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The ‘Theatre’ Category

Artword Theatre projects showcase, Wed & Thurs Mar 15 & 16

February 8th, 2017
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Wednesday March 15 and Thursday March 16, 2017, at 8 pm. Artword Theatre presents a regular mid-month two-day exploration of theatre projects in the works, with Artistic Director Ronald Weihs. May include readings, Explore workshops, dance in performance, and other theatrical investigations. Call 905-543-8512 to find out more, and how to participate, or just attend, or email: rweihs@artword.net, artword@artword.net

Event, Theatre

“Langston Hughes vs. Joe McCarthy” for Black History Month + Howard Jerome, Wed & Thurs Feb 15 & 16

January 4th, 2017
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Wednesday & Thursday, February 15 & 16, 2017, at 8 pm. Artword Theatre presents a remount of “Langston Hughes vs. Joe McCarthy”,  a dramatic reading for Black History Month. Featuring Learie McNicolls, Tamara Buckland, and Howard Jerome. Conceived and directed by Ronald Weihs. On March 24, 1953, Langston Hughes, renowned poet of the Harlem Renaissance, was summoned before the McCarthy Committee investigating communist subversion in the USA. This dramatic reading interweaves some of his testimony with selected poems.

The second half of the evening features Howard Jerome, veteran actor, improviser, gamer voice, former beatnik-hippie-new-ager, who brings on one of his multiple personalities: Dr. Possibilities. The Doctor is making a house call at Artword Artbar. Come and get your out-of-body exam. Have your mind expanded, your heart opened, and your vision illumined. Make your appointment today.

Event, Storytelling, Theatre

Queens of Quirk, Sat Feb 4, 2017

December 20th, 2016
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Saturday February 4, 2017, at 8 pm. Tickets $20, book online: https://www.bruha.com/event/523#tickets
Hanna Bech hosts a new edition of Queens of Quirk, an evening celebrating the (un)conventionally cool. This time the evening involves music, silks, comedy and a radio musical. Tonight’s Queens:
Hanna Bech, songwriter/piano player, is a professor of whimsy, and a diviner of hooks;
Pamela Gardner is a velvet-voiced flying songbird and member of HAG (Hamilton Aerial Group);
Mary Clements is debuting as a songwriter, whose folky piano tunes will remind you of musicals;
Radha Menon, playwright, brings a staged reading of her original radio musical Circles, set in ancient Sicily, about a deserting Roman soldier, an Archimedes groupie and a singing cyclops. Book and script by Radha Menon and music composed by Hanna Bech.

Event, Music, Music: singer-songwriter, Theatre

THEATRE: Scroogissimo returns! In time for party season! Nov 29 to Dec 11

October 20th, 2016
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November 29 to December 11, 2016, Tues to Sat at 8 pm, Sun mat at 2:30 pm. Tickets: Adults $25, Student $15, Child 14 and under $10. Tuesdays $10 at door. Please reserve (905-543-8512), as seating is limited. Or  BUY_tix_buttonBook online

WebArtword Theatre’s delightful Christmas comedy Scroogissimo returns for a third time to Artword Artbar, Nov 29 to Dec 11. Hamilton’s North End meets Charles Dickens in a wacky script by Ryan Sero and Charly Chiarelli, directed by Ronald Weihs. With the original cast!
A sell-out hit in 2013 and 2014, Scroogissimo features Charly as “Ebenezu Scroogi”, a Christmas-hating old Hamiltonian from Racalmuto, Sicily, who finds himself haunted by three ghosts of the Past, Present and Future.
Scroogissimo is performed by the original cast: Charly Chiarelli, Pamela Gardner, Paula Grove, Valeri Kay, Jon-Gordon Odegaard, and Jay Shand.
Musical support for Scroogissimo is provided by Tim Nijenhuis (keyboard), leader of the blues trio Beg to Differ.
(Cast photo by Adam Carter.)

