Theatre Conspiracy’s 2013/’14
Conspiracy delves into the virtual world of cyber-warfare and internet censorship with Foreign Radical, listen to rock n roll as seniors’ culture in Sonic Elder, explores the streets of the Downtown Eastside and the Lower East Side in Tanya Marquardt’s meta-memoir Duets for One, continues development of Extraction, concludes a fabulous collaboration with Craning Neck Theatre in the premiere of Erik Ehn’s Monster and launches the fifth edition of Club PuSh with the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.
What are the geopolitics of cyberspace? How is the politicization and militarization of the internet fed by authoritarian regimes, corporate interests and a lack of domestic oversight? How do we protect and expand the concept of a global commons, the web of cooperation that has transformed culture, rather than let it devolve into a great firewall blocking progressive thought and action? These are questions that Ron Diebert, director of The Citizen Lab at U of T’s Munk School of Global Affairs researches and works to find solutions for with partners worldwide. Conspiracy AD Tim Carlson, associate producer Jeremy Waller, and dramaturg Kathleen Flaherty have just begun research on this multi-lingual, documentary-based project, and will work with The Citizen Lab and hold a first creation session with composer / visual designer David Mesiha in Toronto in June. The workshop will focus on the role of social media during the Tahir Square protests in Cairo and censorship issues since the revolution. Foreign Radical will also look at situations involving internet surveillance and cyber-warfare in Central America, China and Canada as we work toward a residency at the Cultch in Dec. The show is slated for production in the 2014/’15 season.
How do favorite songs, bands and seminal rock ‘n’ roll experiences evolve in the mind over the course of a lifetime? In this collaboration with The Chop Theatre, Conspiracy will cast a band of elders to tell us about their most influential rock moments and then blast out some tunes. Sonic Elder examines how rock music — long the preserve of youth culture — is becoming the dominant soundtrack of the elderly as Baby Boomers enter into retirement. “Sonic Elder was inspired by my experience visiting my father at a care facility before he died two years ago,” says Conspiracy artistic producer Tim Carlson. “My father was pushing 90 but I noticed that some of the younger people living there would have come of age during the advent of rock. I wondered about their stories and what they would play if they could get up and rock out rather than join the sing-a-long of wartime favorites routinely programmed for the music hour.” Carlson, who turns 50 in September, is increasingly concerned about such matters: “I want to be singing “Total Trash”, not “White Cliffs of Dover”, when I’m in a care facility.”
What is the value of loneliness? When do we consider it a strength rather than an affliction? This show is about the transformational quality of being alone; the joy of it, the grief of it. Vancouver multi-disciplinary performer Tanya Marquardt moved to New York City three years ago to be alone with a blank page and begin work on her memoir, Stray, about her years on the street as a teen runaway. Duets for One adapts scenes from Stray in a cabaret-type performance — a meta-memoir of sorts integrating the influence of New York underground culture of the ’80s while experimenting with the duet song form, storytelling and movement. Conspiracy AD Tim Carlson (dramaturgy, music) will meet with Marquardt and director Mallory Catlett in New York in the summer for a second creation session. Duets for One is slated for premiere in early 2014.