JAN 23 - Feb 11, 2018 berkeley street Theatre
declarations wr itte n + d i r ec te d BY
17.18 Season Sponsor
17.18 Berkeley Season Sponsor
A CANADIAN STAGE PRODUCTION
performers Robert Abubo Danielle Baskerville Jennifer Dahl Philip Nozuka Liz Peterson
creative team Wr ite r + DIREC TOR
Jordan Tannahill LI G HTI N G DESI G N
Kimberly Purtell S TAG E M A NAG ER
AJ Laflamme A s s i s ta nt S TAG E M A N AG ER
Ashley Ireland O r i g i na l vo c a l co mp os iti o n s
Philip Nozuka with th e e n s e m b le
this performance runs approximately 70 minutes, there is no intermission
ENGAGE Pre-show chats
Friday, Jan 26 & Feb 2 @ 6:15pm
Jan 31 (matinee), Feb 1, Feb 7 (matinee), Feb 8
replay: Declarations Feb 9 @ 9-11 pm
Artistic + General Director’s Note Jordan Tannahill has written a cantata. Or a pre-mortem requiem. A polyphonic declaration of love for she who loved him first, before he was even born, as she now looks squarely into the face of death. From the banal to the sacred, from what’s sacred in the banal through the banality of sacredness, Jordan weaves an uninterrupted thread of thoughts, objects, actions, memories, chores, sensations, imaginings all somehow related to his mother’s cancer diagnosis - in that each and every thing we see and do and feel and dream of can somehow be connected back to our primal source of life. And when that light begins to flicker, each of those sights and actions and feelings and dreams becomes all the more raw, all the more integral to the hologram of our present lives. This is what Jordan has managed to crystallize in his Declarations. This is where he invites us to accompany him, with ourselves and within ourselves, as we too embark on this brief journey of filial love. Enter the music. Enter the dance.
Playwright’s Note Two years ago my mother was told she had less than two years to live. The news shattered me. My grief was all-consuming and yet I knew it wasn’t special. We all live with the inevitability of losing everyone and everything. But how do we do this? It suddenly struck me as the most impossible task. And that we should continue living in the face of this impossibility seemed to me both an exquisite and somewhat absurd act of defiance. Shortly after receiving my mother’s news, I was on a six-hour plane ride home to visit her. While thirty-five thousand feet in the air, feeling more broken than ever, I looked down at my hand and thought: this is my left hand. I whispered it to myself. This is my left hand. It felt edifying. As if, with those words, I was declaring: for now, this too still exists. I wrote Declarations in a single, fevered sitting on that plane ride, as if by picking through the fragments of myself — images, sounds, sensations — I would come to understand what constituted a life. Perhaps so as to better understand what it meant to lose one. Declarations is driven by the desire to articulate the entirety of a life and the inherent impossibility of doing so. In a sense, all art occupies the space between human experience and our sublime failure to fully articulate human experience. I wanted to create a piece that spoke to that. To create an archive, fated to be woefully incomplete, of a life lived. In this case the life is mine, but through their embodiment of the text it also becomes that of the five performers. I see the text as a kind of score that the performers are guided through, by means of a teleprompter, much like musicians reading sheet music. Accompanying the text is a gestural score: the performers spontaneously generate gestures that embody and further illuminate each declaration. While the text is fixed, the performers’ improvised movement keeps this archive a living one, changing night after night. In this way, the text passes through the prism of each performer’s lived experience and refracts back a wholly unique and personal vision of a life. A younger, more cynical version of myself would have been reluctant to say this, but fuck it: for me, live performance is a spiritual act. I do think of the theatre as a kind of temple. We go to the temple to grapple with the fundamental questions of the human condition. And for me, Declarations is a ritual for the temple. A means of processing the terror of death through the joyful evocation of life.
Robert Abubo Performer
Robert Abubo is currently performing/touring with Louise Lecavalier in Battleground. Abubo danced with: Dancemakers 2008-2015 (20082014 with AD Micheal Trent), Le Groupe Dance Lab 1994-2006, Tedd Robinson, Sylvain Émard, Lynda Gaudreau, Shannon Cooney, Bill James, Luc Dunberry, Winnipeg’s Contemporary Dancers, Heidi Strauss, Kate Hilliard, Ame Henderson, Dana Gingras, Ben Kamino, Valerie Calam, Kate Nankervis, Amanda Acorn, and Plastic Orchid Factory. His works have been presented by: Canada Dance Festival, Tangente, Dancer’s Studio West, Kaeja d’Dance, Dancemakers, Nuit Blanche, Canasian festival, the T.O. love-in, Interplay, O.D.D., and Short & Sweet (Guelph edition) with Lexi Vajda. Abubo graduated from David Moroni’s class of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet School’s professional division.
Danielle Baskerville Performer
Danielle Baskerville, recipient of the 2014 K.M. Hunter Award for Dance and and several Dora Mavor Moore Awards, works with Canada’s leading contemporary dance companies and creators. She is Artistic Associate of D.A. Hoskins’ The Dietrich Group and a senior member of Dancetheatre David Earle. Upcoming independent projects include work by James Kudelka, Jonathan Osborn and Kate Alton. Recently she has performed in Dusseldorf, Germany with DTDE, Halifax with Citadel & Compagnie and Toronto with the Art of Time Ensemble and The Dietrich Group. Danielle has completed an SSHRC-funded MA in Dance Studies at York University and, along with producing and teaching dance, she is a contributor to The Dance Current and is Vice-Chair of the Canadian Alliance of Dance Artists-Ontario.
