An exciting new initiative in the 24th edition of the Wildside Festival to develop & showcase works in progress. Free event at 2PM.
January 30 - 31, 2021
Live Stream Event
On the last weekend of January (30 & 31), tune in live to hear artists read an excerpt from their plays, followed by a Q&A with Rose Plotek.
Catalyst @ Centaur events will be broadcast via Facebook live and YouTube. Don’t miss your chance to get in on the ground floor of ground-breaking work emerging from Montreal’s thriving theatre community.
Developing & Showcasing Works in Progress
When we sent a call-out to artists for short plays for the Portico Project, our first outdoor mini-festival, we received many proposals by young, diverse artists that wowed the jury. Each artist was given access to one-on-one creative support from Centaur Artistic Director, Eda Holmes, Centaur Associate Artist, Rose Plotek, and various local theatre experts well-matched to each unique new voice.
Marie Barlizo is a Filipino-Chinese playwright from Montreal. She is a graduate of UBC’s Creative Writing MFA Program and the first visible minority to graduate from the National Theatre School’s (NTS) Playwriting Program. She is the playwriting mentor at Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship Program and an instructor at NTS. Her play LUCKY was developed at Banff Playwrights’ Retreat and was a hit at the 2019 Next Stage Theatre Festival in Toronto. She is an Artist-in-Residence at Imago Theatre where she is developing her play The Warrior. Geordie Theatre commissioned her to write The (Little) Mighty Superhero and it is now part of their 2020-21 season 2Play Tour which is being virtually streamed into classrooms. Her play Happiness, developed at Playwrights Theatre Centre, was read at Carlos Bulosan Theatre’s 2020 Tales from the Flipside Festival. Carlos Bulosan Theatre commissioned The Healing, a solo play, as part of their 2020 Kumustahan projects.
Rahul Gandhi is an actor, director, creator, and producer born, raised, and located in Montreal. Though his heart lies on stage, he wears a variety of hats in and around theatre, film, and television. He holds a BFA in acting from Concordia University, and is on track to finish a Graduates Diploma in Communication studies. Selected credits include work on The Bold Type, Best Sellers, Romeo in HPC’s Romeo and Juliet, Fourteen in Animals in Paradise, and being a graduate of the Black Theatre Workshop AMP ensemble. Rahul is excited to share his work, Bad Indian with all of you.
Charles Gao is a b-boy, performance creator, and emerging playwright. His foray into performance began as a hopeful, naive 18 year old in the Queen’s University Recreational Breaking Club while pursuing a business degree. Ten years later, he found himself at Concordia studying theatre in the Performance Creation program, where he is discovering the methods by which he can test our boundaries – physical, digital, real, imagined, psychological, social – and imagine how we can feel at home where we may have been un-homed. Welcome to the Digital Desert is his current project.
He has traveled the world for breaking, winning competitions in Finland, India, Canada, and Japan, and has his eyes set on the 2024 Olympics. Charles also has a hodgepodge of skills in tax compliance, dance education, web design, copywriting, and digital marketing.
Germaine is a proud Kenyan-Canadian actor, singer, writer, director, and mover. Her artistry is rooted in her culture; storytelling for her is not a profession, but a way of life. Germaine is a 2020 graduate of Sheridan’s Music Theater Performance Program, where she was awarded the Highest Achievement in Acting Performance. Germaine is also one of 2020 Banks Prize winners. She is a co-founder of The And, Stage Company; a not for profit creating theater opportunities for artists that identify as women. As an emerging writer, her most notable credit is Burning House. Smoking Gun. (The And, Stage Company)
Alexandra is a John Abbott College theatre program alum and a former mentee of Black Theatre Workshop’s Artist Mentorship program. Her selected acting credits include : Gas Girls (Black Theatre Workshop), Miranda and Dave Begin Again (Gender Rubble Collective), The West Woods (Mulgrave Road Theatre, NS), and her META nominated performance in Simone, Half & Half (BTW). For Alexandra, Painted: An In-Visible Exhibit is a personal exploration of Black identity, theatre culture, visibility, and sisterhood. The development of this particular story has further moved her to write plays that hopefully both challenge and inspire the public.
