The Pipeline 2015 at the RIALTO
Infinithéâtre’s annual free play reading series, now in its 10th year, returns with 4 plays including the prize winners from this year’s Write-On-Q!
Local playwrights celebrated Thurs. December 10 – Sun. December 13, 2015
Montréal, November 2015 – Every year Infinithéâtre proudly presents Québec’s newest discoveries in The Pipeline, an annual series of free public play readings where the audience takes centre stage. Guy Sprung, Infinithéâtre’s artistic director, invites the public to be part of the excitement of The Pipeline’s 10th year, and to share their views from Thursday, December 10 – Sunday, December 13 at the beautiful Rialto Theatre’s Infinite Studio. On offer will be the three winning plays from the 8th annual Write-On-Q! playwriting competition along with one of the finalists.
In its ongoing mandate to discover new Québec works to bring to the stage, Infinithéâtre initiated an annual play writing contest, Write-On-Q!, which accepts submissions of scripts from all corners of the province. Not only do unknown writers submit their work to this popular competition, including students in writing programs at universities and the National Theatre School, but plays also come from CEGEP & university professors, journalists, editors, actors, screenwriters, directors, novelists and various literary award-winners. The winning and runner-up scripts are selected by an independent jury, chaired this year by former Montreal Gazette theatre critic Pat Donnelly, along with actor Jennifer Moorehouse, and long-time theatre supporters Gerry Lipnowski and Laurence Sellyn.
The Pipeline readings include the winner of the first place Write-On-Q! $3000 Pam Dunn Prize: Leopold St-Pierre for Two Piranhas; Second Place Prize, $1500: Oren Safdie for Lunch Hour; and Third Place Prize, $500: Louise Arsenault for Burning Tongues, as well as one of the other plays that made it to the short list of six, Michael Milech’s Honesty Rents by the Hour. Please see below for details about each play and its author.
Sprung is thrilled with the record number of over 50 entries this year and invites audiences to hear some of Montréal’s finest actors read scripts that could become future local productions. He asserts, “It all starts on the page. Infinithéâtre tries to provoke and nurture the best in contemporary Québec playwriting. We believe great theatre starts with relevant, gutsy, brilliantly written plays that monitor and reflect the issues that face Quebeckers today. This means we need playwrights prepared to push their craft to its apotheosis.”
The Pipeline gives the public a unique opportunity to voice their opinions and directly influence Montréal’s cultural landscape through lively talkback discussions- an important part of any play development- following each reading. Providing invaluable input for the playwrights, talkbacks allow the audience to address questions or issues that the text generates in a relaxed, open forum with the authors, directors and actors. Recent Write-On-Q! / The Pipeline successes include Progress! by Alyson Grant, and Oren Safdie’s Unseamly (New York Times critics’ pick). Infinithéâtre gratefully acknowledges the support of Ezio Carosielli and the Rialto Theatre.
THE PIPELINE 2015 at the Rialto
Thurs. December 10, 2015, 7pm
Directed by Matthew Jacobs
honesty rents by the hour – Three unlikely bedfellows meet at a motel for a ménage-à-trois: Chantal, a married, part-time receptionist from St-Eustache; Danny, a young McGill student who is emphatically bisexual and incidentally Jewish; and Pinchas, a Hasidic bachelor from Outremont. Their planned evening of casual sex becomes waylaid however by the confrontation of prejudice, the questioning of identity, and the intrusion of violence. Indeed, the longer the sex is delayed, the less casual it becomes, and the more starkly the trio must consider whether they have come to the motel to briefly escape their true selves or to be who they really are. With Catherine de Sève, Howard Rosenstein and Jonathan Silver
Michael has previously had plays produced as part of the NotaBle Acts Theatre Festival in Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he received an MA in Creative Writing from UNB. He has also studied acting at George Brown Theatre School in Toronto, and he has worked at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts in Montréal, where he grew up. “It’s doubly tough for a new writer to get a play to the stage when you’re doing work in English with Québec sensibilities. Good thing there’s an app for that, so to speak… I’m honoured to be working with Infinithéâtre to put this play in front of a Montréal audience, which is where it belongs.”
Fri. Dec. 11, 2015, 7pm (Write-On-Q! third place prize)
Directed by Ellen David
burning tongues- Set before the first Referendum on Easter weekend in the West Island of Montréal, Burning Tongues deals with familial dysfunction, alcoholism and betrayal. Elise, a married woman with family in Ontario, has just lost a lot of weight, in fact, a whole person. On the order of her therapist, she returns home to uncover what happened to the family’s Québecoise maid Danielle, who disappeared suddenly. Dealing with her challenging sister, her ultra-religious mother and her acerbic father becomes an ordeal as she tries to unravel the truth beneath the truth, not overeat, and decide where her allegiances lie.