Event, Theatre

THEATRE: Princess, a new play by Sky Gilbert, Nov 17 to 27

October 10th, 2016
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anna-chatterton_cThurs-Sun Nov 17-20 and Thurs-Sun Nov 24-27, 2016. Thurs-Sat at 8 pm $15, Sun mats 2 pm pwyc. Princess, a Hammertheatre Production, is a new one-act play written and directed by Sky Gilbert. It stars Anna Chatterton (writer/performer in Quiver at Theatre Aquarius Studio) as Mary Beth, and Ralph Small as her father. A young woman meets her dad in a little cafe. We learn that she has cancer, and that her father neglected her is a child. But is that all the truth? Or are there other truths? As the confrontation grows deeper we learn some troubling things about the young woman, and we also learn that things are not quite what they seem. Mary Beth is an extreme young woman, but maybe her obsessions are not that different from someone you know. Not every little girl can be a princess, and not every little girl can be perfectly happy. Can you come to terms with that? With life?
The show runs 60 mins.
LATE SHOW, after Princess: On Saturday Nov. 26 at 9:30 pm, Brazilian Bossa Nova with vocalist Angela Turone, and guitarist Chris Platt.

Event, Theatre

MacBush the Musical trailer

October 8th, 2016
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THEATRE: MacBush the Musical returns! In time for the election! Nov 1-13

September 27th, 2016
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November 1 to 13, 2016. BACK for a 2-week run at Artword Artbar, in time for you-know-which election week! Tues-Sat 8 pm, Sun 2:30 pm. $25.00, or 2-show deal ($18 each)  BUY_tix_buttonBook online
MacBush, the Musical, by David L. Dawson and directed by Ronald Weihs, is a musical mash-up of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the George Bush administration.
macbush_2_cheney_powell_bush_rumsfeld_rice2You need to see this show! Here’s why:
“Tired of Trump, Hillary and the crew dispensing ‘Ain’t America Great’ on TV? Then go get a reality check at Artword Artbar, where Artword Theatre is offering hemlock and humour, stirred not shaken, in a bitter witches’ brew. … Sean Emberley stands out as a prog_macbush_8_saddam_binladen_ahmadinejad21look-alike for the grinning George Bush. Jon-Gordon Odegaard makes an exotic Osama bin Laden. And Will Gillespie and Allan Merovitz have fun with the roles of Rumsfeld and Cheney.  … Well worth seeing.” (Gary Smith, Hamilton Spectator, May 2016).
“This lively play… threads its laughs with an undeniably sinister undercurrent…  Jamila B.’s vocals are a treat…  she not only has good comedic timing but is eerie when she evokes Lady Macbeth.” (Allison Jones, View Magazine, May 2016)
prog_macbush_5_iraqi_woman2_c“Mixing clever, biting political satire…, showing how power corrupts and evil proliferates. … Two highlights of the show are Shavini Fernando’s portrayal of an Iraqi woman’s lament, …and Will Gillespie, as an ordinary soldier. Shand’s portrayal of Powell’s conflicts is memorable.” (Ellen Jaffe, Ont Arts Review, May 2016)
Who? Performed by seven accomplished singer-actors in the Artword Theatre Ensemble: Jamila Bello, Sean Emberley, Shavini Fernando, Will Gillespie, Allan Merovitz, Jon-Gordon Odegaard, Jay Shand.
Music direction and performance by Tim Nijenhuis, with percussion by Steve Foster.
Book and lyrics by David Laing Dawson. Music by Charles W. Humphreys.
Directed by Ronald Weihs. Design by Judith Sandiford.
Produced by Artword Theatre and Gallery on the Bay.
Ticket Prices? Wed to Sun $25 Call 905-543-8512, or book online BUY_tix_button
Tuesday Special all tickets $10 cash at door
When? November 1 to 13, 2016, Tues to Sat at 8 pm, Sun mat. at 2:30 pm
Where? Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street, artword@artword.net

What is this show about? G. Dubya and his sidekicks Dickie, Rummy, Condi and Coley sing jaunty show tunes while they plan tactics of ‘shock and awe’. Songs sung by a soldier and an Iraqi woman reveal other viewpoints. With guest appearances by ‘Saddam Hussein’ and ‘Osama Bin Laden’ and ‘Ahmadinejad’ as witches, who have some chilling prophecies about our now current world crisis.

