The du Maurier World Stage Festival has a fringe event. So if the idea of 100 performances over 18 days, including 17 premieres and dozens of special events, workshops, readings and exhibitions doesn't satiate your theatrical appetite, you can always take in another mini-festival called Spin Off.
Spin Off is an umbrella for four alternative Toronto theatre companies who have chosen to mount their work at the same time as the big international festival. Some of the productions are remounts from earlier seasons, others are new.
The four companies are Theatre Gargantuan, Candid Stammer Theatre, Sound Image Theatre and wordmachine.
Theatre Gargantuan's Raging Dreams is a remount and billed in its press release as "a creative journey imbued with voice, song, water, light and shadow -- a meditation on the proliferation of violence in our culture."
Candid Stammer's I Cut, You Bleed, also a premiere, examines the subtle gestures we all make that hurt others. In the piece, six characters attempt to co-exist within the minefield of a hopelessly ambiguous landscape. Sound Image Theatre's Triptych is a new dance/theatre work by four performers who are aiming to provide a provocative inquiry into the nature of existence.
And wordmachine describes itself not as a theatre company, but as a performance concept. The Book of THOTH is an exploration of music, dance, poetry and the layers of meaning.
Spin Off is truly an "alternative" festival, featuring groups whose focus is genuinely experimental -- in style, genre and content.
I Cut You, You Bleed: Site TBA. Saturday and Sunday only from April 9 to May 3. Call 416-486-5054.
Raging Dreams: St. Stephen's in the Field Church. Six performances from April 17 to May 2/. Call 416-260-4660.
Triptych: The Theatre Centre. April 14 to 20. Call 416-532-5904.
The Book of THOHT: The Theatre Centre. May 1,2, & 3. Call 416-538-0630.
By Mira Friedlander