In recognition of International Women’s Day on Saturday, March 8, artist Shelley Ouellet will restage the performance project Radiant (shelleyouellet.com/RADIANT/). The show debuted in 2009 at the Illingworth Kerr Gallery and involved 100 women with ties to the arts community — whether as artists or supporters — waving fans as an acknowledgement of their contribution to the arts scene. These “Radiant Ladies” will gather at the Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association at 8 p.m. for the performance, which will be followed by a dance party. Ouellet, who focuses on community-based projects, is developing a website to publish biographical information about each performer as part of a residency at Emmedia, with support from Calgary 2012.
They’re all new, and they’re all Canadian, and that’s where the similarities end. Four plays will première during the month-long Alberta Theatre Projects’ annual Enbridge playRites Festival (atplive.com) — a unique opportunity to see the completed versions of new Canadian plays before anyone else in the country gets to. Hawksley Workman, perhaps better known in the music world, gives us his rock ’n’ roll take on the demon god Bacchus in The God that Comes. Playwright Darrah Teitel brings the sex, drugs and celebrity in The Apology, about the teenage antics — and aftermath — of Mary Shelley and her genius pals. Dust takes an international approach to the conflict in Afghanistan, examining the impact it has on families of soldiers on both sides, while Joan MacLeod’s The Valley brings the setting home with a story about a conflict between a cop and a teen on Vancouver’s SkyTrain that explores the broader topic of mental illness. Read more about everything the fest has to offer in these pages.
In another festival opening this week, objects will get animated. Those objects could be anything from puppets to potatoes, but before you know it, you’ll be sharing their joys and sorrows and laughter. The International Festival of Animated Objects runs from Saturday, March 9 to Sunday, March 17 and brings in artists from all over the world, including Phillip Huber, the marionette artist from Being John Malkovich, and Heather Henson (daughter of Jim Henson), who curated the puppet film series. But one of the most interesting stories may just come from local puppet innovator Peter Balkwill of the Old Trout Puppet Workshop. The event title says it all: The Accidental Puppeteer, Journey of an Old Trout.
Theatre Junction premières its latest multidisciplinary performance by artistic director Mark Lawes this week. Sometime between now and when the sun goes Supernova takes inspiration from Marshall McLuhan, Julian Jaynes and Douglas Coupland in what TJ describes as an exploration of “hybrid identities resulting from new modes of communication in an accelerated world.” Lawes started this project during a three-month stint in France last summer. It’s the first in what will be a trio of shows.