Event, News, Theatre

Dance: Learie Mc Nicolls, Roots en Route at Artword, Sun Sept 25

August 18th, 2016
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renr_logoRoots en Route Festival of World Music, Dance, Spoken Word, presented by Matapa in multiple venues. http://www.matapa.org/ and  http://rootsenroutefest.com/new-events/
Events at Artword Artbar:
artword_box_0990Sunday, September 25, 2016, 8 pm, $20 (advance reserve 905-543-8512), $25 door. Artword Theatre presents a dance double-bill:
Once I Lived in the Box (30-minute version) is choreographed by Learie Mc Nicolls, performed by dancers Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, Tanis Macarthur and Learie Mc Nicolls. “Once I lived in the box/ hated the box/ loved the box/ respected the box/ got angry at the box… ” The piece is a sequence of trios, duets and solos, that reveal different aspects of isolation and connection, vulnerability and trust. Learie_McNicolls_0194_cThe full length version of this stunning work premiered at the Hamilton Fringe Festival 2016, to rave reviews.
The Parrot of Paradise is a Caribbean tale told in dance and spoken word, written and performed by Learie Mc Nicolls. This is the premiere of a new work. It tells a story of a individual chosen to tell a short tale of a particular incident on a particular island. The story draws on Learie’s own experience growing up in the Caribbean, and is partly autobiographical, partly historical. Duration 20 mins.

Dance, Event, Theatre

“the best thing you see at the Fringe this year” review by Amos Crawley

July 21st, 2016
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Once I Lived in the Box
Review by Amos Crawley, Published July 20, 2016   https://raisethehammer.org/fringe/2988/once_i_lived_in_the_box

Once I Lived In The Box is a dire warning. It’s a tired and nearly, nearly defeated voice crying out in the middle of a windy, terrifying night. It is by turns haunting, sensual, humorous, distant and visceral. Like the Otis Redding version of A Change Is Gonna Come that scores a marvelous solo, it’s a show that never once apologizes for the pain of being alive.

It is a shared experience in that way – it’s us who are being warned: STOP! We hold on to our faked generosity, our small ownerships, our secret hate for dear life as if we ourselves are not part of a continuum-as if we do not all break the same way.

The show begins with the razor edge feeling of a situation that can’t possibly end well. Then quickly we are in the hustle and bustle of a life where life is that which gets swept away-hidden.

The show moves for the most part with the undeniable pulse of heartbreak. We are perhaps doomed and our inner turmoil is a result of the lack of faith we put in one another, of a true generosity of spirit. That’s the price we all gotta pay. Isn’t it a pity?

Mc Nicolls and his gifted, dedicated performers unselfishly make the political personal so that at the turn of a phrase or a fade in the music (the evening is accompanied by some of the most exquisite music of the 20th century) we have gone from the world at large to the most intimate trials and tribulations of a love affair.

It may be a warning, but it is not a hopeless warning. There is always joy available. We’re gonna end up in a box anyhow-why live in one too?

It may be a warning. It may also be the best thing you see at the Fringe this year.

Amos Crawley is an actor, director and acting instructor who lives in East Hamilton with his wife, actor and director Cadence Allen, and their young son.

Dance, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

“Visceral, raw strength…” “passionately and creatively written and performed”

July 21st, 2016
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Once I Lived in the Box Review in View Magazine July 21 2016 by Heather Baer

Visceral, raw strength are words which came to mind while watching Once I Lived in the Box, a full-length dance work passionately and creatively written and performed by awarding winning choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls. Joining him are four beautiful women (Jamila Bello, Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, and Tanis Macarthur) equally talented in their own right and each having a background in various movement forms from hip-hop to yoga and everything in between.

Once I Lived in the Box was inspired by a 10 page poem of the same name written by Mc Nicolls (“…because I have a lot to say”, quips Mc Nicolls when asked at a Q&A session after opening night) and reveals issues of vulnerability and trust as show through a series of solos, duets and quartets interwoven around, in, on and through movable pieces of “the box”.

The passion for and commitment to the piece and to their craft was expressed by the artists in every move from the fluid cadence of limbs to the exact placement of fingers as well as tell-tale glances and nods sometimes working in harmony and other times in opposition.

Come and enjoy this unique exposition. The artistry continues for the rest of the weekend at Artword Artbar.

