Showdown 2.0 Extended!

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Tour leg #1 is over, but it’s only the end of phase one for the cast of Showdown 2.0. Due to the overwhelming success of the school tour, and a great showcase at the TCDSB Safe Schools Symposium, MCT is bringing Showdown 2.0 back in February 2012 (February 6-24) for another sold-out tour throughout the GTA.

We have several interns here at MCT his season who had never experienced the power of Forum Theatre prior to working here. Here’s what intern Carina had to say about her first Forum performance:

“A couple of weeks ago I saw my first ever Forum Theatre play. I could tell right away that the Forum experience is a powerful one. When presented with situations and characters that are developed with the audience in mind, the play allows viewers to relate and think about how worst-case scenarios can be changed for the better. It also allows audience members to step back, view and think about how what is presented on stage fits within their community. While watching the play, not only was I thinking about what might happen next, but I also questioned how I would handle the situations presented if I was in the position of many of the characters. A Forum play like SHOWDOWN 2.0 sparks much conversation since the behaviour of characters in worst-case scenario situations can be changed in many different ways. I’m sure that when the audience of a Forum production sees a show and has the opportunity to participate through acting out resolutions for the worst-cases, the audience will be excited to learn and relate to their peers on stage.”

During the tour, we performed at and ESL school, which can present a unique set of challenges, but also opportunities to explore Forum Theatre in a different way than we usually do. MCT Co-Op student, Eslam, attended that performance:

“School that are mainly an ESL may have a little bit of an issue  to understand the play, but I noticed a lot of students helped other students to understand. This meant some talking during the play, but I think the best thing about that is that students are taking care of each other.  Also they seemed to enjoyed more of the physical and facial expressions of the characters. It was great some of the well known kids in the school volunteered to participate in the interventions and resolve the conflict in the best way possible, because it motivated others to do the same.”

Week 1 of Showdown 2.0 under our belts!

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First week. Seven shows. Showdown 2.0 is hitting it out of the park.

Check out what intern, Janie Pinard, has to say about the show:

I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek of the rehearsal process of Mixed Company Theatre’s Showdown 2.0. I saw the set and thought: practical. It is simple; it’s multipurpose, it can create different settings like a hallway or a cafeteria, and the design gives you a hint of the theme of the play – cyber-bullying. Next, I got to see the actors in action. It was interesting to see them explore with their characters and the set, along with their new costumes. The script was written to have the “worst case scenario”, but as a recent high school graduate, I saw many similarities and realistic situations, which makes it very easy to relate to. From what I saw in rehearsal, they have a well thought out set, a powerful message, a passionate team and hard working actors. The students are going to love it!

With all the media coverage of bullying, cyber-bullying and teen suicides as a result of bullying – the timing couldn’t be more relevant for this performance. Are you a student or educator who has seen Showdown 2.0? Comment and let us know what you thought!

By Deidre Budgell & Janie Pinard

Deidre joined MCT as Administrative Coordinator in 2010 after completing her M.A. in Theatre Studies at York University and has since moved up the ranks as Communications & Outreach Coordinator. By day Deidre’s committed to research and arts administration, but by night she enjoys moonlighting as a stage manager, having worked in Toronto and extensive work in her native St. John’s.

Janie Pinard was given the Rising Star award by Mixed Company Theatre and is now doing an internship at MCT because of her passion for promoting health among her peers and community and her passion for theatre. She worked at the Sudbury & District Health Unit as a Youth Program Advisor to assist the school health promotion staff in modifying their programming to better meet the needs of the youth in the community. Her recent credits as an actor are Mimi and choreographer in Y.E.S. Theatre’s RENT, Catherine in le TNO’s production of Les Huit Femmes, Jeannie and choreographer in Y.E.S theatre’s HAIR and Arielle in Living a Deadus Danslavillus.