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The Season Launch of "Artword @ The Pearl" Saturday September 13, 2008 at 8 pm, at The Pearl Company, 16 Steven Street, Hamilton. $12 advance $15 at the door. Call 905-524-0606

The Season Launch of "Artword @ The Pearl" Saturday September 13, 2008 at 8 pm, at The Pearl Company, 16 Steven Street, Hamilton. $12 advance $15 at the door. Call 905-524-0606

Artword Theatre, after 12 years in downtown Toronto, has pulled up stakes and moved to Hamilton, where it is joining forces with Hamilton's premier alternative arts venue, The Pearl Company, 16 Steven Street. Together, they have remodelled the second floor into a versatile performance space "Artword @ The Pearl".

Artword is now ready to announce its 2008-2009 theatre season. Opening events begin with a star-studded season launch Saturday September 13, 2008 at 8 pm, with a taste of the upcoming season (ticket details below). Charly Chiarelli, Hamilton's favourite son, is coming back to town with a sample of his new play scheduled for March 2009. Also starring at the launch are J.P. Riemens and friends, Gary Santucci and Dimitrios Doumas, and Artword's new theatre ensemble.

Highlights of the new season include Sunamabeach, a new play by Charly Chiarelli, Tobacco Troubadour, a musical with songs by J.P. Riemens, and a new family show about Hamilton's first settler, Robert Land. The season kicks off with a new staging in October of You Are What You Do, Artistic Director Ronald Weihs's play about working people.

Artword Theatre, the creative team of director Ronald Weihs and designer Judith Sandiford, has been producing original theatre since 1993. Until 2006, Weihs and Sandiford operated a facility (Artword Theatre and Artword Gallery) in downtown Toronto, when their theatre was closed to make way for a condo.

While they were searching for an opportunity to establish a new "Artword" in Hamilton, the pair became acquainted with Gary Santucci and Barbara Milne, who own and operate The Pearl Company, a three-story arts facility in downtown Hamilton. In April 2008 Gary and Barbara invited Weihs and Sandiford to join forces at The Pearl.

Since then, plans have become reality. Artword has been reconfiguring the setup of the second floor of The Pearl Company to create an intimate and efficient theatre space. At the same time, Artword has launched a number of programming initiatives, and is developing an acting and performance ensemble in Hamilton.

Artword Theatre productions of original theatre. Highlights include:

You Are What You Do, Artword's musical play about real people and their jobs, by Ronald Weihs, for October 2008

Rascals and Numskulls: The Robert Land Project, a family show based on the thrilling adventures of Robert Land, Hamilton's first settler (and Landsdale neighbourhood's namesake), a secret agent for the British during the American War of Independence, and close ally of the famous Mohawk leader Joseph Brant. Music direction by Gary Santucci, originally for December 2008, now rescheduled for February 2009

Sunamabeach, a new play by Charly Chiarelli about Hamilton, for March 2009. (Artword Theatre developed Charly's two previous hits Cu'Fu? and Mangiacake, directed by Ronald Weihs.)

Tobacco Troubadour, a new work with songs by Hamilton songwriter and musician J.P. Riemens and script by Ronald Weihs, about growing up as a musician in tobacco country, for April 2009.

For more information about Artword Theatre and the programming of the theatre season, call Judith Sandiford at 905-543-8512.

Events at The Pearl Company are listed at

Artword's website is Artword Theatre also maintains a listing site for arts events for both Hamilton and Toronto,