What’s in store for One Trunk this year?
As One Trunk embarks on a season of artistic research and development as the resident theatre company at Prairie Theatre Exchange, we also enter into a year of administrative growth. Our leadership structure will continue to evolve as Gwendolyn Collins takes on the title of Associate Artistic Producer and Claire Thérèse steps up as Associate Artist for the upcoming season. Both of these insightful artists have a long history of collaboration with One Trunk, and bring their own unique skill set and perspective on devised theatre to the table. For these reasons founding Artistic Producer Andraea Sartison is not only excited to talk long-term planning with these fine collaborators, but also to hand them the reigns for a few of OTT’s upcoming projects. Sharing the load- it’s good for everyone! In addition to this, One Trunk will also continue to expand its professional network, welcoming new artists as collaborators and enabling past collaborators to champion their own work through the company.
Following on the heels of a successful last season, which included a sold out run of 204FM in April and an Interlake tour of Mission Potluck that left Manitoba audiences asking for more, One Trunk heads back to the studio. This season we will host a number of interviews, workshops, readings and public presentations at Prairie Theatre Exchange as we explore new ideas and work towards the realization of the following productions in the future seasons. So without further ado, I introduce to you . . . One Trunk Theatre’s 2016-17 season: GENERATION – a year of seeding and cultivating brilliant ideas!
Red Earth, One Trunk’s latest large-scale collaboration, led by Andraea Sartison and graphic novelist Gregory Chomichuk, will feature the publication of a graphic novel and the production of a new multimedia play that will explore colonization of Mars. With the support of PTE and an Inter-Arts Grant from the Canada Council, OTT will host a two-week devising workshop this August where a full creative team made up of Matt Waddell and Laura Anzola (Montreal/Calgary), Jane Buttner, Ken Gregory, Jaymez, Daina Leitold and actors Ardith Boxall, Gwen Collins, Kristian Jordan and Arne MacPherson will come together to explore aesthetic, story and storytelling devices as well as help to build a common vocabulary intertwining graphic novels and live performance. This work will continue to develop throughout the coming year(s).
The collaboration continues as Gwen Collins takes the lead on One Trunk’s co-production of Taste with Calgary’s Ghost River Theatre. First produced in Calgary, Taste is an immersive theatrical experience where a blindfolded audience must rely on the voice of the actors and their own sense of taste to experience a story. The Winnipeg mounting will be a collaboration between OTT artists Gwen Collins & Andraea Sartison, Ghost River Theatre’s Artistic Director Eric Rose, and Winnipeg Chef Ben Kramer. Tickets will be on sale soon for Taste, playing at the Kitchen Sync on October 29th and 30th, 2016.
Claire Thérèse will take the lead on a new project entitled Embargo which will explore the idea of importing art into non-conventional venues and potentially isolated communities. Claire was inspired by the non-profit organization Solidarity Rock, which sends Canadian bands to tour Cuba and helps support a growing, yet under-nurtured and under-resourced Cuban punk scene. Working within the parameters of using extremely lo-fi technology and minimal sets, the primary focus will be to explore innovative ways to tell stories without relying on dialogue, or finding a more universal language that enables us to transcend boundaries. An initial set of workshops in early August will connect artists from a wide range of disciplines to engage in training and skill-sharing. A public performance of this work in progress will be held in Spring of 2017.
This year is also OTT’s first foray into community collaboration with Refuge, a new play in development led by Andraea Sartison with video and photography by Caroline Wintoniw. Created in partnership with Canadian Lutheran World Relief (CLWR), Refuge will begin its development in workshops this fall with youth, refugees, new Canadians and relief workers coming together to investigate the idea and varying definitions of home. Following its 2017/18 production, the script and accompanying media materials for Refuge will be made available online for public use in order to promote community building between new-comers and Canadians, and bring attention to fundraising efforts for relief work being done by local agencies.
Just when you thought you had seen the last of those Lutheran Ladies, the team that brought you Mission Potluck will be back again presenting a Western Canadian tour of the show that charmed audiences from Winnipeg to Hnasau! The ladies are thanking their lucky stars for the partnership with CLWR that will take them to Regina, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Camrose and Calgary this June. Somewhere along the highway, they will find the time to sit down next to a cool mountain lake to continue development of their next project, Feminine Touch. Led by Anna-Laure Koop, a frequent One Trunk collaborator, this play will find a new group of ladies who come together in an unlikely set of circumstances to form an all-girl band in 1970s Winnipeg. If the ladies ever make it back from their lakeside retreat, you can expect a production of this new work in the next One Trunk season.
We are a company that delights in process and creation. With so many ideas in development, we look forward to sharing our development processes with some of our favourite collaborators— the audience. We’ll keep you posted on opportunities to be a part of the creation process yourself: come, observe, provide feedback, and then see the magic of theatrical collaboration as the matured ideas are presented in production during future OTT seasons. This year we hope to increase our community presence by becoming a vibrant thread in the fabric of Prairie Theatre Exchange, hosting another jam-packed clothing sale fundraiser and continuing to say yes to exciting ideas, partnerships and innovation as we continue to cement ourselves as leaders in the devising community in our city, province and country. We hope that you can come along for the ride!
Chair of the Board