Stage Door News

Toronto: Studio 180 Theatre announces the recipients of its Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Studio 180 Theatre was proud to act as a recommender for the Ontario Arts Council Recommender Grants for Theatre Creators program for the twelfth year! 

For many of the creators whose projects earned our recommendation, the first half of 2021 has been a busy period of development. 

We are delighted to introduce these artists and their provocative explorations of contemporary social and political issues and we looking forward to once again supporting the work of theatre creators through the RGTC program in our 21/22 season.


2021 RGTC RECIPIENTS

Ghazal Azarbad & Marie Farsi – REAL
Marie Beath Badian – Common Part III: Chester Breaks His Glasses
Katia Café-Fébrissy – A Summer With My Karen
Sara Farb – Love Us Most
Rebecca Gibian & Natasha Mumba – Sarah Forbes Bonetta
Caroline Toal – Survivors
Taylor Trowbridge – Tool For Rebellion


GHAZAL AZARBAD & MARIE FARSI – REAL

REAL, written by Ghazal Azarbad and dramaturged by Marie Farsi, follows the story of Joon, an Iranian-Canadian immigrant and aspiring therapist, as she grapples with the complicated nuances of her family, identity, and authenticity. Joon is hardworking, selfless, and dedicated to being the perfect immigrant daughter. After a family secret is revealed, it’s only a matter of time before Joon’s own secrets unravel before her. REAL is a quasi-psychedellic, non-linear two-act play that pushes the boundaries of conventional realism and explores ethics, morality, and internalized oppression within personal relationships.


MARIE BEATH BADIAN – COMMON PART III: CHESTER BREAKS HIS GLASSES

On the eve of Chester’s 21st birthday, he is in the Common Room, after hours, with a pair of broken glasses in his hands. Chester is in crisis – when he turns 21 he officially “ages out of the system” and is no longer a Crown Ward – he can’t call his caseworker Wendy – who always made sure he got his glasses. In the middle of his crisis, a fellow client breaks her self-imposed silence and implores him to stay.


KATIA CAFÉ-FÉBRISSY – A SUMMER WITH MY KAREN

This dramatic play explores modern day race relations in diverse and post racial Toronto, through the lens of two women–one white with a sense of entitlement and one black, refusing to be victimized, as their lives spiral downhill further to a trivial unneighbourly incident.


SARA FARB – LOVE US MOST

Taking place in the women’s dressing room during a performance of King Lear leading up to the places call, during intermission, and then after the show, Love Us Most examines the toxicity of sexism, racism, ageism, and female competition in the theatre industry.


REBECCA GIBIAN & NATASHA MUMBA – SARAH FORBES BONETTA

A gift from the “King of the Blacks to the Queen of the Whites”, Sarah was only a child when she was saved from captivity in modern-day Nigeria and raised as a ward of Queen Victoria. Named after the British captain who saved her and the ship that brought her to England, Sarah Forbes Bonetta is faced with yet another imposed future when the Queen arranges her marriage. Through a series of bridal fittings, Sarah must come to terms with a past that is at odds with her British present. Written with a contemporary lens, and in the context of period pieces told through “colour-blind casting”,  Sarah’s story challenges our perception of history. It is a play that looks for the individual inside the colonial machine; deals with the intersection of race and privilege; toys with the idealized female roles inside the Victorian mold we know so well; and is a window into the life of a black woman living in a time that has been white-washed into uniformity.


CAROLINE TOAL – SURVIVORS

Natalie and Anna are shocked when their mother unexpectedly dies by suicide. Filled with anger and resentment, Anna wants to sell their mother’s house and move on as quickly as possible, but Natalie, feeling abandoned and hopeless, becomes obsessed with finding a suicide note. Pressured to keep the suicide a secret, Natalie turns to alcohol to cope and has vivid dreams in which she believes her mother is trying to communicate with her. As they grapple with their opposing symptoms of grief, they uncover the truth of their family’s mental health history, spiral into domestic turmoil, and come face to face with their own struggles with mental illness. Survivors examines the traumatic effects of the loss of a loved one by suicide. It poses the question – how do we carry on when someone we love has left us behind?


TAYLOR TROWBRIDGE – TOOL FOR REBELLION

When the Toronto van attack occurred in April of 2018 it brought countless urgent questions to the fore. Born out of a gnawing and personal need, Tool for Rebellion is a verbatim theatre piece that asks how we can possibly disrupt the societal cycles that foster Incel culture. A quest that explores the limits of empathy, this piece seeks to generate a vital discussion on how to tenderly move forward and heal.

Photo: Ghazal Azarbad and Marie Farsi, Marie Beath Badian, Katia Café-Fébrissy, Sara Farb, Rebecca Gibian and Natasha Mumba, Caroline Toal and Taylor Trowbridge. © 2021.