September 21, 2021

Geordie’s new season: Looking Beyond

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Westmount Mag previews Geordie’s 2021-2022 season!

Read on Westmount Mag’s website: Geordie’s new season

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GEORDIE’S 41ST SEASON BRINGS THEATRE BACK TO FAMILIES IN MONTREAL AND ABROAD!

After a year that has challenged us all, it is an honour to bring you Geordie Theatre’s 41st season. This year we are looking at how the past year has changed us, who we are now, and most importantly we look forward with stories that inspire courage, celebrate self-identity, and ignite the hope for a bright future for all young people to be proud and brave in being themselves.

“One of the great things about theatre for young audiences is we have the advantage — and also the responsibility — of responding quickly to what’s happening in the world”, says Jimmy Blais, who will be transitioning into his new role as Geordie’s Artistic Director starting in October.

Our 41st season is a special one, as it is the last one programmed by Mike Payette, who is now the new Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre in Toronto. Mike and Jimmy are working together to bring you a season that inspires, uplifts, and encourages self-reflection and acceptance.

LOOKING BACK…

Last year we celebrated our 40th season online, which might not have been our first choice, but we know that so much of what we accomplished through digital means would not have been possible in person. Our virtual programming reached audiences across the country and internationally, and our 40th season saw our first ever international collaboration with Slingsby Theatre in Adelaide, Australia.

We are so grateful for the ways the past year has allowed us to build new partnerships, strengthen old ones and engage with our community in new and unexpected ways, and we will carry the lessons learned with us when we gather in theatres again.

LOOKING BEYOND…

2Play Tour
October 2021 to April 2022

Geordie’s 2Play Tour is Canada’s longest-running and furthest reaching annual theatre tour. Every year, we travel across 35,000 km and visit all 17 regions of Quebec, as well as parts of Ontario and the Maritimes, to perform over 200 shows to more than 40,000 students!

Last season we shifted the tour to a virtual format and live-streamed almost 150 performances from our new studio, Espace Geordie. This allowed us to keep the tour alive despite travel and other restrictions, and to reach students in communities near and far while keeping our artists and audiences safe. In other exciting news, this year’s tour will be travelling to the James Bay area for the first time in many years!

This season, to ensure that our shows remain as accessible as possible while we continue to work within the recommended health and safety guidelines, the 2Play Tour will have both in-person and virtual options available. We are looking forward to interacting with live audiences again, and are also grateful to have the appropriate technology to support us when that is not possible. In other exciting news, this year’s tour will be travelling to the James Bay area for the first time in many years!

Our 2021-2022 2Play Tour features two beloved stories: The Paper Bag Princess by Alissa Watson, adapted from the classic children’s book by Robert Munsch, will visit elementary school audiences. Christine Quintana’s play Selfie, which won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (TYA) in 2018, will tour high schools and Cégeps. The two plays will be directed respectively by Geordie’s outgoing and incoming Artistic Directors, Mike Payette and Jimmy Blais (who first worked with Geordie as a performer in our 2Play Tour 12 years ago!)

THE PAPER BAG PRINCESS

Geordie Theatre

Based on The Paper Bag Princess ©1980 by Bob Munsch Enterprises (text) and ©1980 by Michael Martchenko (art), published by Annick Press. Used by permission.
Adapted by Alissa Watson
Directed by Mike Payette

Recommended Ages: 5 and up

Persistent and powerful, Elizabeth is a princess with a lot on her plate. But when a dragon storms her castle and flies away with her “beloved” Prince Ronald, things go from bad to worse. How does a princess rescue a prince if princes are supposed to do the rescuing? Who decided that anyway? Based on the renowned classic, The Paper Bag Princess follows our heroine Elizabeth and a cast of zany new characters on a wild, playful and puppet-filled adventure to discover that only you can determine your own path.