Dance, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Gary Smith rave reviews for Box and Toller

July 16th, 2016
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Out there on the Fringe: Three plays that take us on a journey of discovery
Gary Smith  The Hamilton Spectator, 16 Jul 2016
Gary Smith has written on theatre and dance for The Hamilton Spectator for more than 30 years.

There’s diversity on The Fringe. Take Once I Lived in the Box, a contemporary dance drama that asks you to feel drama through movement. Or Toller, a second look at a troubled genius who made skating look easy and life look hard. And then there’s Anybody Else, Ryan Sero’s biting comedy about art versus commercial success. Even Sigmund Freud turns up in that one.
These are three distinctly different, but compelling human journeys that tell us we’re alive and thinking somewhere on The Fringe.

artword_box_0990Once I Lived in the Box is an intimate, intensely personal dance drama where movement says what words cannot. Learie Mc Nicolls and four outstanding female performers take us to the edge of personal discovery, forcing us to escape theatrical stereotypes and confront our personal psyches. Mc Nicolls’ choreography gives his dancers freedom to express who they are; each being a different and skilled artist who lets movement take her to a private, enigmatic place.
Angela Del Franco, statuesque and lean, has something of a Martha Graham sensibility about her, warm and cool at the same time. Sharon Harvey is a compact firebomb of a dancer who eats space. And somewhere in between such polarities is Tanis Macarthur, a pale presence who moves like a spectre connecting this world with some other time and place.
Mc Nicolls’ world of demons and darlings, set free in a performance that’s honest and pure, is enticing. And when the man himself puts on his familiar black derby he moves like a cross between a Bengal tiger and some latter day Mr. Bojangles: pure honey dripping from a spoon. Jamila Bello adds occasional words of wisdom via spoken raplike passages that bookend the performance.
Sophisticated and startling, Once I Lived in the Box plays at Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., July 19 to 22 at 9 p.m. and Sat. July 23 at 6 and 9 p.m.

Back in Hamilton for a second time is Sky Gilbert’s poetic drama Toller. If you missed it before, this is a perfect chance to catch one of the best works of the season. A tortured genius, Toller Cranston was a remarkable painter and a brilliant ice skater. He was a man who saw life through the opposite end of the telescope. His own emotions, sexual identity and theatrical attitude were simply part of his genius and Gilbert’s play. Here is a dazzling picture of the artist as a troubled human being. Imaginatively directed by Gilbert, and acted with great understanding and simplicity by David Tomlinson, Toller is luminous. It’s something Hamilton Fringe should be proud of. It’s at Artword Artbar, July 16 at 4 and 8 p.m. and July 17 at 2 p.m. For goodness sake, go see it. Read more…

Dance, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

DANCE: Once I Lived in the Box, FRINGE: July 19, 20, 21, 22, 23

June 10th, 2016
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FRINGE LOGO 2016_c Artword_Box_July2016_8x11posterSIX SHOWS: Tues- Fri July 19-22, 2016, at 9:00 pm; Sat July 23 at 6:00 & 9:00 pm. Running time 60 minutes.
Tickets $10: hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/
or at door.
Artword Theatre presents Once I Lived in the Box, a dance work by Learie Mc Nicolls,  for the 2016 Hamilton Fringe Festival.Box_P1270889_c Dancer and choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls has created a full-length dance piece about vulnerability and trust. The piece is danced by Angela Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, Tanis Macarthur, Jamila Bello and Learie Mc Nicolls, in a sequence of trios, duets and solos, that reveal different aspects of isolation and connection. Judith Sandiford is producer and lighting designer. Box_P1270852_c
“Once I lived in the box/ hated the box/ loved the box/ respected the box/ got angry at the box… ”

Photos right are from the presentation at Artword Artbar in Feb 2016.
REVIEW: “Learie Mc Nicolls’ newest creation, Once I Lived in the Box, at Artword Artbar [Feb 3, 4 and 5, 2016], was a powerful, yet intimate, piece of choreography… This piece touched the heart. I hope it will be remounted; it deserves a longer run and a larger audience.” Ellen Jaffe, Ontario Arts Review

