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Gertrude and Alice rise again


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.


2 comments on “Gertrude and Alice rise again”

  1. Evalyn Parry says:

    Thank you so much for coming again, Alain and Gisela! That, in and of itself, is high praise and very much appreciated. I also appreciate your honest thoughts about what worked – and didn’t work – for you inside the design of both productions (just a correction, the first version was in 2016, not 2006!). It is such a rare opportunity to remount and redesign a work for the stage, and it’s been fascinating to hear the many different responses to folks who saw the work in both iterations…a continuing creative journey. Thanks again for coming, and for writing.

  2. Alain Côte says:

    It is very rare that my wife and I go and see the same play twice, but we liked the 2006 production of Gertrude & Alice so much that we went back for the current one. You and Anna were so good in your respective roles and we enjoyed the performance. However, maybe because the first one was new for us, we preferred the 2006 version. Also, because of the configuration of the set, we literally and emotionally felt closer to the two performers and we thought that the set (the paintings) went better with the script. But, overall, an excellent production. Congratulations!
    Alain and Gisela Côté

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