Stage Door News

Toronto: Buddies in Bad Times Theatre announces artist lineup for the Rhubarb Festival

Monday, January 10, 2022

Marking a return to mainstage programming at Buddies, Canada’s longest-running new works festival is back for its 43rd year this February. In a new one-week format, The Rhubarb Festival transforms Buddies into a hotbed of experimentation, exploring new possibilities in art-making and performance. This year’s festival, curated by festival director Clayton Lee, sees artists respond to an installation by award-winning designer and architect Andrea Shin Ling. In her conceptual prompt to artists, she asks, “What does it mean after a year such as this, to regenerate one’s practice? What have we left to deteriorate, and what do we use as fodder and fuel for new creation?”

After reimagining the festival as a performative publication last year, Clayton has brought on architect Andrea Shin Ling to create a living container for Rhubarb’s 2022 iteration. Andrea‘s work explores how biological and digital processes can intersect in design, and her recent project Design by Decay, Decay by Design won the STARTS prize for innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology, and the Arts in 2020. Her large-scale Rhubarb installation, Calculus of an infinite rot, part 1, follows the path of this work, and experiments with designed decay in organic objects, complicating ideas around decay and regeneration as paired processes in nature.

“Andrea’s work simultaneously addresses concerns about the present, while using technology and research that propels us decades into the future. The installation she’s creating for Rhubarb is a response to this moment and the festival artists, in turn, are creating work that responds to it.” says festival director Clayton Lee.

This year’s festival is intentionally smaller—with no repeat performances—in an effort to provide more robust support to artists, and allow for the projects to be in ongoing conversation with one another. The new structure invites audiences to consider the accumulation of performances over the festival, rather than one night, echoing Ling’s dynamic installation.

The festival’s 2022 programming includes work by generational duo Lara Kramer and Ruby Caldwell Kramer, an impromptu sonic performance by New York-based Jesús Hilario-Reyes, a performance lecture by Sarah Garton Stanley, a multimedia concert by Stanford Cheung, and more. Full schedule and artist details are available on the website.

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre presents


Festival Director Clayton Lee

Design Lead Andrea Shin Ling

February 9-13, 2021

Back for a 43rd year, Rhubarb transforms Buddies into a hotbed of experimentation, with artists challenging our notions of what art-making and art-watching can be. As Canada’s longest-running festival of experimental performance, Rhubarb is the place to encounter the most adventurous ideas in performance and to catch familiar and unfamiliar artists venturing into uncharted territory.

This year, design lead Andrea Shin Ling creates a large-scale installation in the Chamber space that will serve as a site for artists to respond to, engage with, and leave their mark on. Her Rhubarb project, Calculus of an infinite rot, part 1, experiments with designed decay in organic objects, complicating ideas around decay and regeneration as paired processes in nature.

Participating artists:

Moe Angelos, Ruby Caldwell Kramer + Lara Kramer, Paul Chambers, Stanford Cheung, Claudia Edwards + Tram Nghiem, Jesus Hilario-Reyes, Jessica Johns, Myung-Sun Kim, Louise Liliefeldt, Sarah Garton Stanley, Brawk Ward + Esther Splett, claude wittmann, Johannes Zits


Wed-Sun: Sliding scale, $10/$20/$40, with a limited number of free tickets each day

Box Office

Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, 12 Alexander Street, Toronto ON

Photo: Clayton Lee. © 2022.