No one is a multi-disciplinary artist, poet and singer-songwriter from Montreal. No one fell in love with theatre while studying in school. No one is a past participant of the 2019 Artista’s cohort at Imago theatre. No one was also a participant of the 2019-2020 Young-Creator’s Unit at Playwriting Workshop Montreal, where she wrote her first play called Aborted. She then had the chance to be part of Revolution They Wrote online festival. No one’s work focuses on the internal landscape of emotions through poetry and songs. One of the aspects of art that No one loves the most is that it helps to ‘’reveal people to themselves’’ as Dave Chappelle once put it.
seeley quest is a trans disabled writer, performer, dramaturg, organizer, and environmentalist, in Montreal since 2017. Working primarily in literary and body-based composition, and curation, sie presented actively in the San Francisco Bay Area 2001-14, with the Sins Invalid project 2007-15, and has toured to Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and many US cities. Hir playscript “Crooked” is in the new McFarland anthology At the Intersection of Disability and Drama, a poem’s in the book Disability Culture and Community Performance: Find a Strange and Twisted Shape, hir first digital game narrative debuted for National AccessAbility Week 2020, and sie’s contributing a book performance for Buddies in Bad Times’ Rhubarb Festival 2021. Sie will initiate a poetry and prose workshop for disabled writers winter 2021 with the Quebec Writers’ Federation. A white person with mixed class, gender, and medicalized experiences since childhood, sie loves connecting audiences for co-learning and social action. Visit https://questletters.substack.com.
Amelia is an actor and budding writer born and raised in Montréal. She made her professional début at age 14 at Centaur, and returned there recently to reprise her role of Eve in Paradise Lost. She has performed on stages and in festivals across the country including Stratford, Canadian Stage, Tarragon, SummerWorks, Crow’s, TIFT, Carousel Players, Usine C, Porte Parole, CORPUS, Repercussion, Imago, and Talisman. Amelia is very grateful to Centaur for nurturing her voice as she creates more of her own work.
“History isn’t what happened. It’s who tells the story.” — Sally Roesch Wagner
Nils Svensson-Carell was born and raised in Helsingborg, Sweden. Ever since he ran up on stage and gatecrashed the performance of a poor acting troupe on a school tour at the age of 8, he has taken a keen interest in the performing arts. Class clownery, buffoonery and drama groups eventually landed him in Montreal, where he graduated from Dawson’s College Professional Theatre Program in 2015. It was there that an English teacher uttered to him the words that have since the dawn of time thrown many young minds into a life of desolation and despair; “Have you considered writing?”.
Since graduation, he has been fortunate to partake in a multitude of projects and experiences and is hopeful that this project will be another experience from which he can learn more about performance, writing and himself. He is extremely grateful to Centaur Theatre for the Catalyst project and for this opportunity.
Saturday January 30, 2PM
Bad Indian by Rahul Gandhi
Hollywood often shares tales of self-discovery through romanticising caucasian male hairless hyper-athleticism. “What am I?” asked through glazed abs, chests, and shoulders. What about the rest of our bodies? Are we all equally composed of such stuff as dreams are made on? If a Canadian-Indian asks “What am I?”, where are their examples?
For my teachers who use The N-word by No one
A poetic piece that explores the intersection between race and gender in the modern world.
Modeling by seeley quest
Two physically disabled artists, of genders yet to be determined, get into an erotic power play during their first modeling session together, and grapple with their attractions and fears about disability and vulnerability.
The Box by Nils Svensson Carell
A man moving apartments after a not-too mutual breakup has to decide what in life is important to keep, and what is expendable.
Sunday January 31st, 2PM
After the Reckoning by Germaine Konji
After the dust has settled and the battle cry for change has echoed across the most differing expanses and all that’s left of before is the rubble. After the Reckoning is a coming undone; an unravelling of all the worlds within one feminist as her Black womanhood collides with her internalized white feminist gaze.
FER SHAME by Amelia Sargisson
A solo show about fecking up, starting fresh, and re-membering who you are.
Painted: An In-Visible Exhibition by Alexandra Laferrière
Two Black performers contend with identity and authenticity while developing a project for a fine arts museum.
The Healing by Marie Barlizo
The Healing centers around Marie’s challenging relationship with her father, and how almost losing him from COVID-19 allowed her to move past the issues and find peace.
Welcome to the Digital Desert by Charles Gao
Decades after the Dynet connected us all to its virtual reality, ex-cyber treasure hunter Bobbi “Billions” gets tied up in a plot to crash DYCON – the technology god that’s taken the world hostage.