Dance, Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

Sky Gilbert’s Toller, Hamilton Fringe Fest, July 14, 15, 16, 17

June 9th, 2016
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Toller_DBTomlinson_crThurs July 14 & Fri July 15 at 8 pm, Sat July 16 at 4 & 8 pm, Sun July 17 at 2 pm. Tickets $10: Hamilton Fringe website (http://hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/) or at the door.
Venue: Artword Artbar, BYOV.
TOLLER, about figure-skater Toller Cranston. The play, premiered in November 2015 at Artword, is written and directed by Sky Gilbert, produced by hammertheatre, and stars David Benjamin Tomlinson in the role of Toller. The play is a fictional one-act presentation in which Toller Cranston muses on his life and times. It is inspired by Cranston’s 1997 memoir Zero Tollerance: An Intimate Memoir by The Man That Revolutionized Figure Skating. Toller Cranston died suddenly in 2015 at a relatively young age of 65. The Olympic Bronze medalist, born in Hamilton, was always a controversial figure. Sky Gilbert considers Toller Cranston as an historical gay figure much in the ‘old school closeted’ style of Noel Coward and Liberace. Uncomfortable with gay liberation, Cranston instead preferred to position himself as a creative outsider rather than as a homosexual.

Gary Smith (Hamilton Spectator) chose “Toller” as one of the Ten Best of 2015: Read more…

Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

THEATRE: MacBush, the Musical, by David Dawson, April 26 to May 8

April 21st, 2016
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MacBush_posterJ_3v_com-cut3_nobMacBush the Musical RETURNS Nov 1 to 13, 2016! Click here http://www.artword.net/artbar/

Tuesday April 26 to Sunday May 8, 2016, a two-week run at Artword Theatre / Artword Artbar.   MacBush, the Musical, by David L. Dawson and directed by Ronald Weihs, is a new musical play that is — yes, you guessed it — a mash-up of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and the George ‘Dubya’ Bush administration during 2001/9/11 and the War on Iraq.

G. Dubya and his sidekicks Dickie, Rummy, Condi and Coley sing jaunty show tunes while they plan tactics of ‘shock and awe’. Songs sung by a soldier and an Iraqi woman reveal other viewpoints. With guest appearances by ‘Saddam Hussein’ and ‘Osama Bin Laden’ and ‘Ahmadinejad’ as witches, who have some chilling prophecies about our now current world crisis.

Performed by a cast of seven accomplished singer-actors in the Artword Theatre Ensemble:
Jamila B., Sean Emberley, Shavini Fernando,
Will Gillespie, Allan Merovitz,
Jon-Gordon Odegaard, Jay Shand
.

Book and lyrics by David Laing Dawson. Music by Charles W. Humphreys.
Directed by Ronald Weihs. Music direction by Tim Nijenhuis.
Design by Judith Sandiford. Produced by Artword Theatre and Gallery on the Bay.

Show Dates and Times: April 26 to May 8, 2016, Tues to Sat at 8 pm, Sun mat. at 2:30 pm
Prices: Tues $20.00, Wed, Thurs & Sun: $25.00, Fri & Sat $30.00

Call for info about groups and special price offers:
Artword Artbar: 905-543-8512   www.artword.net/artbar
OR Gallery on the Bay: 905-540-8532   www.galleryonthebay.com

Event, Theatre

DANCE: Once I Lived in the Box, by Learie McNicolls, Feb 3, 4 & 5, 2016

December 10th, 2015
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Learie_Box_poster2Wednesday, Thursday & Friday, February 3, 4 & 5, 2016, at 8 pm, $15. BUY_tix_buttonBook online
Artword Theatre presents three performances of a new full-length dance work Once I Lived in the Box by choreographer Learie Mc Nicolls, for Black History Month. Performed by dancers Angelo Del Franco, Sharon Harvey, Tanis Macarthur and Learie Mc Nicolls with music by Edgardo Moreno.

