The annual celebration of young, fresh, and invigorating theatrical performances will introduce some of the most talented performers over four evenings from February 12 to 16 at 7:30 pm. The festival celebrates its 77 years since inception. The traditional venue, the historic Hart House Theatre, will prepare its stage for original student-written plays only for the 13th time, with a play produced by UTM Drama Society’s called Some Counterspace. Let’s see how the play about a man and a woman who make scrambled eggs and end up putting their love of food and for each other to the test will unfold.
The Festival is not only one of the most important platforms for young aspiring playwrights to show their talents, but also a competition. This year, the man who decides who gets awards will be Matt White, an instructor at the Theatre and Drama Studies joint program between Sheridan College and the University of Toronto at Mississauga. White is also a producer, director, and much more. He’s currently the general manager of the Necessary Angel Theatre and he runs a theatre program with teenagers in the Weston-Mt. Dennis community.
Because of the joy an actor feels when they make 250 or 2 people laugh or cry together. Because of the pride a playwright feels when the perspective of an audience member is changed. Because of the satisfaction felt by a designer when their ideas coalesce into a world the performance can take place in. Because of the confidence a director feels when they realize they have managed to harness the egos, eccentricities and electric talent of twenty individuals to make something exist, to live and breathe on a stage. Because of the parent who understands their child a little bit more.
Single tickets are available at $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. Group tickets are available at $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. All tickets are available at the University of Toronto’s Central Box Office. It’s also important to be on time, since it’s the rule of the festival that no latecomers will be admitted once the show has begun.
This year’s plays are very hard to pick from since all of them sound amazing. But if you’re a fan of black comedy, you should definitely try to catch Hopscotch, by St. Genesius’s Drama Society, exploring the facets of existence and massive fumbles. After ordering a winter jacket and discovering after the fact that it comes with Nazi paraphernalia, two unfortunates awaken to the cold light of morning and the illumination of mistakes long past — by about eight hours. Whether it leaves you with laughter or a deep sense of foreboding, hopefully Hopscotch will evoke a strong emotional response. Hopscotch will be run on the festival’s opening night, right after Some Counterspace.
Title photo by Tomash Devenishek