The New Ideas Festival – 2010 – Alumnae Theatre

By Sam Mooney

New Ideas Festival 2010 Tonight I saw the Week Two performances that are part of this year’s New Ideas Festival at the Alumnae Theatre.  This is the first year that I seen anything at the festival, last week I saw Week One.  I love The New Ideas Festival! Next week I’m going to see Week Three.

There are 5 plays in Week Two:

  • CATCHER by Michael Corkett Johnston • Directed by Valary Cook
  • TIGHTROPE by R. J. Downes • Directed by Kate Fenton
  • PEARLS by Brenda Somers • Directed by Pam Redfern
  • SEX ON THE BEACH by Derek Hale • Directed by Kimberley Ann Croscup
  • SOLEDAD by Tina McCulloch • Directed by Kathryn Malek

Before the show and at intermission we were treated to ENVIA! PERFORMANCE ARTIST by Kelly DuMar • Directed by Jessica Beaulieau.

Two of the plays, Catcher and Pearls, dealt with aging, although in different ways.  It’s nice to see older performers in plays about aging.  Last week it was A Very Different Place that featured an older character.

Catcher and Pearls were both monologues.  The trouble with a one character play is that if the character reminds you of someone you don’t like it’s hard to like the character.  Pearls was well written and well acted but…

I liked Catcher a lot.  The character was endearing, touching and funny.  A lovely piece about getting old.

Tightrope is a play about the circus and about a dysfunctional family.  The circus makes it much more interesting than setting it in the suburbs.  The performances were great.  I have to admit that I have a thing about clowns, I find them kind of creepy, so I was a bit uncomfortable when the clown characters were interacting with the audience.  The end seemed to be a bit abrupt and clichéd but it brought a tear to my eye.

Sex on the Beach is about perceptions and perspectives.  She said, He said.  Lots of ambiguities, no resolution.  Well written, good performances.  I liked the use of lighting to isolate the characters.

Soledad has a couple of great twists and I don’t want to give them away. I enjoyed it.

It’s well worth going to Week Two.  And don’t forget the staged reading on Saturday at noon. This week – March 20 – it’s THE FLYING AVRO ARROW – A Musical Comedy by Doug Warwick • Directed by Nonnie Griffin.


The New Ideas Festival 2010 Week Two is playing until March 20 at the Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley Street)
-Performances are Wednesday to Saturday: 8:00 pm, Saturday Matinée: 2:30 pm, Saturday Reading: 12 Noon
-Tickets prices are Wednesday to Saturday: $15, Saturday Matinée: $15, Saturday Reading: PWYC,
New Ideas Pass: $35 (Good for all 3 weeks + Readings)
-Tickets are available by phone – 416-364-4170 – or by email –  Cash Only.