Written by Danielle Morgan– 

Toronto’s newest theatre festival Progress, an international festival of performance and ideas, takes center stage from February 4 to 15 with a lineup of seven world-class performances in six languages. Each curated by a local company, the not-to-be missed international shows, workshops and talks engage conversation about language, accessibility and what progress means to Toronto’s performance ecology.

Be sure to check out the full lineup for the inaugural festival below.

UntitledNovorossiya: No One’s Land (Ukraine) at Progress

After being falsely accused of espionage and taken hostage by pro-Russian separatists, theatre director Pavel Yurov spent two months in captivity. Created by Yourov and Anastasiya Kasilova, this English reading covers Yurov’s experience and explores interviews from Ukrainian and Russian press containing multiple disparate perspectives on the conflict. The reading will be preceded by an interview with Yurov, followed by a post-show discussion.

February 14
Performed in English
Curated by SummerWorks

2Marathon (Israel) at Progress

Director and choreographer Aharona Israel combines dance, text, theatre and grueling physicality in Marathon as performers spiral into the depths of Israeli consciousness. Reflecting the autobiographical stories of performers Ilya Domanov, Merav Dagan, Gal Shamai, the presentation begs the question, who will survive and how?

February 4-6
Performed in English and Hebrew (All performances with English subtitles)
Curated by SummerWorks

3The Messiah Complex 5.0 (Canada) at Progress

Created and performed by Michael Dudeck, The Messiah Complex 5.0 explores the concept of religious evolution using the Harlow experiment. Separated into segments, the performance-lecture explores the evolution of faith, religious practice and iconography from a queer perspective.

February 5
Performed in English, contains nudity
Curated by Videofag

4D-Sisyphe (décisif) (Tunisia) at Progress

Tunisian actor, dancer and playwright Meher Awachri performs his award-winning interpretation of the ancient myth of Sisyphus, offering insights into contemporary Arab society and the idea of what revolution entails – all through spoken work and choreography.

February 6 – 7
Performed in Arabic with English Subtitles
Curated by Volcano Theatre

ffffMargarete (Poland) at Progress

Creator and performer Janek Turkowski invites 16 audience members to sit down and have coffee in this intimate theatre performance. Using humour and irony, Turkowski recounts his experience uncovering and constructing stories based on a set of private 8mm films he discovered at an outdoor market in Berlin.

February 12 – 15
Performed in English or Polish Przedstawienie po polsku
Curated by SummerWorks

5Cine Monstro (Brazil) at Progress

Brazilian actor and director Enrique Diaz performs in a critically acclaimed Portuguese adaptation of Daniel MacIvor’s Monster. Playing separate but similar characters, Diaz transforms from a young boy whose father was murdered, to quarrelling lovers and finally a filmmaker who never completed his epic film. Post-show conversation with Enrique Diaz and Daniel MacIvor following February 13 performance.

February 12 – 14
Performed in Portuguese with English subtitles
Curated by Why Not Theatre

7Silent Dinner (Ireland/Canada) at Progress

In its world premiere, Silent Dinner features an eight-hour performance combining Deaf, CODA (children of Deaf adults) and hearing artists, performers and non-performers as they prepare, cook and eat dinner in complete silence. Post-performance, audience members are invited for dessert and conversation with renowned Irish performance artist Amanda Coogan and Canadian collaborators. Audience members are free to flow in and out of this performance. ASL interpretation provided.

February 7
Performed in English and ASL
Curated by FADO Performance Art Centre

6Make. Make Public. at Progress

Led by Dancemakers curators Emi Forser and Benjamin Kamino, individuals with any level of experience from any artistic background are invited to join in the collaborative, dance-derived workshop. Following, the public is invited to witness what’s been created and share their thoughts with the makers.

February 8
Free (pay what you can)
Presented in English
Curated by Dancemakers

8Dramatic Action – The Republic of Inclusion at Progress

Part of The Collaborations at Canada’s National Arts Centre English Theatre, this talk call for a rigorous and provocative discussion about the state of inclusion in the theatre community. Progress: it’s about accessing the arts and about the arts being accessible. The event will be live-streamed through www.SpiderWebShow.ca.

February 15
Presented in English and ASL
Curated by Alex Bulmer and Sarah Garton Stanley

12Dance as Metaphor, Language and Lens at Progress

Featuring Progress artists Aharona Israel and Meher Awachri, Dancemakers resident artist Zoja Smutny, and facilitated by Dancemakers curators Benjamin Kamino and Emi Forster, this conversation brings together artists who embrace the use of dance in performance as a means of articulating conditions of togetherness – joyful or traumatic.

February 7
Presented in English
Curated by Dancemakers

10The Intelligent Body at Progress

In this two-day workshop, artist Aharona Israel invites theatre artists, dancers and students to explore theatrical expression and interaction through movement, text and touch by taking inspiration from images, situations and pedestrian gestures. The Intelligent Body opens a window to Israel’s creative process in conceiving Marathon.

February 6 – 7
Registration required (limited to 16 participants)
Presented in English

11Seeing Through Movement at Progress

Led by Aharona Israel, this two day workshop uses the body, movement and simple actions to explore perceptions and aims to extend ways of relating to space, object and images. Using visual forms of expression, participants will play with sight and movement and examine visual and spatial memory. This workshop is open to artists from all disciplines: visual artists, dancers, actors, writers and musicians. No movement background needed.

February 9 – 10
Registration required (limited to 16 participants)
Presented in English

For event times and ticket information, visit http://thisisprogress.ca/progress-schedule/.
www.thisisprogress.ca // #ProgressTO