Jan. 05, 2011 - Issue #794 : Year in Review 2010
Curtain rise, curtain fall
A look at the theatre year that wasFor Vue's look back on 2010, David Berry examines the highs and lows of the year's theatre season.
Good: Here come young companies—finally
The announcement of the Surreal SoReal season marked the first full slate of shows from a new company in—wow, I can't even remember the last time. They have an unquestionably unique take on theatre that is eminently welcome, but in truth it's just nice to have some new artists willing to fully commit to their art. Meanwhile, under Amy Shostak, Rapid Fire has finally started earnestly showing off its talents in forms beyond late-night improv, and early results prove the wisdom of the choice. And they're hardly the only ones stepping it up. There's nothing quite so revitalizing as new blood.
Bad: Forgetting the "dialogue" part of "critical dialogue"
As easy and deserved as it would be to jump on Jeff Haslam, his histrionic rant against blogger Sharon Yeo was far more indicative of the Edmonton theatrical community's reaction to criticism—whatever the source—than it should be for such a supposedly vibrant scene. I'm not sure when, exactly, certain members of the theatre community decided that the role of criticism was to pamper egos. Haslam—besides being irrational—reacted the way many in the community do to perceived poor judgements: by dismissing them outright. If the community doesn't get smarter and more engaged, it's going to consign itself to only getting national attention when it looks ridiculous.
Good: Mourning Dove
I will never understand how this got so criminally overlooked at this year's Sterlings—I guess maybe the jury thought it was enough to fête Kill Your Television for the Fringe? Navigating a tricky moral ground with emotional notes that are downright punishing from start to finish, Mourning Dove was able to pull off heartbreaking, terrifying and nearly every note in between with a gutting kind of grace, built off of three exceptional performances that were as complicated and touching as the questions the play was posing. It's a production that will stick with me for years.V vueweekly.com comments: powered by Disqus
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