some people say the plays we do can be a bit weird, but they usually have a good time. the dance numbers tend to help with that. everyone likes dance numbers. one time someone came to a play of ours on acid. they had a pretty good time, but they might not have seen the same play as everyone else. for instance, there wasn’t actually a neon pink talking cloud in the play. but that does kind of sound like something we’d do.
people and things they do.
ted witzel: artistic director (co-founder).
(taedon witztl doesn’t live here anymore).
ted makes plays. usually they’re by dead people. not always. right now he does that in toronto. he has also done it in vancouver, montreal, berlin, paris, milan, stuttgart, ingolstadt, baden- baden, and bad hersfeld, which is a small town with a lot of sheep in it. well, near it. when large groups of sheep are making noise somewhere nearby but you can’t see them, they sort of sound like a crowd of somewhat disgruntled people in a mall.
he has a company where he makes plays with friends, called the red light district.
ted went to school at u of t and then he went to more school at york u & canadian stage.
in april he will go to stratford to help daniel brooks make a play about oedipus, a greek guy for whom things ended badly because when the gods want to fuck you, they’ll fuck you.
ted has a spider-plant on his desk that is taking an awfully long time to make spiders.
for the red light district, ted directs, acts, writes, lights, organizes, dramaturgs, and generally orchestrates. director (the RESISTIBLE rise of arturo UI), director (SUDDENLY last summer, the playwright project), director / dog (the WITCH of edmonton, summerworks 2010), director / translator (WOYZECK, 2010), alceste (THE MISANTHROPE, 2009), director (METHUSALEM or the eternal bourgeois, 2009), director / simon (IVONA princess of burgundia, 2008), director (titus andronicus! 2007).
lauren gillis: assistant artistic director.
lauren is an actor, director and deviser. she graduated from the university of toronto in 2011 with a double major in drama and neuroscience, studying performance, production and directing at the university college drama program while exploring mouse models of narcolepsy and epilepsy elsewhere on campus. she has been working with the red light district since 2008. in 2011 she co-founded lester trips (theatre), a company with a keen interest in making visceral, new work through collective training in physical theatre-related disciplines such as clown and butoh. lauren has been studying butoh-based embodiment with denise fujiwara for the past 2 years, receiving the fujiwara dance inventions scholarship in 2012-2013. she is currently working with denise and colleague alaine hutton on devising and performing an original work, intangible trappings, incorporating principles of butoh within the framework of narrative and character-based physical theatre.
for the red light district: the lord chamberlain in IVONA princess of burgundia, ida methusalem/mr. & mrs. katgut/the jokebot in METHUSALEM or the eternal bourgeois, marie in WOYZECK, somerton in the WITCH of edmonton, the young wife in …la ronde…, director FIREraisers.
kerry freek: producer.
kerry freek has a formal education in cultural management and in past years has worked for not-for-profit arts organizations and arts-focused consulting firms.
by day, kerry edits magazines and writes in toronto. she is not an actor, but has a tendency to be melodramatic.
catherine dunn: education / outreach.
catherine dunn is a graduate of the university college drama program, a drop-out of clown skool, and a founding member of the red light district. since its inception, catherine has contributed to the red light district on as many levels as there are in existence; this includes acting, directing, producing, stage managing, and a side of everything else. outside the red light district, catherine is pursuing her degree in education at the university of toronto and teaching english to newly immigrated canadians who are considered “high-risk”, easing their transition from one society to another.
for the red light district: co-director (the WITCH of edmonton), producer (WOYZECK), duboise / assistant director (THE MISANTHROPE), assistant director (IVONA princess of burgundia), the clown (titus andronicus!).
christopher ross: technical director.
christopher ross has extensive experience as a technician, stage manager, and production manager. he has worked in most of toronto’s independent theatres, and has been a venue technician for the fringe festival, the next stage theatre festival, and the summerworks performance festival. he is currently the head technician of the theatre passe muraille backspace.
for the red light district: production manager (the RESISTIBLE rise of arturo UI), production manager for (SUDDENLY last summer), stage manager (…la ronde…), stage manager (the WITCH of edmonton), lighting technician (WOYZECK).
theatre is urgent. there is nothing casual about the theatre.
it both holds the mirror up to nature and takes you straight through the looking-glass.
wonderland is where our world can make even more non-sense.
theatre is poetry beyond words. the rules of grammar don’t apply. the syntax of interaction, image, and imagination are broken and twisted.
no clause is independent.
thinking does not preclude feeling. feeling does not preclude thinking. and there is no reason why we shouldn’t all be dancing.
the only bad reaction is boredom.
theatre is low art, is trash, is filth. theatre is at its best when it is most earnest about its desperation to please.
theatre is not a place of safety. nothing is certain. nothing ever goes exactly according to plan. the actor goes on against all odds.
in the theatre truth is misleading. art is a good lie, a facsimile. a lie is only untrue when it’s badly told.