Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012 Next Stage Theatre Festival, Jan 4-15

This month, the Toronto Fringe Festival presents their 5th edition of the Next Stage Theatre Festival.

The plays featured during this winter theatre event will be Living With Henry by Christopher Wilson; Loving The Stranger Or How To Recognize An Invert by Alistair Newton; The Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A-Go-Go by Allison Beula; Uncalled For Presents: Hypnogogic LogicLovesexmoney by Kat Sandler; Modern Love by Jessica Moss, Eric Double, Julia Nish-Lapidus and Kyle Purcell; Tomasso’s Party by Jules Lewis; The Washing Machine by Radha S Meno; Love Is A Poverty You Can Sell by Justin Haigh; and Morro And Jasp: Go Bake Yourself by Heather Marie Annis, Byron Laviolette and Amy Lee.

The 2012 Next Stage Theatre Festival runs from January 4 to 15, 2012 at the Factory Theatre, 125 Bathurst Street.

The Next Stage Theatre Festival (NSTF) offers Fringe artists a new platform to be discovered and connect with new audiences. Eight productions – either of past Fringe shows being redeveloped or new works by Fringe artists ready to take the next step in their careers - are chosen by a jury of industry leaders, and showcased at two venues at Factory Theatre. These productions are the best the Fringe community has to offer, and people are taking note - participants of the festival have been recognized by 15 Dora Mavor Moore Award nominations, a GLAAD Award, and remounts at leading theatres across Canada and in the United States. NSTF has grown over 40% in the past four years, and is fast becoming Toronto’s premiere winter theatre event. Our heated McAuslan Tent is always lively with spontaneous concerts and performances.


Musicals, Blitzkriegs, Sex Robots – Oh My!
2012 Next Stage Theatre Festival Line-up Announced

TORONTO – The Next Stage Theatre Festival celebrates its fifth anniversary presenting today’s best independent theatre talent! The twelve-day festival, produced by the Toronto Fringe, gives theatre fans a jolt of summertime festival fun in the dead of winter (complete with a heated beer tent provided by McAuslan Brewing Co.) NSTF has seen a whopping 40% increase in attendance since launching in 2008, shows presented at the festival have collectively garnered and impressive 15 Dora Mavor Moore Award Noms, and many have gone on to greater success at some of Canada’s (and beyond) most respected theatres.

The 2012 Next Stage Theatre Festival will run January 4-15, with a fantastic series of surprises in store to celebrate its 5-year milestone. The first of these surprises is the highly anticipated festival line-up announcement. There’s something for everyone with larger spectacles in the Factory Mainspace, and a focus on relationships and personal connection in the appropriately intimate Factory Theatre Studio.

The 2012 Next Stage Theatre Festival line-up is:   

In the Factory Theatre Mainspace

Acclaimed Montreal comedy troupe and Fringe veterans UNCALLED FOR tickle your frontal lobe with Hypnogogic Logic. Winner of the Just For Laughs Award for the Best Comedy at the Montreal Fringe, the show is a madly energetic, refreshingly smart and endlessly hilarious ride through the world of the subconscious. In Eye Weekly’s 2010 comedy round-up, Steve Fisher declared, “Hypnogogic Logic was the smartest and funniest thing I saw on stage in theatre or comedy all year.” A tour-de-force of inspired writing and joyful performance from “one of the most innovative and reliable troupes in the country… This is comedy that treats the audience like adults, but leaves them giggling like children.” (Plank Magazine)

Featured as part of the Best of Fringe Uptown 2011, Christopher Wilson’s Living With Henry is a new musical drama that explores the fear, complications and realities of living with HIV/AIDS today. Though it is no longer a death sentence, the once carefree Michael (Ryan Kelly) must learn to come to terms with living with his chronic condition. Acclaimed for its honesty, boldness and inventiveness, NOW Magazine gives Living With Henry 5 N’s for its Toronto Fringe Festival run, stating, “This fully staged chamber musical, imaginatively directed by Donna Marie Baratta, seems already primed for a professional run. Told through songs - sometimes comic, sometimes heartbreaking - the show has the ring of authenticity and the six-person cast gives passionate, committed performances.

