FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
World Premiere of Ajax & Little Iliad
Intimate theatrical experience by Toronto artists at World Stage
Toronto, ON (*March 22, 2012) ––– World Stage is pleased to present the world premiere of Ajax & Little Iliad from April 4-8, 2012 at Harbourfront Centre’s Enwave Theatre. Taking a cue from contemporary military rehabilitation programs, Toronto artists, Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O’Connell set out to define "Theatre of War" expressly for the civilian population. Ajax & Little Iliad is a pair of companion works that explore the ways that storytelling connects the actions of artists and soldiers. Only 30 seats per show with a pair of headphones for each audience member; this is contemporary performance at its most topical, personal, immediate and intimate.
“Powerful... a tiny treat of a show.” -Irish Times
“A profound and poignant synthesis of art and war.” – Irish Theatre magazine
Staging a lost fragment from the Trojan cycle best known from Sophocles’ adaptations, Little Iliad examines the ever-present reality of war in an intimate Skype-like encounter between childhood friends Evan, a writer, and Thom, a soldier about to be deployed (who appears projected upon a clay puppet). Discussing the methods of the US Army-funded company Theatre of War, Little Iliad subtly draws parallels between the ancient epic and modern context of Canada’s involvement in war. Written by Webber and directed by Cox-O’Connell, it premiered at the Festival de l’Outaouais Émergent in Quebec and the Absolute Fringe in Dublin, Ireland in 2010.
The world premiere of Ajax expands on the theme of “theatre of war”, presenting a series of letters addressed to the doomed classical hero. Ajax pushes further into the ideas in Little Iliad but shifts from cinematic naturalism to a richly theatrical imagination of ‘the classical’, complete with helmets and sandals. We are in the golden age of democratic Athens, and we are going to the premiere of Sophocles’ new play: the story of a victorious but conflicted general who acts to oppose the corruption in his own army. The audience and actors all sit together for a dangerous experiment in classical drama: a scripted play in which the actors play the role of the audience and the audience plays a chorus who comment on invisible heroes. Ajax is an unnervingly funny and uncompromising set of questions about theatricality, performance and the authors of history.
Performance makers Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O’Connell have created and performed over a dozen performance works in Canada, the United States and Europe – most frequently, with fellow co-founders, in the group One Reed Theatre and as core collaborators with Small Wooden Shoe. Their work aims to unite the informal and participatory with the precisely rehearsed; it documents their ongoing conversation about reality, performance and change.
Frank Cox-O’Connell has created original, devised performances with Public Recordings, Stranger Theatre, Groundwater, The Vertical City and Theatre Direct, and has performed in theatre productions across Canada and the UK. Frank was a founding member of One Reed Theatre and he created and performed in Nor The Cavaliers Who Come With Us, (never underestimate) The Power and It’s Hard To Count a Million and directed Two Modern Feelings. He is also a regular collaborator with Small Wooden Shoe with whom he developed Dedicated To The Revolutions. Previously for World Stage, he worked as a performer and facilitator with the UK’s Stan’s Cafe on Of All The People In All The World and acted in Pleiades Theatre’s Shakuntala. Frank is a graduate of The National Theatre School of Canada. As a musician, he plays in Toronto rock group Boys Who Say No. He lives in the Junction with his partner Ame Henderson.
Evan Webber is a writer and a performer who works collaboratively in theatre. He was a founding member of One Reed, and created and performed in works including Nor The Cavaliers Who Come With Us, It’s hard to count to a million, (Never Underestimate) The Power and wrote Two Modern Feelings. Evan is a collaborator and writer-in-residence with Small Wooden Shoe, developing new texts and investigating playwriting methodologies in contemporary performance. Evan frequently contributes to projects with Public Recordings, surPrise Performance, and Upper Toronto and has collaborated on recent performances with Alex Wolfson and Annie Macdonnell. At Harbourfront Centre, Evan was a facilitator for Stan’s Cafe’s Of All the People In All the World. Evan’s writing about theatre, visual art and performance practice has been published online and in print for C Magazine, Alternatives, and Canadian Theatre Review and will feature in the upcoming collection New Canadian Realisms published by Playwrights Canada Press.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012: 8 pm
Thursday, April 5, 2012: 7 pm
Thursday, April 5, 2012: 9 pm
Friday, April 6, 2012: 8 pm
Saturday, April 7, 2012: 4 pm
Saturday, April 7, 2012: 8 pm
Sunday, April 8, 2012: 2 pm
Sunday, April 8, 2012: 4 pm
Enwave Theatre, 231 Queens Quay West.
Tickets: $35, $28 (seniors and arts workers), $15 (CultureBreak – 13 to 25 years-old, or students of any age) available at Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office. Call 416-973-4000, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage
There is a talkshow with Evan Webber and Frank Cox-O'Connell following the 9pm performance on Thursday, April 5, and a second talkshow Friday April 6.
*MEDIA NOTE: Media materials are available at World Stage 2012’s media site: harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage2012/media
For complete event details and full schedule, the public may visit harbourfrontcentre.com or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West, in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.
Ajax & Little Iliad is Co-produced by Harbourfront Centre in association with Cork Midsummer Festival with the support of Banff Centre for the Arts, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council and Toronto Arts Council.
Harbourfront Centre’s World Stage 2012 gratefully acknowledges the support of the Department of Canadian Heritage, Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and Westin Harbour Castle, the official host hotel of World Stage.
ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE
Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site it operates in the heart of Toronto’s downtown waterfront.
Amanda Lee | 416-973-4381 | email@example.com harbourfrontcentre.com/worldstage2012/media