UpStart: Festival of Innovative Theatre

“There are lots of young vital playwrights who are experimenting, and these are the plays that people who are interested in the theatre should see. They should go off Broadway. They should go to the cafe theatres and see the experiments that are being made.”

-Edward Albee, WNBC TV interview, Jan. 9, 1966

UpStart '12 posterPerformances: February 2-4, & 9-11, 2012 

Matinees: February 4 & 11, 2012

Venue: Hagey Hall 180, Humanities                   Building


UW Drama invites you to experience the wise advice of Edward Albee and explore the performances of very talented artists through the 5th installment of the UpStart: Festival of Innovative Canadian Theatre.  This one-act play festival features the unique works of several young playwrights, all of whom are also directing and, for some, acting in these original plays.

The style of each show differs amongst the playwrights, giving a wide range of genres throughout the festival.  Some shows will make you think while others will have you grinning from ear to ear, and no night is the same as another!  Here is a small glimpse of what you will witness in our festival:

Commedia de Burros (by Anthony Fick) will reveal the world of Pedro Angel, a bumbling but incredibly good-in-the-sack hero.  Despite his prowess, he hasn't figured out omen.  Audiences will re-evaluate the importance they place on youth, beauty, orgasms, and donkeys. ** Strong language & sexual content

As Our Ghosts Will Say (by Connor Hughes) is the story of James and Olivia, two friends who are divided by death. It is also the story of: Steven, a young boy who never got to have a first communion; of Clem, a father who got a second chance; of Ali, who wasted away in a hospital bed dreaming of the soccer field; and of Savina, a grandmother who always put everyone else first.  It is a ghost story in the truest sense of the phrase.  ** Strong language

Anomaly (by Michelle Kestle) is a one-woman show that delves into the concept of happy.  “I think it is brave to try to be happy. You’ve gotten so comfortable being unhappy. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to wake up in the morning and choose to be happy?” ** Strong language & mature content

Through spoken word, movement and song, Life as a River (by Rebecca Steiner & Kimberlee Walker) tells the story of two young women who set off on a global journey with idealistic notions about what helping others looks like. The people they meet and the questions they ask lead them to a stronger yet more difficult, richer and yet more complex love than they ever imagined.

These are My Words (by Leeanna Caligagan and the cast) is a collective creation that explores some of the less discussed elements that rule our lives. Inspired by a desire for understanding and connection, they delve into the stories that unite us all. ** Strong language

Box Play (by Shaw Forgeron) is a play that has nothing to do with math. ** Strong language & sexual content

Everyone knows the story of Superman, but what about through the eyes of his best friend and room-mate?  Jimmy Olsen, Superman’s Asshole best friend (by Alex Hopf) details the adventures of Superman from his often over-shadowed friend, Jimmy Olsen.  This one man show takes the stance that the reason that Jimmy Olsen has been forgotten is because he is a notorious asshole. **Strong language & mature content.

What do you get when four friends get together and put on a show about love? You get long hours of rehearsals, lots of laughs, a few tears and no clue what’s going to happen on opening night.  Kiss and Make it Up (by Andreea Hluscu & Zach Parsons) is an improv show created around the idea of Valentine’s Day - a day where the single people slow dance with plants, and people in love become more hated than politicians. Come and watch four improvisers as they use the audience's suggestions to create hilarious scenes of love, lust, awkward firsts and the crazy world of relationships.  **Strong language & mature content.