Greetings arts fans!
April is a great month for me: I’m finishing up the school semester and finally riding my bike around on the downtown streets; and it’s also the start of festival season! I was really shocked when the municipal government tried (and failed, thankfully) to take away all funding from festivals. Don’t they know that’s the reason Ottawa residents stick around during the summer? Where would Ottawa be without its incredible spring and summer festivals? I know I look forward to festival season all year long.
So let’s do that first…
BC Scene – April 21 to May 3 http://bcscene.ca
Honestly, there are no words. Just watch this stupendous video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNd2Zh7M-20
I worked for this festival earlier this year, and let me tell you, Ottawa, you’re in for a treat! All the best British Columbia artists (approximately 600 of them) are taking over the nation’s capital with music, dance, theatre, visual arts, spoken word and so much more. We’re talking about 13 days of absolute madness. I got to know some of these artists by researching them and chatting with them directly. Fabulous people – I can’t wait!
Ottawa International Writers Festival – April 22 to May 2 http://writersfestival.org/
This is the festival’s first season at the newly redesigned (and deconsecrated) St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts and Humanities. I can’t wait to see how this new venue will inspire the overall atmosphere of the festival. I expect great things! I recently wrote an article about the festival that you can read on the Guerilla Magazine website: http://getguerilla.ca/component/content/article/45-features/170-guerilla-magazine-jessica-ruano-arts-smarts Enjoy!
ONE NIGHT ONLY!
Bill Keast Vernissage – April 2 http://www.rothwellgallery.com
Keast’s depictions of rural Ontario are whimsical and full of colour. Although his work is acrylic, it is painted so finely that it almost resembles batik, and the brushstrokes are nearly invisible.
Oto-wa Taiko – April 4 www.OtoWaTaiko.ca
Oto-Wa Taiko celebrates 20 years of bringing taiko to the Ottawa area with a special ARIGATO Concert.
Rideau Awards – April 5 http://rideauawards.ca/
Ottawa’s professional theatre community battles it out on Sunday evening for the coveted Rideau Theatre Awards. The event is sold out, but I will post the winners (and possibly photos of all the glamourous actors!) on my website as soon as they have been announced.
Book of Spells – April 16 http://spells.theatreadmin.com/
I had the opportunity to interview storytellers Jennifer Cayley and Jan Andrews who will be sharing stories of witches and romance at the National Arts Centre 4th Stage for one night only. They have toured Ontario with this show and will soon be sharing their stories in the United Kingdom. Check out my article about these storytellers in the current issue of Capital Xtra: http://www.xtra.ca/public/Ottawa/Lesbian_love_spell-6491.aspx
Madama Butterfly – April 18 email@example.com
Opera fans, don’t miss this staged and costumed production presented by Pelligrini Opera!
Some Girl(s) – March 25 to April 4 http://visiontheatre.ca/
Ken Godmere returns to direct Neil Labute’s “romance,” a one-man odyssey through four hotel rooms, featuring local actors Joe Marques, Robin Guy, Miriam Westland, Jan Murray, and Kate Drummond.
The Gondoliers – March 27 to April 4 http://www.ottawasavoysociety.org/
The Savoy Society of Ottawa glides into the Centrepointe Theatre with its production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s tongue-in-cheek comic opera.
London Suite – March 31 to April 18 http://www.ottawalittletheatre.com/
In this Neil Simon comedy, a London suite overlooking Hyde Park is the setting for a series of four misadventures that take place in an English luxury hotel on the same day.
The Crucible – April 1 to 4 [Email] firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t miss Arthur Miller’s disturbing tragedy about a witch hunt that is uncomfortably familiar, even to a modern day audience. Produced by Arts Canterbury and directed by Jeff Lawson, this production features… my sister, Jocelyn! So you know it’s going to be good.
The Ballymore Reel – April 9 to 18 http://taraplayers.ncf.ca/
Directed by Pat Marshall, this Greg Finnegan play is the story of every immigrant, told through one woman’s emigration and her search for “home” upon returning to Ireland.
A Guy Named Joe – April 15 to May 2 http://odysseytheatre.ca/
A captivating and charming tale of love and hope, A Guy Named Joe pits a naïve hero against a world that threatens to demolish all his dreams. Written and directed by Odyssey founder Laurie Steven, this indoor production at The Gladstone (as opposed to their usual “under the stars”) features Scott Florence as Joe and Nick Di Gaetano, Cory Doran, Alex Guard, Mark Huisman, Scott McCulloch, and Thea Nikolic.
The Death of the Good – April 17 to 19 http://www.blackhandtheatre.com/
Writer-director Stephanie Demas brings us a brand new work that premiers in Ottawa before attending an invitation to perform at the National Arts Center in Hong Kong. This show features Brandon Groves and Gavin O’Hearn at the Avant-Garde Bar. Make a note of the unusual showtime at 4pm.
Mischief City – April 20 to 22 http://ottawatheatreschool.com/news_room.html#mischief
Written by Ottawa’s award winning children’s book author Tim Wynne-Jones, this musical will delight audiences of all ages. Eight-year old Winchell has been yanked into Mischief City to solve a problem. Winchell’s imaginary friend Maxine has an older brother who is planning something big, “really big”, to destroy Maxine’s birthday. And when Winchell’s baby sister Cleantha is gobbled up by the horrible vacuum cleaner Hoove, Winchelll knows that he must try and save her, and Maxine, from destruction.
And that’s your dose of arts & culture for the month! Check out my website at www.jessicaruano.wordpress.com for frequent updates and heated discussions about arts funding. Please continue to send me press releases to post on my website: they strongly inform what I choose to include in this newsletter. You can also find me on Facebook and on Twitter – yes, yes, I gave into the madness!
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