With Anne Cassar, Catherine de Sève, Vlasta Vrana, Louison Danis, Marie Turgeon
Louise Arsenault is a Montréal playwright, poet and visual artist who teaches English literature at Dawson College. She has an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia and is a graduate of The National Theatre School in Playwriting. Productions include Bivouac (Imago Theatre); Innerspeak (Queen Street Theatre); and Dating Jesus (Unwashed Grape). Her play Strange Fire is presently being workshopped at Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal. “I am very thrilled Write-On-Q! and The Pipeline exist to provide a much-needed outlet for English Québec playwrights old and new. Hopefully what one can take away from my play Burning Tongues is that in healing family wounds, first you must face them in order to forgive and move forward.”
Sat. December 12, 2015, 7pm (Write-On-Q! second place prize)
Directed by Oren Safdie
lunch hour – Henry, a disillusioned architect and recent father of twins, meets Alex, a dissatisfied dental hygienist with two fully-grown daughters. The two share the same lunch hour, and a rather innocuous friendship begins. But once they graduate from eating at the counter to sharing a booth, things start to spin out of control. Can they fight off their natural impulses and preserve the institution of marriage? Or will their carnal appetite and need for danger and excitement sink them into the abyss? Lunch Hour is an eye-opening humorous look into the anatomy of an affair. It’s a play for every person with kids who’s ever thought about straying from their marriage. With Alon Nashman, Claudia Besso, Patricia Sommerset, Jennifer Moorehouse and Carlo Mestroni
Born and raised in Montréal, Oren Safdie is a playwright-in-residence at La MaMa, and helmed the Malibu Stage Co. where the off-Broadway/London hit Private Jokes, Public Places debuted. His next play, The Last Word also moved off-Broadway, starring Daniel J. Travanti. Other productions include Unseamly, Checks & Balances, West Bank, Jews & Jesus, and La Compagnie, which he developed into a pilot for CBS. As a screenwriter, Oren scripted the film You Can Thank Me Later starring Ellen Burstyn, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Newport Film Festival; and the Israeli film Bittersweet. He teaches playwriting at the University of Miami.
“Infinithéâtre has become my de facto theatre home, and keeps me writing a new play every year. This blind competition, the true democracy of theatre, takes out the politics and lets the best plays rise to the top. The fact that I’ve come in second place three years running only makes me hungrier for next year.”
Sun. December 13, 2015, 2pm (Write-On-Q! winner)
Directed by Guy Sprung
Two Piranhas- It’s been 30 years since Annie, an uptight Katharine Hepburn-type, and Mal, a flamboyant Hollywood actor whose career has sunk into B-movies, have seen each other. The former best friends – and current arch-enemies – cross paths at a friend’s funeral. Leaving the cemetery, both wind up stranded in a middle-of-nowhere train station, and soon drift into an acerbic, funny and angry conversation about life and death, love and hate, hopes and disillusionment, and even a few warm memories… until a long-buried dark secret resurfaces, forcing them to finally face the painful truth at the root of their shattered friendship.
With Joanna Noyes and Noel Burton
Leopold St-Pierre has extensive writing experience in Canada, US and UK network television, with over 900 hours of produced films and TV projects, while also working extensively as a ‘script doctor’ for Promark, BBC and HBO. In the past few years, he has focused primarily on writing plays. He has been involved in projects with, among others, Charlotte Rampling, John Hurt, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber and Sir George Martin. He is currently working on The Mask of Sanity, a 4-character play about a chance encounter with a serial killer one late night in a remote bar. “Plays with some depth, humanity and ‘asking bigger questions’ don’t need to shy away from being fun and entertaining. My central goal as a writer is to wrap deeper human issues, conundrums and philosophies in the fun, entertaining and comical.”
Infinithéâtre: discovering, developing and producing new Québec work
The Pipeline 2015 at The Rialto
Dec. 10-13, Thurs., Fri. and Sat. at 7:00 pm, Sunday at 2:00 pm
At Rialto Infinite Studio, 5711 Parc Ave, 3rd floor
Admission is pay-what-you-can ($10 suggested donation)
For more information about Infinithéâtre’s line-up of plays or the 6Pack discount card, log onto www.infinitheatre.com or call 514 987–1774.
Scripts for Write-On-Q! 2016 can be submitted to the Infinithéâtre offices from now until Tues., Sept. 6 at 5413, boul. St-Laurent, Suite 302, Montreal QC H2T 1S5.
New this year is The Unit, Infinithéâtre’s playwrights’ unit celebrating the diversity of the English-language community across Québec. Under the leadership of Alexandria Haber, seven plays are being developed from seven different playwrights with the support of seven different theatres. Many of these plays, if not all, will get full productions in future seasons in theatres across Québec and beyond.