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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

SpringWorks in Stratford presents an indie theatre and arts fest

   One-Tank Trip for May 7/16

   (c) By Jim Fox

  Spring has sprung in the “Festival City” as the curtain rises on not just the Stratford Festival but also SpringWorks, an indie theatre and arts fest.
   The fest, from May 12 to 22 with more than 100 performances and events, will also see an invasion of puppets.
Sarah Argue with the puppets in Animal Adventures.
   Also on May 15 is a “spectacular fantasy fashion show” on Tom Patterson Island, said Cathy Rehberg of the Stratford Tourism Alliance.
    The theatre and arts festival in its sixth season has a line-up of more than 40 artists and companies.
   It features an eclectic mix of theatre, music, dance, poetry and visual art with the Puppet Festival returning on the Victoria Day weekend.
   “I think this will be a very exciting season for our family audiences,” said Eileen Smith, artistic producer.
   SpringWorks also coincides with the opening of Gallery Stratford with programs that include a new poetry slam hosted by playwright Donna-Michelle St. Bernard.

   Opening night at the fest features Sharron Matthews with her “signature irreverent wit” in a comedic tour-de-force concert with solid gold mash-ups by artists such as Lady Gaga, Guns N’ Roses, Radiohead, Beyonce, Queen and more.
Much Ado about Feckin’ Pirates! will be performed at SpringWorks in Stratford. (Photo by FeeGun)
   Other performances include Dark Love by St. Bernard that’s a poetic interdisciplinary work from the 54ology where she writes a play for each African country.
   There’s also the Immigrant by Giuseppi Condello, within the silence of mime in relationship to spoken stories, that’s based on the themes of manual labour and the quest for freedom.
   Bone Rhythm is by Nicola Pantin, Robin Calvert Neesa Kenemy and Jeanine Henderson’s Infinity Dance where movement, instinct and rhythm collide in a mixed dance program.
   Across Canada by Story features Douglas Gibson as he shares a coast-to-coast literary adventure.
   Wake up Sleeping Beauty by Live Action Theatre Project is a classic fairy tale where young audiences choose their own adventure to decide what “happily ever after” looks like.

   Puppet play
   Stratford’s puppet festival offers a weekend of family fun on May 21 and 22.
   It’s a chance to “explore a beloved art form” and features That’s Laughter-tainment by Matthew Romain with his ukulele in a “lively, hilarious musical variety show.”
   Tim Holland in the Puppet Tamer to be performed in Stratford.
    Animal Adventures by Rock the Arts has the Creature Crew showing how to help the environment during a trip to the zoo.
   Caisse 606 is by Caroline Belanger and Marie-Helene Belanger-Dumas about two cashiers “dreaming of a world of carrot ballets, soy sauce heartbreak, limbo lessons and brilliant sunshine with a pineapple aftertaste.”
   Puppet Play Zone with Kim Howe is fun for all with a tea party and visit to the puppet kissing booth.
   Festival tickets are $20; $10, children 10 and younger; $45, family pass. Puppet fest costs $20; $10, ages three to 12; free for children to age three; $30, $15 and free, respectively, for a weekend pass. springworksfestival.ca

   Doers and dreamers
   Stratford costume designer Meg Pehlke of Spyder Designs is putting on a free event – A Step Out of Time - Interactive Fashion Show.
   It takes place on May 15 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tom Patterson Island, called “Stratford’s ultimate whimsical backdrop.”
Photos by: Maaike Roosendaal of Brilliant Images
   This will launch her business Distinctly Unique Adventures that “bring your dreams to life, if only for a day.”
   The public is invited to “join in the merriment” at the “Little Court” of King Henry VIII with his lords and ladies, a group of marauding Vikings playing their version of chess and Victorian ladies and gentlemen enjoying high tea. spyderdesigns.ca/Events

   The curtain rises
   The Stratford Festival presents the North American premiere of Shakespeare in Love, now in preview performances.
   The stage version of the Oscar-winning film opens on June 4 at the Avon Theatre.
Shannon Taylor and Luke Humphrey star in Shakespeare in Love at the Stratford Festival (Stratford Festival photo by Don Dixon)
   “It’s a fictional and very funny take on what it might have been like for the young playwright as he struggled to build a career in Elizabethan England.”
   The season runs until Oct. 30 and also features Macbeth, As You Like It, A Chorus Line, A Little Night Music, All My Sons, Breath of Kings, John Gabriel Borkman, The Hypochondriac, The Aeneid, Bunny and The Lion, and the Witch and the Wardrobe.
stratfordfestival.ca; 1-800-567-1600


Jim Fox can be reached at onetanktrips@hotmail.com
For more One-Tank Trips: http://1tanktrips.blogspot.ca

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