At one point there really wasn't much going on, theatre-wise, on the East Side of Toronto. Basically, the East Side Players would put on 3 shows a year and that was pretty much it. While they are still going strong, I usually am only interested in one production per season. This season I'll be going to Norm Foster's Office Hours in a couple of months. (Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a funny show as well, though I saw Seven Siblings do it not that long ago, so I'll pass.)
I'm not quite sure how long Red Sandcastle has been open, but it is a classic scrappy, storefront theatre. (Maybe it is the only one of its type on the East Side.) I've seen quite a lot of good theatre there, and as I've mentioned previously there are still two days left in the run of Proof by Theatre UnBlocked, and I would encourage people to go see this fine show. I'm definitely thinking very seriously of putting on one production of my own there just to see how it goes.
Not that long ago, Coal Mine set up shop and have become a must-see phenomenon for those that follow the arts scene. I've generally made it to one or two shows per season, though this season I think I will only make it to Dennis Kelly's Orphans.
Crow's Theatre has just opened their theatre at Carlaw and Dundas. It is a very nice theatre, and generally it is generating quite a bit of buzz. I missed the first couple of shows, but I went to The Orange Dot.
At least part of the reason I went was to check out the inside of the theatre. It is quite nice, with risers that actually give everyone decent sight lines to the stage. (I suppose the flip side is that there are a lot of stairs to climb.) Even the lobby is quite nice.
While there are probably not enough benches (there never are), it isn't
all cramped like so many theatres (even Tarragon) where you just don't
know where to go before the doors open. So someone has really thought
through all these details.
Since I am in easy walking distance, I will definitely look forward to seeing what they put on in the next few seasons.
I thought the acting in The Orange Dot was good, but I wasn't sold on the script. A lot of it sort of felt like an acting exercise, with a lot of ramped up energy towards the end that seemed more like what actors want to do rather than actual human interaction. And the ending was waaay over the top.
I did like the bookmarks that they produced, however.
If I ever do produce my own show, I will probably go with bookmarks rather than postcards, since they are more useful and, consequently, people hold onto them longer, so they are more useful as advertising. (I learned that from Halcyon.)
Withrow Park usually hosts the Driftwood Shakespeare Tour, as well as Dusk Dances and other cool events to look forward to each summer.
While it isn't quite the same thing, Toronto Cold Reads meets at The Social Capital most Sundays (I think I will go tomorrow), so we even have our own cold reading series to complement the Storefront Theatre.
In short, the theatre scene on the East Side has come a long way and it seems to be expanding. It's exciting to be in the middle of it. This may be the perfect time for me to try to get my own little foothold in it. I will certainly come back and post if there is any news on that front.