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Harbourfront Centre celebrates 10 years of HATCH-ing new performance work – four new projects to debut this April #HatchTO

TORONTO, ON (January 20, 2014) – HATCH, Harbourfront Centre’s annual performing arts residency programme, will celebrate its 10th anniversary this season, coinciding with Harbourfront Centre’s 40th anniversary. Curated by Praxis Theatre’s Michael Wheeler and Aislinn Rose, HATCH 2014 will feature four new projects that blur the lines between live performance and online technology. With a special focus on the integration of social media as a tool which can be used to create as well as present performance work, HATCH audiences will be able to engage with this season’s artists, follow the development of their work and interact with the creative process using various social platforms. Follow the “HATCH”tag #HatchTO.

HATCH is a unique creative residency programme that acts as a laboratory for the most original, exciting and fresh voices in Toronto’s performance ecology; it is where new performance begins. This season’s selected artists play near the edge of where performance and online technology meet. These performative experiments will attempt to alter and illuminate the possibilities inherent in a new era of live performance: one that is interactive, participatory, social and transformative in new and exciting ways.

Selected by curators Michael Wheeler and Aislinn Rose, the artists of HATCH 2014 will investigate a variety of topics through interactive, technically-infused performance-based storytelling. Rob Kempson will look at legacy, Melissa D'Agostino will examine femininity, Digital Blackbox will investigate culpability and responsibility and Francisco-Fernando Granados will look at the appropriation of voice. All of these artists have chosen unique storytelling methods that utilize social media and technology, offering unique entry points for audiences to engage with their work and their creative process in the months leading up to the public showcasing.

“Social media has sparked a technocultural revolution. Whereas previous media broadcast content at a passive viewer, social media is both created and consumed by the participant. In essence, we’ve transitioned from monologue to dialogue,” explains HATCH curator Michael Wheeler (@michaelwheeler). “This paradigm shift couldn’t come at a more fortuitous time for live performance,” adds curator Aislinn Rose (@aislinnTO). “By using technology, audiences can now experience, connect to and become part of the creative process of a live event – like theatre. It is our hope that HATCH 2014 will alter and illuminate the possibilities inherent within this new era of live performance.”

Following each HATCH presentation, Harbourfront Centre hosts a brief feedback session where audience members are invited to discuss the work with the creative team and other audience members following each performance; presence and feedback are not only welcome, but highly encouraged.

HATCH has nurtured dozens of artists whose projects have gone on to presentations around the world, garnering many awards and professional accolades such as Hannah Moscovitch's The Russian Play, Aluna Theatre’s Nohayquiensepa and Philip McKee’s LEAR, which was part of Harbourfront Centre’s 2013 World Stage season.

“With HATCH celebrating 10 years this season, we’ve come full circle with some of our former Hatchlings,” shares Tina Rasmussen, director of performing arts at Harbourfront Centre. “Even our curators this season were former HATCH artists. This is the type of legacy we always hoped the programme would develop. Having the opportunity to pay-it-forward, from one artist to the next, is something quite remarkable to witness and be a part of.”

Tickets for HATCH are available via Harbourfront Centre’s Box Office located at 235 Queens Quay West, by phone at (416) 973-4000. Notable ticket offerings include the HATCH pass, where patrons can see all four shows for just $40, or the CultureBreak programme for students and those 25 years of age and under. Additional discounts for seniors and arts industry professionals are also available.

For HATCH company and performance information, please visit and connect with @HarbourfrontTO #HatchTO.

For information about getting here during the Queens Quay revitalization, visit

HATCH 2014 Artists & Projects:

Rob Kempson – #legacy
Saturday, April 12, 2014

Grandma meets the Twitterverse in this interactive performance project that asks questions about what is left behind and why we look to leave a legacy.

In a collectively created piece, three women over the age of 65 will consider what it means to leave a legacy, to create something permanent, something memorable. Meanwhile, they will have been tweeting throughout the creation process (and in the performance) in an effort to understand how sharing online can leave a legacy of its own. What are the implications of an online legacy that is based on sharing so much of oneself, and so, publicly?