Jennifer Dahl Performer
Jennifer Dahl is a contemporary dance artist/ performer based in Toronto and Italy. She began her dance/movement training in Saskatchewan and continued her training in Montreal and NYC before graduating from The School of the Toronto Dance Theatre. Since then Jennifer has been performing across Canada and abroad for over 20 years.
She has worked/collaborated with a multitude of established and emerging creators in both dance and theatre. Stage credits include the multiple Dora Award winning The Four Horsemen Project (Volcano) and Adventures of a Black Girl in Search of God (Obsidian and Mirvish).Select contemporary dance work includes Grasslands, Hymn to the Universe featuring the Sun Ra Arkestra (Compagnie Coleman and Lemieux), This is a Costume Drama (The Dietrich Group) (Dora Ensemble Award).
Philip Nozuka Performer
Philip Nozuka is graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada’s acting program. His stage credits include Durango at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Das Ding at Canadian Stage, and Banana Boys at Factory Theatre for which he was nominated alongside his cast for a 2016 Dora Mavor Moore award for best ensemble. For film and television his credits include Degrassi: Next Generation, Disney XD’s Aaron Stone, UbiSoft’s Zeta, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis, which competed at Cannes for the 2012 Palme d’Or and the horror classic remake of Carrie, directed by Kimberly Pierce. Philip is also a resident artist of It Could Still Happen theatre company, under the artistic direction of Jill Connell.
Liz Peterson Performer
Liz is a performance maker based in Toronto and Melipilla, Chile. Her works have been shown in galleries and theatres in Canada and abroad. She collaborates mostly on inter-disciplinary performance projects and occasionally appears as an actor. Recent credits include: Flashing Lights (Bad New Days/Ahuri), Other Jesus (Public Recordings), Millennial Malcontent (Tarragon Theatre), CAPITALIST DUETS (Public Recordings), Blood Wedding (Modern Times/ Aluna Theatre), what we are saying (Public Recordings), Lear (World Stage). She has appeared in the films Isla Santa Maria and Bugs. Liz is co-founder of Events In Real Time, and she is currently an Associate Artist with Public Recordings. Upcoming she will premiere Borders (sin título) a new collaborative work in September 2018.
In 2016 Jordan was described by The Toronto Star as being “widely celebrated as one of Canada’s most accomplished young playwrights, filmmakers and all-round multidisciplinary artists.” His plays have been translated into multiple languages and honoured with prizes including the Governor General’s Award and several Dora Awards. His first novel, Liminal, was released by Anansi in Jan 2018. Jordan’s films have been presented at festivals and galleries such as TIFF, the AGO, and the Tribeca Film Festival. From 2012 - 2016, Jordan and William Ellis ran the queer art space Videofag out of their home in Kensington Market. In 2017, his play Late Company transferred to London’s West End while his virtual reality piece Draw Me Close (National Theatre (UK)/ NFB), premiered at the Venice Biennale.
For Canadian Stage: Liv Stein, Chimerica, Julie, London Road, The Arsonists, Red, Another Africa (with Volcano Theatre) Other Stage Management Credits: A&R Angels (Crow’s Theatre); Musik für das Ende (Soundstreams/ Crow’s Theatre); Onegin (Musical Stage Co./ NAC); Maggie & Pierre, You Are Here, Into the Woods, Pirates of Penzance (Thousand Islands Playhouse); Rocking Horse Winner (Tapestry New Opera); All Shook Up (Globe Theatre); The Unplugging, Bingo! (Factory Theatre); Waiting Room (Tarragon Theatre); A Beautiful View, The Africa Trilogy (Volcano Theatre); It’s A Wonderful Life, Kim’s Convenience, Spoon River, La Ronde, True West (Soulpepper); Tainted (Moyo Theatre); Tosca, La Traviata, Die Zauberflöte, La Tragédie de Carmen (Highlands Opera Studio). Upcoming: The Overcoat: A Musical Tailoring (Canadian Stage/Vancouver Opera).
Kimberly Purtell Lighting Designer
Kimberly is a Toronto based lighting designer for theatre, opera and dance. Her designs have been critically acclaimed on both the national and international stage. For Canadian Stage: Life After. Recent credits: The Wedding Party, A&R Angels (Crow’s Theatre); The Goat, Or Who Is Sylvia? (Soulpepper); My Name is Asher Lev (Studio 180 & HGJT); Timon of Athens, The Virgin Trial, The Madwoman of Chaillot (Stratford Festival); The Madness of George III, Androcles and the Lion (Shaw Festival); Life Reflected (NAC Orchestra); Musik fur das Ende (Soundstreams). She also designed the Choir of the Mind tour for Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton. She is the recipient of 3 Dora Mavor Moore Awards, the Pauline McGibbon Award and a META.
Assistant Stage Manager For Canadian Stage: Assistant Stage Manager: The Other Place, London Road Selected theatre credits: The Emancipation of Ms. Lovely (Emancipation Arts); The Wedding Party (Crow’s Theatre); Alligator Pie, (re) Birth, The Just, Waiting for Godot, Incident at Vichy, The Crucible, Twelve Angry Men, Great Expectations, Death of a Salesman, Billy Bishop Goes to War, Our Town, The Time of Your Life, Under Milkwood (Soulpepper). Hana’s Suitcase, Minotaur, You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Young People’s Theatre).
WINNER OF 4 TONY AWARDS INCLUDING BEST NEW PLAY
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FEB 6 - 25