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Gertrude Stein and Alice B Toklas (as played by yours truly and Anna Chatterton, in collaboration with our long-time Independent Aunties director Karin Randoja), return to the stage at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre (Sept 15-Oct 7) in a brand new production of our acclaimed 2016 play. A brand new production, you say? Not a remount of your last production? That’s right, it’s a new production with some of the same creative team, and some brand new players. Featuring a radical new set design (by Sherri Hay) and sound design / score (by Karin Randoja and Aleda Deroche), the script and the actors remain the same but they find themselves in a whole new world.
Why a brand new design? When we began talking about bringing Gertrude and Alice back to Buddies, it seemed like an opportunity – a rare and exciting opportunity – to continue the creative process, rather than simply reproduce what we had done the last time.
Inspired by Gertrude, her commitment to contemporaneity and her emphatic insistence on art as an expression of the present and the future, we invited innovative artist Sherri Hay to interpret the physical world of the play from a new point of view. It seemed fitting that this play about art, time and influence should be given to a wildly original contemporary artist to imaginatively respond to the themes of the play, and create a setting that adds another layer of visual metaphor and meaning to the text.
The play is set in “the continuous present”, a concept that Gertrude wrote and spoke about extensively in relationship to the creative / artistic process. Sherri’s set, inspired by some early sketches by Picasso, is a wild and beautiful playground that takes this continuous present and amplifies it.
You must come see it for yourself. The show runs Sept 15 to Oct 7th at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto.