Stage Door News

Toronto & Barrie: Katherine Cullen’s “Stupidhead!” to play live and on digital radio July 7-August 29

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Announcing the return of audience favourite Stupidhead! - reimagined by creator/performers Katherine Cullen and Britta Johnson for our evolving moment. Gather your household ‘round the wifi router for a limited number of live “radio” broadcasts. Or you can book your very own intimate IRL serenade for you and your family and friends to enjoy on a porch or backyard. With musical gems like “Dobermans and Nutella”, “Is This Where the Puppet People Get Picked Up” and “What If I Never Find My Way”, we guarantee that you won’t be able to get this hit comedy about dyslexia, failure and friendship out of your (stupid)head. 

Stupidhead! is a show about learning that no matter who you are, you’re not alone. The musical charts the real-life “growing pains” of OtM Founding Member Katherine Cullen, who audiences will remember from award-winning immersive productions like Vitals, Mr. Burns and TomorrowLove. In creating Stupidhead!, she collaborated with her real-life best friend, award-winning composer Britta Johnson (Dr. Silver, Life After), one of Canada’s leading musical theatre talents, whose work most recently garnered acclaim at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre. Leading site-specific artists Aaron Willis (Director - Convergence Theatre’s Athabasca, The Unending) and Anahita Dehbonehie (Production Designer - The Flick, Breath of Kings) round out the core creative team.

After a much-loved Dora-nominated premiere at Theatre Passe Muraille in 2017, and a site-specific run at Kingston’s Kick & Push Festival in 2019, Outside the March is thrilled to be working with the creative team to re-envision the show’s message of togetherness for our collective isolated purgatory. The show is part of OtM’s Solo Together series - performer-created memoirs exploring how different minds filter and navigate our world. It builds on the company’s work offering audiences connection during the pandemic (The Ministry of Mundane Mysteries, The Stream You Step In and Something Bubbled, Something Blue)

We hope this story will help people feel a little less alone in the face of overwhelming challenges, not only the kind that the world throws at you but also the kind that rises from inside you”, explains director Aaron Willis. “I so love this musical’s celebration that it’s okay to forge different paths to get wherever you’re going” adds OtM Artistic Director Mitchell Cushman. “With that in mind, the team’s imagining of different creative ways to share this piece during the pandemic has been really inspiring.”  

Stupidhead! Can Be Experienced Three Different Ways This Summer: 
 
1) Live Digital Radio Broadcast (July 7th - 16th)

All you need is a wifi signal, a feel-good beverage and your favourite emotional support stuffed animal to tune in to this run of six “live-to-air” audio performances.
 
We’re modelling this version on your favourite radio variety shows from the times of yore,” explains creator Katherine Cullen. “It’ll be like we're performing in your living rooms... but we won't be, because we respect your health and wellbeing and also we would get fined by the Ontario Government.”  
 
Yeah, when was the last time you got to have strangers in your home?” adds co-creator Britta Johnson. “The best part is that you’ll kind of get to feel like you are hanging out with Katherine - she shares intimate stories, she sings, and we share lots of laughs.”

With Audio Support and Engineering from Dora Award-winner Adam Sakiyama.
 
Tickets $15. Limited capacity available for each live broadcast, so book now at outsidethemarch.ca


2) “At Your Place” Performances (Toronto, July 20th - Aug 1st)

Once the audio run wraps, Stupidhead! will play a select run of a dozen in-person performances - available for booking on decks, porches and other private outdoor spaces across the GTA. The production design has been re-imagined by Dehbonehie and the team to fit a wide variety of locations. For Torontonians who are badly missing the presence of live theatre in their life, this is a chance to bring a show right to your very own front (or back) door!  

In thinking about how to most safely and intimately share Stupidhead! in person this summer, we’ve taken inspiration from the beautiful work other companies in our community have been exploring during the pandemic, including our friends at The Musical Stage Company” explains Cushman. OtM will adopt a similar model for these performances, encouraging small groups of families, friends and neighbours to chip in to book the show together.
 
Stupidhead! runs 55 minutes and can be set up and struck onsite in under half an hour. Outside the March will work with each group to ensure that each performance will be conducted per provincial health and safety guidelines.

Presentation Fee - $400 to book your private performance for friends n’ fam!
(100% of which goes directly to the artists working on the show)  
 
To arrange, visit www.outsidethemarch.ca, and the Stupidhead! team will work with you to customize your unique performance. 


3) Backyard Run at TIFT’s “Bees in the Bush” Festival (Barrie, Aug 16th - 29th)

Finally, in August Stupidhead! will play a two-week run in Barrie, Ontario, presented as part of Talk is Free Theatre’s “Bees in the Bush” Festival, an eclectic slate of outdoor programming. Each intimate performance will play to a socially-distanced public audience of up to 16, performed in a neighbourhood backyard.
 
As OtM Core Artist and Production Designer Anahita Dehbonehie explains, “Each time we present this show, we reimagine it for a new exciting container. I’m looking forward to sharing the piece with TIFT’s adventurous audiences - who most recently experienced OtM’s Something Bubbled, Something Blue Grand Act of Theatre in the fall.”
 
"Outside the March is one of the most inventive theatre companies in the country.” shares Talk is Free Artistic Producer Arkady Spivak. “And Stupidhead! is one of the most honest, yet theatrical pieces of musical story-telling I recall seeing. I cannot wait for the Barrie audiences to partake in both of these elements, in a new outdoor setting.”
 
For more information about the “Bees in the Bush” Festival, you can visit www.tift.ca

Photo: Katherine Cullen and Britta Johnson in Stupidhead!. © 2017 Michael Cooper.