The New Ideas Festival 2010 – Week Three – Alumnae Theatre

By Sam Mooney

New Ideas Festival 2010 This is the final week of The New Ideas Festival at the Alumnae Theatre.  I’m going to miss it – it’s been an interesting three weeks of theatre.  I’ve enjoyed it immensely.

The festival consists of three weeks of new plays selected by a jury.  There are all kinds of plays; some are very short (5 or 10 minutes), and some are about half an hour.  There are also staged readings on Saturdays that are an hour long.

This week’s plays offer the same kind of interesting mix as the past two weeks.

The plays are all presented in the Alumnae Theatre Studio which seats about 80 people.  It’s a wide space but not deep, so the performers are very close to the audience.  There isn’t much in the way of sets.  It’s all very up- close-and-personal.

So what’s in store this week?  Something for everyone.

SLEEPER by Anna Ross, directed by Tom Haxell.  Sleeper is a psychological drama about dreams and dreamers.

WHO IS LIESERL? by Flora Stohr-Danziger, directed by Annie MacMillan.  Albert Einstein’s first wife is in her 70s.  She falls and ends up in hospital where her agitation is calmed by a young nurse who listens to her stories about Lieserl, her illegitimate daughter with Einstein.  I was so sure I knew where the story was going, but I didn’t.  I particularly liked Aileen Taylor-Smith’s performance as Mileva Maric Einstein.

HEAT by Michael G. Wilmot, directed by Florence Ballard.  A kinky little piece about a couple who wander under an overpass to have sex and discover a body.

PRISONERS by Trina Brooks, directed by Andrew Freund.  A play about war, survival, heroism and betrayal.  Another one that went in a direction I didn’t expect.

BUFF by Catherine Frid, directed by Daniella Marchese.  A very funny play about the Smithsonian, the FBI, buff firefighters and an antique hand engine.

And there’s stiil Saturday’s staged reading to come.  This week, March 27, it’s WEIGHTLESS by Kelsey Blair, directed by Ramona Gilmour-Darling, showing at noon (pay what you can).


The New Ideas Festival 2010 Week Three is playing until March 27 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.