SELFIE

Geordie Theatre

By Christine Quintana
Directed by Jimmy Blais

Recommended Ages: 12 and up

A new year of high school is full of excitement and potential—but three teens didn’t expect it to bring such a dark change to their lives. After spending a summer reinventing herself in Vancouver, Emma is ready for her new life to start, while her best friend Lily is eager for them to reconnect. Lily throws a last-minute party fuelled by alcohol and Instagram, which leads to a long-awaited encounter between Emma and Lily’s older brother Chris. But the next day Emma feels that something went terribly wrong.

Updated by award-winning Christine Quintana from her original critically acclaimed script to fit our current times, this smart and intense play about the complexities of relationships and community opens up a much-needed conversation about the nature of consent, from an unexpected perspective.

Both The Paperbag Princess and Selfie are performed by three exceptional emerging artists Kaeleb GartnerMaria Jimenez and Hilary Wheeler; all recent graduates of the National Theatre School of Canada and McGill University respectively. The shows are designed by an award-winning team comprised of Diana Uribe; Set and Costumes (Persephone Bound, Geordie, Imago Theatre and Screaming Goats Collective), Troy Slocum; Sound Composition (Black and Blue Matters, Black Theatre Workshop), and Bruno Houle; Projection Design (Small Mouth Sounds, Segal Centre). They are supported by returning Tour Manager Rebecca Durocher, Assistant Director Birdie Gregor, Production Manager Haylee Tucker, and Technical Director Elly Tomasson.

MAINSTAGE SERIES

JONATHAN: THE SEAGULL PARABLE / JONATHAN: LA FIGURE DU GOÉLAND

Geordie Theatre

November 23-December 11, 2021

Geordie Theatre / Surreal SoReal co-production
Presented by Théâtre Denise-Pelletier
Created and directed by Jon Lachlan Stewart
Choreography by Luca ”Lazylegz” Patuelli

Recommended Ages: 13 and up

Postponed from our 40th season, this new and exceptional tour-de-force production is finally taking the stage! Inspired by the modern treasure Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach, Jonathan: The Seagull Parable follows a young rebellious seagull who, tired of his clan’s repetitive routine, tries to fly differently. Forced into exile, the adventurer finds refuge in a new clan and through time and guidance, returns home with the mission of teaching his community new ways of flying.

A visionary story that identifies how society perceives physical limitations, as well as how we look at other communities’ ways of living. A tri-lingual piece (English, French, body) featuring professionals in both physical disability and non-disabled communities, this inspiring journey promises to move us in unexpected ways.

OTHER WORLDS

Geordie Theatre

January 14-23, 2022

In association with La Maison ThéâtreLes Muses: centre des arts de la scène, and Summit School
By Stephen Patrick Booth
Developed in partnership with Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal
Directed by Jessica Abdallah
Presented at La Maison Théâtre

Recommended Ages: 10 and up

On a small island overrun by land developers, two radically different strangers’ lives collide after an unexpected ecological disaster. Seeking safety in a bunker, they clash and connect over their shared dislike of the developers, and their conflicting dreams of a utopia where they can do more than just survive. Other Worlds celebrates their unique journeys to claim and strengthen their own self-identity while working to make deeper connections with the outside world. A play about well-being, friendship and belonging, and the importance of community.

FROM THE STARS IN THE SKY TO THE FISH IN THE SEA

Geordie Theatre

April 29-May 8, 2022

Based on the book From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea, written by Kai Cheng Thom, illustrated by Kai Yun Ching and Wai-Yant Li. Published by Arsenal Pulp Press.
Adapted by Gabe Maharjan
Directed by Mike Payette
Presented at Centaur Theatre

Recommended Ages: 7 and up

In the magical time between night and day, when both the sun and the moon are in the sky, a child is born in a little blue house on a hill. And Miu Lan is not just any child, but one who can change into any shape they can imagine. The only problem is they can’t decide what to be: a boy or a girl? A bird or a fish? A flower or a shooting star? At school, though, they must endure inquisitive looks and difficult questions from the other children. But they find comfort in the loving arms of their mother, who always offers the same loving refrain: “whatever you dream of / I believe you can be / from the stars in the sky to the fish in the sea.