Once I lived in the box/ hated the box/ loved the box/ respected the box/ got angry at the box /
raged at the box /
the box was shiny/ the box was misery/
the school of hard knocks/ pulled up mah socks

Learie Mc Nicolls has been a key figure in the contemporary dance scene in Toronto since the 1980s. He has danced with Toronto Dance Theatre, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Read more…

Dance, Event, Theatre

THEATRE: Sky Gilbert’s new play TOLLER, about Toller Cranston, Nov 19-22 & 26-29

October 24th, 2015
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toller-cranston4Thurs to Sat Nov 19-21 & Nov 26-28, 2015, at 8 pm, tickets $15.  Matinees Sundays Nov 22 & 29 at 2 pm, PWYC at the door only.
A two-week run at Artword Artbar of Sky Gilbert‘s new play TOLLER, about figure-skater Toller Cranston. The play is written and directed by Sky Gilbert, produced by hammertheatre, and stars David Benjamin Tomlinson in the role of Toller (photo right).
Toller_DBTomlinson_crSky Gilbert’s new play TOLLER: A Performance by Toller Cranston is a fictional one-act presentation in which Toller Cranston muses on his life and times. It is inspired by Cranston’s 1997 memoir Zero Tollerance: An Intimate Memoir by The Man That Revolutionized Figure Skating.
Toller Cranston died suddenly earlier this year at a relatively young age of 65. The Olympic Bronze medalist, born in Hamilton, was always a controversial figure. Sky Gilbert considers Toller Cranston as an historical gay figure much in the ‘old school closeted’ style of Noel Coward and Liberace. Uncomfortable with gay liberation, Cranston instead preferred to position himself as a creative outsider rather than as a homosexual.
The play allows Toller Cranston himself to speak about his life and his sexuality through an artful performance of the famous figure skater’s own devising. TOLLER boldly confronts issues of sexuality, identity, and hypocrisy, ultimately painting the portrait of a fierce, frightened, heroic, and very wounded gay man.
The running time is 60 minutes. Separate concerts will follow at 9:30 on Fridays and Saturdays, and at 5 pm on Sunday Nov 22.

Event, Theatre

THEATRE: Mikey Henley’s 23:30, performance about solitary confinement, Wed-Sat, Nov 4-7

September 20th, 2015
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Mikey_Henley_23-30_poster2015Wednesday November 4 to Saturday November 7, 2015, four performances. Michael Henley‘s theatrical performance 23:30, “the stark truth about his time in solitary confinement”. At Artword Artbar, tickets $15, 905-543-8512 or 905-912-9083. Arrive by 8:00 pm to be seated and served. Show starts sharp at 8:30 (no latecomers admitted).
Mikey Henley was a troubled teenager. Eighteen years old in 1997, he was sentenced to two years in penitentiary for robbery and assault. Serving his time in Collins Bay, he refused to rat on another prisoner, and in consequence was sent to “the hole”, solitary confinement. Three hellish months in all, locked in a tiny room for 23 hours and 30 minutes a day.
On April 17, 1999, he received his conditional release. Outside, he had a life to start over — and a nightmare that he couldn’t forget.
He had a story to tell, but how to tell it? The result is 23:30, a powerful piece of dramatic art that depicts the stark truth about what happens in solitary confinement to a human spirit.
“23:30 is a story, a play, a musical, a comedy, a nightmare. It is a story of how to think outside the box. A story that asks what do you do when you hit rock bottom, but worse…find yourself in the hole. What would you do? Locked in the hole for an average of 23 and a half hours a day, for over 3 months. How would it affect you?” 
Read more…

Event, Special event, Storytelling, Theatre

Choreographic Workshops, Wed Sept 23 and Wed Sept 30

August 16th, 2015
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Learie_Nov20_0345Wednesday, September 23 and 30, 2015 at 6:15 pm.
Workshop with choreographer Learie McNicolls and theatre director Ronald Weihs, for dancers, movers, actors, performers.
How to put together a performance piece with movement and structure in a theatrical space. Learie and Ron will share their secret processes to help you develop a short work. The second workshop is a continuation of the first one.
Cost: $10 per workshop.
Reserve: email Learie <leariemcnicolls@gmail.com>, or
email Artword <artword@artword.net>, or call Judith Sandiford 905-543-8512. Or you can join the event on FB: https://www.facebook.com/events/700491216747798/
Location: Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St, on the theatre stage.
Time: Please arrive by 6:15 to get ready. We will start right at 6:30 pm. We will finish at 9:30.
Bring: Comfortable clothes and soft footwear that you can move in.