Audiences will have the chance to hear the script on stage and engage with the “Twitter script” online — a series of reflections, considerations and questions from the performers that will be tweeted as the piece is played out. Whether you come to sit in the tweet seats with your smartphone or you watch as the online story develops through projections on stage, this is an experiment in combining new technologies and community-based art that will touch your heart and ask big questions.

Follow the ladies on Twitter: @judith_dove @Joan_Belford2 @McCroq

Melissa D'Agostino – BroadFish
Saturday, April 19, 2014
@melissadags @fishbride

Broadfish is a modern folktale about mermaids, crones, dowries, kitchen pots and planning the wedding before finding the groom. Using classic archetypes, as well as modern ones like ‘Bridezilla’, BroadFish asks: What happens when the promise of a perfect future hangs on the one thing out of your grasp? Do you keep dreaming? Do you accept reality? How far will you go to hold onto a fairytale? Into the basement? Up into the attic? Out of your mind?

BroadFish is a live theatre experience by acclaimed performer Melissa D’Agostino integrating folktales, music, improvisation and motion pictures. This multimedia work will explore the lines between reality and fantasy, relationships and romance, as well as the power of myth and archetypes in our everyday lives. Alongside her creative team, Melissa plunges into the wild world of female stereotypes to explore traditional attitudes toward relationships, happiness and romance and how they have evolved and degenerated through access to the Internet, social media and technology.

Francisco-Fernando Granados – The Ballad of _______ B
Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Ballad of _______ B is a performance installation for the stage that explores the queerness of the imagination through experiences and language in exile.

The performance is conceived as a character study of _______ B, a once “clean-cut, fresh-faced 18-year-old” refugee whose story appears as a vocabulary lesson in the pages of an instructional ESL book. Loosely based on an interview given by the artist as a teenager to a Vancouver newspaper, _______ B’s story is told through his obsession with Maria Callas and the tragic lovers she played on stage. Anne Boleyn and Medea weave together with Callas through readymade texts that include online chats, interviews and film dialogues to create a series of richly visual scenes.

This work marks a radical departure for artist Francisco-Fernando Granados, from action-based, conceptual approaches to experimental explorations that incorporate digital media, narrative and recitation.

Digital Blackbox – Faster than Night
Saturday, May 3, 2014
@vanessa_shaver @pascallangdale @alisonhum

Social media billionaire Caleb Smith is on a mission. Racing against a terrible terminal illness, he is embarking on a deep space voyage with the secret goal of cheating time and death. While half his wealth drives the search for a cure on Earth, Caleb plans to take advantage of the time dilation of faster-than-light travel, returning after only a small time has passed for the ticking bomb of his disease, to enjoy his new cure, a long life and immortal fame.

With his small crew already in cryosleep for the jump to hyperspace, Caleb double-checks the ship’s powerful artificial intelligence. She is his masterpiece, the newly synthesized sum of all online human emotion and cognition. Think of her as the lovechild of Wikipedia and Facebook, or as what would happen if Google woke up. The A.I. is buggy, unpredictable and gloriously meta-human. Through her, the audience can use social media to interact with Caleb as he prepares for humanity's first hyperspace jump – and when a life-support circuit malfunctions, to help him make an impossible decision.

Faster than Night blends live theatre, real-time 3D animation and audience interaction into an emotionally powerful adventure that is unlike any other.

Celebrating its tenth year, HATCH is a key initiative in Harbourfront Centre’s mission to develop local artists and their unique practices. Curated by Michael Wheeler and Aislinn Rose, the 2014 HATCH residency and mentorship programme provides resources and professional assistance to a new generation of engaging and innovative contemporary artists.

Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto's central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe. Harbourfront Centre attracts more than 17 million visits to its site each year to experience 4,000 diverse public events and activities. Harbourfront Centre receives operational support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto and program funding from all levels of government, the private sector and individual donors.


Chrissi Forte
Office: 416-973-4342 | Cell: 416-704-0774

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