One of the most captivating stories for children and families of our time, this enchanting and imaginative work beautifully weaves themes of gender, identity, and the acceptance of the differences between us. Miu Lan faces many questions about who they are and who they may be, but we are reminded, no matter what, that the eternal bond between mother and child will be unchanged.

GEORDIE THEATRE FEST

Geordie Theatre Fest

February 9-13, 2022
Presented at La Maison Théâtre

This one-week special event gives audiences of all ages the chance to discover great works in Theatre for Young Audiences with staged readings in partnership with the National Theatre School of Canada, and our acclaimed 2Play touring shows (The Paper Bag Princess and Selfie) on the main stage, as well as activities for the whole family to enjoy, curated by Geordie Theatre School.

Geordie Theatre School

Confidence – Creativity – Craft

EMPOWERING KIDS AND TEENS FOR OVER 10 YEARS!

At Geordie Theatre School (GTS), we provide children and teens with the opportunity to build a solid foundation in acting in an inclusive and fun environment where they can learn from passionate and caring professional educators and artists.

This season, we are thrilled to resume classes in person! After over a year of almost exclusively virtual activities, our weekly Public Classes for ages 6 to 17 at the Greene Centre in Westmount, and our After-School Classes at F.A.C.E. Elementary School will be back in person this fall, with reduced class capacity and increased health and safety measures. Once again this year, full and partial scholarships are available for low-income families through the GTS Bursary Fund.

Our specialty workshops are back as well. This year’s Workshop Series has already started strong with Audition Techniques and Acting On Camera workshops earlier this month. Upcoming workshops will be announced later this season so stay tuned!

We are also launching two brand new programs at Geordie Theatre School this year: GTS West, a new series of theatre classes for youth in the West Island, in partnership with the Dollard Centre for the Arts – and corporate workshops, a chance for companies to use theatrical activities to strengthen essential workplace skills.

MORE ABOUT GEORDIE THEATRE AND ACCESSIBILITY

Geordie Theatre is an award-winning professional theatre company that has presented live English-language productions for young audiences in Quebec and abroad since 1980. Pushing artistic boundaries with provocative and important stories, Geordie delivers more than 200 performances each season and reaches more than 40,000 young people and their communities annually.

Geordie is committed to creating theatre that is accessible and inclusive to all members of society ensuring that each person, regardless of their circumstance, has equal access to their shows in a safe, and respectful environment. Every year, we offer ASL-interpreted performances for select shows, as well as relaxed performances which are designed to welcome audience members such as those on the autism spectrum, young children, people with anxiety, intellectual or developmental disabilities or people who are unfamiliar with theatre, who might benefit and feel more comfortable in a casual theatre environment.

Particularly this season, for the representation of the disabled community to be meaningful, it was essential to have disabled artists included and leading the way through every step of the artistic process, and we need to make sure that these shows and our venues are accessible to the communities represented in these stories. We are continuing to find ways to make our activities more welcoming to those who have traditionally been excluded from theatre, and we invite you to join us in reflecting on how the changes that have occurred in our world since the beginning of the pandemic have illuminated the fact that many accommodations were possible all along.

Other special events and projects will be revealed throughout the season! We know the coming year will be a trying one in new and familiar ways, but we are prepared for the challenge and we look forward to sharing our 41st season with you!

AT A GLANCE:

The Paper Bag Princess and Selfie
Touring schools from October 2021 to April 2022

Jonathan: The Seagull Parable / Jonathan: La figure du goéland
November 23-December 11, 2021
at Théâtre Denise-Pelletier

Other Worlds
January 14-23, 2022
at La Maison Théâtre

Geordie Theatre Fest
February 9-13, 2022
at La Maison Théâtre

From the Stars in the Sky to the Fish in the Sea
April 29-May 8, 2022
at Centaur Theatre

Geordie Theatre Inc.
550 Delinelle. Montreal, QC. H4C 3B1
Tel: 514.845.9810
Box office and information: 514 845-9810 or geordie.ca

Images: Courtesy of Geordie Theatre

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