Dance, Event, Special event, Theatre

4 great reviews for Learie McNicolls’ Transformation, July 2015

July 18th, 2015
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Peter Malysewich: “…the premier performance of this year’s Fringe.”
The performance was totally awesome. As a Learie fan, I came prepared to enjoy it and was rewarded with even more than I expected. Held my attention from right from the beginning. But I have to give a shout out to Dale Morningstar who at times was so intense he seem to be Learie’s alter ego, with his masterful timing, that movement and sound became one. A terrific venue, a terrific beer, and a fusion of artists for the premier performance of this year’s Fringe. July 23, Peter Malysewich, audience member, posting on FB, https://www.facebook.com/groups/11108185093/

Gary Smith: “..Theatre that pricks the social conscience, stirs the imagination and releases thought. Go get transformed.”

For goodness sake, go see Learie McNicolls’ dance drama “Transformation.” This piece of theatre-cum-performance art is a highly polished, professional work that finds inspiration in McNicolls’ narrative and Ron Weihs’ inspired direction. Add Judith Sandiford’s powerful visuals with their icy tinge of realism and you have a work of art.
McNicolls moves with easy grace offering a seemingly improvised (it’s not of course) banter that gives the work energy and rhythm. Accompaniment by musician Dale Morningstar on drums, keyboard, whistle and cymbals is always perfectly in tune with what’s going on.
“Transformation” reminded me of heady nights in Greenwich Village’s once famous Café Bizarre where, during the 1960s, art was deliriously performed for audiences who savoured every moment. Transformation_learie_McNicolls_8cr
This is theatre that pricks the social conscience, stirs the imagination and releases thought. Go get transformed. Performed at Artword Artbar 15 Colbourne St.
Gary Smith in The Hamilton Spectator, July 16, 2015. Gary Smith has written on theatre and dance for The Hamilton Spectator for more than 35 years. He saw these Fringe shows in previews. Gary Smith reviews Transformation

Dawn Cattapan: “…Mc Nicolls’ strong mastery of dance performance and movement is especially apparent as each transformation takes place with ease and grace… a powerful and meaningful performance…”

Transformation: A Journey of the Soul’s Healing is a multi-disciplinary art piece that encompasses dance, spoken word, live music and image projections. … Transformation was first presented earlier this year and incorporates three [many] of Mc Nicolls’ poems in order to bring three distinct characters to life.
Although these characters have other interactions, Learie is able to portray every single character with ease, using his body and voice alone to capture the essence of each; from a small child passing by on a beach to a preacher as he comes to terms with a troubled childhood.
In this sense, the story itself is epic; intense emotions and opinions of family, poverty, war, love, fear, sacrifice and faith are carefully explored as the character gracefully transforms and weaves their way into and out of the changes in their life. Through it all, they continue walking forward, to face each sunrise, and the promise of a new day with unreserved enthusiasm for the promise it may hold.
Mc Nicolls’ strong mastery of dance performance and movement is especially apparent as each transformation takes place with ease and grace that reflect his professional training. No space or moment is wasted throughout the performance, as Artword Artbar is utilized perfectly in its entirety to capture each transformation, both in music, imagery and movement. Mc Nicolls and his live collaborators have carefully and consciously thought out each moment, ensuring that they contribute to a powerful and meaningful performance as the music and images move the story forward as seamlessly as its main character.
Although many may feel that contemporary dance is an art form not for them, Learie Mc Nicolls is an apt tour guide for those looking to learn more about it as he conveys his story. This type of performance is reason enough to be excited about the future of the dance and art community in Hamilton.
Dawn Cattapan is an arts management and communications professional who is currently working with Green Venture. The former Executive Director of the Sudbury Symphony Orchestra and Education Manager for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, she is particularly interested in the potential of the Hamilton arts community. In her spare time, Dawn is an active yogi, burrito aficionado and can be found on Twitter @dcattapan.  July 17, 2015: http://www.raisethehammer.org/blog/2880/transformation:_a_journey_of_the_souls_healing

