz Wordz. She is also a graduate of the Remix Project’s Creative Arts program and was a participant in Obsidian Theatre’s Shards program for aspiring playwrights in 2011.

Performers:

Anique Jordan is a creator. She is a social entrepreneur, a documentary film maker, an actress and a community activist with bold visions.  As a self-proclaimed nomad Anique has travelled, researched and lived in many countries in Latin America and throughout the Caribbean. Her research has focused on cultural programming and creative economics for marginalized communities in the Americas.  With a focus on using storytelling to transform spaces, Anique’s work looks specifically at Afro-descendent communities. In addition to a commitment to our global village, Anique has over 10 years as an educator, activist and mentor working directly with young people in Toronto. More recently Anique’s work led her to represent Canada at the first World Afro-descendent Youth Summit held in Costa Rica. Anique has worked as a researcher, project manager and education assistant with transnational organizations such as Poverty Eradication, Human Rights and Population Growth Project, Taking IT Global and Pinelands Creative Workshops. In 2007, Anique co-innovated Toronto’s first for youth by youth social enterprise, KEYS, through which she worked with over 100 young entrepreneurs. Recently Anique founded a creative production company, Content Creators, which is currently working with Office of Provincial Advocacy for Children and Youth to produce a documentary. More than an innovator and an artist, Anique’s aspirations know no limits. She envisions a world where young people are taught to own their stories, women’s voices are never still and differing cultures are celebrated boundlessly.

Ruta Mekonnen Theatre was introduced to Ruta early in her high school career. There she was able to explore the realm of theatre and with the support of her friends and family, she began to pursue it more passionately. Over time, she was given the opportunity to meet incredible people and be a part of wonderful festivals. She attributes her education of theatre to the Soulpepper Theatre company, the Selam Youth Festival, Paprika Festival, and Factory Theatre. She hopes that she is able to pursue theatre in a school setting some day, but is very aware the experience and invaluable knowledge she continues to gain from these festivals are, if not more, limitless than a standard education.

Chiamaka Ugwu is an actor, writer, poet, singer, recovering hoarder, exercise junkie, weave-obsessed African Queen and wannabe chef. She is currently entering her third year of Theatre and Drama Studies in University of Toronto Mississauga and Sheridan College’s joint theatre program, also minoring in Diaspora and Transnational Studies – a fascinating relevant course that no one’s ever heard of. In her spare time Chiamaka loves talking to herself and singing aloud in public places, thinking of new recipes and hairstyles, dreaming, and pretending not to be single. She has been successful in all but the latter-most activity, but she still tries…desperately. In her future, Chiamaka wants to continue being active in the theatre/performance/entertainment “industry” as a writer, actor, director, coach, educator, dramaturge, producer, and front-of-house-extraordinaire. She hopes that one day our world will become a completely loving and inclusive space, that going to theatre will be as common as going to the movies, that people pronounce her first AND last name properly, and that you ENJOY THE SHOW! Cheers!

Script Co-ordinator:

Virgilia Griffith is a graduate from the acting program at Ryerson Theatre School. Throughout her training, Virgilia has explored storytelling, directing, singing, writing and creation as a whole. Recent credits include: Give It Up (Buzz Festival and SpringWorks festival), The Innocent ( Tango Co. and The Innocents Collective) ,4our Women( Obisdian Theatre Company – The Development Series)  Mrs. Muller in Doubt( The Village Playhouse) .Strange Things Done (The Empty Room);Floating (written and performed by Virgilia Griffith), Combat (Summerworks Festival); Mariner (Risk the Void); Under Milk Wood (The Empty Room); The Woods, FRAGment, The Breeding of Guns (New Voices),Sleep Country (Rock Paper Sistahz Festival); The Hairy Bird (bcurrent directing project) and Richard III, Crimes of the Heart, School for Scandal, Unity 1918, Attempts on her Life (RTS).  Directing credits: “I” written by Cassandra Walker and Ways to Say Goodbye written by Emily Nixon.

Artist Profile: Eric Double

As the second artist in our Uth Daze Artist Profile series, we’re excited to introduce Eric Double of Eric Makes Masks!

Eric is a Toronto based actor, director and mask maker. He holds a Specialist Degree in Theatre and Drama Studies from U of T, as well as a Diploma in Acting from Sheridan College.

From a young age Eric has been involved in theatre, spending some of his youth in Tarragon Theatre’s Spring Training Project as well as three seasons in Resurgence Theatre Company’s Young Company.  Around this time he became fascinated with masks and has been collecting them ever since.

Eric’s first attempts at mask making were sold on the streets of Galway, Ireland where he also busked in a traditional Italian performance mask.  He has since learned from internationally acclaimed mask makers and performers such as Teodoro Dragonieri and Rob Faust of Faustwork Mask Theatre and has performed for such events as the Luminato Festival.  He currently frequents the props shops at the Canadian Stage Company where he works with mask maker Karen Rodd of Phantom of the Opera Fame.

Eric is also the Artistic Director of Theatre Caravel, an independent theatre company dedicated to inspiring new perspectives and was last seen playing Mann in Theatre Caravel’s inaugural production of Darren O’Donnell’s play OVER, which was later remounted in co-production with the The Theatre Centre.  Other credits for the company include directing Daniel MacIvor’s two one act plays, See Bob Run and Wild Abandon, and Modern Love by Jessica Moss at the Next Stage Festival. For more check out http://www.TheatreCaravel.com.

Eric is also an avid coffee drinker.

Eric will be running a mask-making station for all ages at the Uth Daze All Day Celebration on Sunday, May 6. Come by Artscape Wychwood Barns between 2:30 and 5:30 to take part in this fun and free activity!

Artist Profile: Lishai Peel

In the first installment of our Uth Daze Artist Profile series, I’d like to present Lishai Peel!

Lishai has lived on three different continents, but has found a home in Toronto’s dynamic arts community. She believes in art as a tool for community development and uses her words to create dialogue around issues of identity and belonging.

Since 2010, she has made a name for herself as an award winning poet and powerful performer. She has competed in poetry competitions at a national and international level, including representing Toronto at The 2011 Women of the World Poetry Slam, The 2011 Vancouver International Poetry Festival and The 2011 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.

Lishai works with youth focused organizations as an arts educator, utilizing culturally sensitive, alternative education practices. Currently, she is the coordinator of UNIFFECT: A group of 25 young spoken word artists who are leaders in the Toronto youth poetry scene.

We’re thrilled to have Lishai facilitating a spoken word workshop at our all-day celebration on Sunday, May 6! She’ll also be performing in a spoken word cypher with eight other artists. Stay tuned for more info about the other inspiring artists that will be a part of the 2012 Uth Daze Festival!

2012 Festival Logo Revealed!

After weeks of hard work by our talented designer Alexander Overton, we’re thrilled to reveal the 2012 Uth Daze flyer and logo!!

We printed the flyers last week and they look amazing- we can’t wait to see Alex’s design blown up on posters around the neighbourhood. Thank you Alex for your amazing work!