Ecce Homo Theatre presents... Loving the Stranger or how to recognize an invert
Award winning company Ecce Homo Theatre (Of a Monstrous Child: a gaga musical, The Pastor Phelps Project) present an updated remount of Alistair Newton’s  Loving the Stranger or how to recognize an invert based on the incredible life story of Montreal’s Peter Flinsch: theatre designer, visual artist, and survivor of the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, arrested in 1942 for kissing a friend at a Christmas party.  From the cabarets of 1920s Berlin, to the ongoing battle over gay marriage, all the way to the office of the Prime Minister; sexuality, spectacle and satire launch a musical blitzkrieg on apathy. With an ensemble of four performing over thirty characters and featuring Hume Baugh as Peter Flinsch.  ‘...a politically charged musical about the modern construction of the homosexual that’s ambitious in scope, well-researched, and aesthetically brilliant’. - NOW Magazine
*view a video trailer at:

Allison Beula Productions presents... The Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A-Go-Go!
An ultra enthusiastic, hyper-speed a-go-go keen teen musical that is a loving parody of the Beach Party movies of the 1960’s. A triple threat cast, a live vintage surf band (“The von Drats”) and original tunes written by Composer Jeffery Straker and Director/Choreographer Allison Beula round out the beach party fun! Patrons’ Pick at the 2011 Toronto Fringe and presented at the Best of the Fringe Uptown. NOW Magazine dubbed it an “outstanding production”, “outstanding ensemble”, “Critic’s Pick” and 5 “NNNNN's”.  Torontoist said, "Tight dance numbers and knee-slapper after knee-slapper proved Tiki Bikini Beach Paradise Party A Go-Go! had much more to offer than just eye candy”. With rave reviews across the (surf) boards, you’ll Go-Go wild for this Tiki-tastic show!

In the Factory Theatre Studio

Theatre Brouhaha presents... LOVESEXMONEY
You want it. You need it. Would you pay for it? After a sold-out run at the Factory Studio last winter, Theatre Brouhaha presents LOVESEXMONEY by Kat Sandler, a sexy, fast-paced new play about intimacy in the Information Age. Olivia sells her virginity online. Simon buys it. Jim, her boyfriend, tries to stop her. Fantasies are exposed, hearts are broken and expensive Japanese sex toys are bought and put to use with devastating consequences in a production that is “sharp, hilarious, and touching” (Theatromania). LOVESEXMONEY asks questions about the nature of ownership and modern love in a time when everything is available somewhere for a price. It’s a hot piece of theatre where you're "apt to have a good laugh" (Torontoist).

Theatre Caravel presents... Modern Love
Written and performed by Jessica Moss (Outstanding Performance, Summerworks 2008, dust, NOW Magazine; Outstanding Ensemble, Fringe 2011, Swoon, NOW Magazine), Modern Love is a poignant and hilarious look at relationships and technology. “How can you feel alone when you have 600 friends? When you carry everyone you know in your pocket all the time, why is it so hard to connect? There used to be a loneliness I could only feel in crowded rooms, and now I feel it all the time...” Presented by Theatre Caravel (2011 Canadian Stage GYM Team) Modern Love takes a look at the ways we connect with and disconnect from each other every day.  Mondo Magazine says, “When you get an opportunity to see the group's show, take it..."

Rooftop Productions presents... Tomasso's Party
Tomasso's Party, by young novelist Jules Lewis (Waiting for Ricky Tantrum, Dundurn Press), holds a microscope up to conventional ideas of intimacy through the nuanced exploration of a simple circumstance involving a young couple: Madeleine wants to go to Tomasso's party; Hugo does not.  As the two argue deep insecurities they have about themselves and each other are revealed. The power between them shifts; both are surprised and damaged.  This world premiere production is a raw portrayal of sexual politics, intellectual jealousy, relationship power dynamics and lays bare the vulnerability of human emotions. Produced by André du Toit (Factory Theatre, Lab Cab Festival, Canadian Rep Theatre).

Red Betty Theatre presents... The Washing Machine
After a successful showing at Nightwood Theatre's Groundswell Festival of New Work, director Sasha Kovacs joins writer Radha Menon (writer of award-winning screenplay such as Max Neo) to assemble a team as multi-cultural as it is multi-generational, with performers including Steve Cumyn, Ronica Sajnani, Asha Vijayasigham, and Aparajit BhattacharjeeThe Washing Machine chronicles the aftermath of Isabelle's return to Chez Nous- her childhood home in India.  Through the influence of octogenarian gurus, ghostly meddling spirits, and a multitude of crying monkeys, Isabelle is forced to realize that no fancy spin cycles can wash away the ‘dirty laundry’ that is her ancestry. 

The Next Stage Theatre Festival
January 4 – January 15, 2012
at the Factory Theatre (125 Bathurst Street)
McAuslan Beer Tent and Festival Box Office located in the Factory Theatre Courtyard

Ticket Prices:
Performances starting before 7pm are $12
Performances at or after 7pm are $15

Tickets on sale:
Over the phone at 416-966-1062
In person at the venue from January 4-15, starting one hour before the first show of the day
Or 24 hours a day online at

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