Robin Pittis: “… masterpiece of poetic theatre, … a feat of mature creative artistry…”
Transformation: An avant garde dancer teams up with a musician and visual artist to create this challenging masterpiece of poetic theatre. Learie McNicolls is an accomplished and award-winning modern dancer, and he draws on richly personal material of growing up in Trinidad for his poems. Themes of innocence, violence, and faith swirl between Judith Sandiford’s imagery, Dale Morningstar’s creative sound scape, McNicolls’ lithe and free movement, and his vocal commitment to the text. This is a feat of mature creative artistry connoisseurs won’t want to miss. [R.P.] Robin Pittis, View Magazine, July 23, 2015

News, Theatre

Transformation by Learie Mc Nicolls, Fringe Festival, July 16 to 25

June 22nd, 2015
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transformation_poster_Jul2015Hamilton_Fringe_BLK Logo_smJuly 16 to 25, 2015, $10. Artword Theatre presents Transformation: A Journey of the Soul’s Healing by Learie Mc Nicolls, in the 2015 Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival.
Learie Mc Nicolls confronts the demons of poverty, violence and fear in his powerful new work, Transformation_Learie_McNicolls_13bcTransformation: a Journey of the Soul’s Healing. An Artword Theatre production, directed by Ronald Weihs, Transformation combines dance, spoken word, soundscape and visual images, to present one man’s struggle to come to terms with his troubled Trinidad childhood and redeem the forgotten child inside him. The live musical soundscape is by Dale Morningstar, and live visuals by Judith Sandiford.Transformation_Learie_McNicolls_3br
Article on March version of Transformation
Venue: Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne St., a Bring-Your-Own-Venue.
Running time: 60 minutes. Eight performances, showtimes:
Thursday July 16 at 9 pm; Friday July 17 at 9 pm;
Saturday July 18 at 9 pm; Sunday July 19 at 8 pm;
Wednesday July 22 at 9 pm; Thursday July 23 at 8 pm;
Friday July 24 at 9 pm; Saturday July 25 at 9 pm  (Final Show)
Tickets $10 at door or online at: http://hamiltonfringe.ca/tickets/
plus a one-time purchase of a Fringe Button ($5), good for all Fringe shows.

Click here for Transformation_press_rel_Artword_Fringe2015.pdf
Learie Mc Nicolls has been a key figure in the contemporary dance scene in Toronto since the 1980s. He has danced with Toronto Dance Theatre, Desrosiers Dance Theatre, Dancemakers, the National Ballet of Cuba, and his own company, Mythmakers. Read more…

Dance, Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Literary, Spoken Word, Theatre

Drinking, Fighting and Fishing, Fringe Festival, July 16 to 25

June 21st, 2015
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Hamilton_Fringe_BLK Logo_smJulian_Nicholson_posterJuly 16 to 25, 2015, eight performances, $10. Julian Nicholson and David B. Fraser present Drinking, Fighting and Fishing at Artword Artbar (a BYOV Venue), as part of the 2015 Hamilton Fringe Theatre Festival, .
Julian Nicholson stars in Drinking, Fighting and Fishing, a one-man play by David B. Fraser, about Andy and his two brothers drinking, fighting, and fishing their way through life. Andy re-lives his youth and his traumatic history that masks a deeper and mysterious illness affecting his life. The play, a coming of age story that deals with mental illness and substance abuse, is funny, desperate, and honest.
Julian Nicholson and David B. Fraser are long-time theatre veterans who have collaborated on many theatre projects in the Toronto and Hamilton area. Most recently, Julian directed David’s play A Home for Margaret in the 2014 Hamilton Fringe Festival. David B. Fraser won the 2008 Hamilton Fringe Playwright’s Contest for his play Gerald Hilroy’s Guide to the Art of Seduction.
Venue: Artword Artbar, 15 Colbourne Street, a Bring-Your-Own-Venue.
Running time is 45 minutes.
Show times for Drinking, Fighting and Fishing are: Thursday, July 16 at 7:30 pm; Friday, July 17 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 pm; Tuesday, July 21 at 8 pm; Wednesday, July 22 at 7:30 pm; Friday, July 24 at 7:30 pm; Saturday, July 25 at 5:00 pm and at 7:30 pm  (Final Show)

Event, Hamilton Fringe Theatre Fest, Theatre

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