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With 1979 thriving onstage at GCTC, it has been time for me to turn my attention from working as assistant director to Eric here and back to my work as an indie theatre creator and producer. My passion project for the last three years has been TACTICS (Theatre Artists’ Co-operative: the Independent Collective Series)—Ottawa’s indie theatre series in residence at Arts Court (www.tacticsottawa.com). This series helps independent theatre artists in Ottawa to “dream big with their art,” offering the framework and support they need to be able to create shows that would be difficult or impossible to produce on their own or in most festivals. In fact, this project is a large part of why I wanted to intern with Eric in Artistic Direction, ands the skills I have been learning at GCTC are already helping me grow the series and help bring professional independent theatre in Ottawa to the next level.
TACTICS opened last week at Arts Court with Jacqui du Toit’s stunning and provocative production of The Hottentot Venus – Untold. This solo play combines some of Jacqui’s own story with the historical story of Sarah Baartman, also known as “The Hottentot Venus,” and other imagined characters who have each had their own experiences with Baartman. The production was very well received by audiences and critics alike, and I loved speaking with audience members after the show who were visibly moved by this important and little-known story. To read more about the production, take a look at this review from alt.theatre magazine: http://alttheatre.ca/2017/04/24/brie-mcfarlane-reviews-jacqui-du-toits-call-to-arms/
The series continues this week with our second mainstage production, girls! girls! girls! by Greg MacArthur, produced by Cart Before the Horse Theatre. This is the company that mounted an award-winning production of Judith Thompson’s Perfect Pie last year, and these artists aren’t afraid of complex scripts or dark material. This play is a gritty drama that deals with bullying and violence amongst teens. The team features GCTC’s own Development Manager Gabbie Lazarovitz and Production Manager Seth Gerry. Gabbie is acting in the production, as well as co-directing, while Seth is creating a fantastic lighting design. I have loved getting to support my GCTC colleagues in their work as independent artists and am so excited to share this innovative production with the community when it opens this Thursday, the 27th.
In our final stretch of the series, April 29 – May 6, we will also be presenting five new works by Ottawa creators in the new TACTICS Workshop Series. These pieces are in different stages of development and will each have two public presentations around the performance schedule on the mainstage. I’ve truly appreciated the generous support of GCTC as I have been able to chat with everyone here about different aspects of the series, and I am pleased that it is continuing to grow and that I can support more and more Ottawa artists.
For more information about all the TACTICS programming, check out our website www.tacticsottawa.com.