In the local arts scene, two months stand out for activity, and one of them is March. Culture-lovers face some hard and exciting choices with a flurry of festivals, a multitude of opening nights, and freshly minted emerging companies.
Fans of musical theatre are familiar with the Canadian College of Performing Arts in Oak Bay, and have come to know Gotta Getta Gimmick, the local company founded by alumni in 2002. They kick off 2015 with lucky Chorus Line Cabaret number 13 March 2 at the Belfry Theatre, celebrating the musicals of Charles Strouse. Belfry.bc.ca
Later in the month, join current CCPA students as they perform in Broadway Lights with the Victoria Symphony March 20–22, under the direction of Giuseppe Pietraoria, conductor.
Every year the Victoria Symphony’s New Music Festival presents an opportunity to deepen understanding of contemporary music. At the Gerald Barry Festival March 5-9, the symphony, in conjunction with UVic’s Sonic Lab, Emily Carr String Quartet and Vox Humana, celebrates the Irish composer in his first feature festival in North America. Explore the unexpected and wacky genius of his music and delve into other works created to exhibit the lighter side of life. VictoriaSymphony.ca.
Theatre lovers eagerly await the Belfry Theatre SPARK Festival (March 10-22) for the exposure to cutting-edge experimentation from nationally-recognized and local talent. Anita Majumdar presents an audacious trio of dance-plays The Fish-Eyes Trilogy, The God That Comes features Hawksley Workman in a rock and roll cabaret, and in Through the Gaze of a Navel audience members will experience a performance yoga class. Theatre SKAM curates free mini-plays. Belfry.bc.ca
Explore the realm of contemporary voice at Open Space’s Voice++ 2015 Festival March 19-22. Performances include: Tomomi Adachi, Janice Jackson and Erik Bünger. voicefest2015.bpt.me/
Victoria audiences are fortunate to have an incredible emerging theatre eco-system, nurtured in part by Intrepid Theatre’s YOU Show, which this month presents Agency and Empathy (the journey of a Men’s Rights Activist from loneliness to confusion to misogyny) by Ian Simms of Theatre Theatre. March 7 at the Intrepid Theatre Club. Ticketrocket.org
Victoria’s newest emerging theatre company, workingclasstheatre, presents a double-bill – Waiting by founder Tristan Bacon and Savage in Limbo by John Patrick Shanley at the Intrepid Theatre Club March 11-21. Ticketrocket.org
I’ve had an early heads-up about AV—Action Review: Where’s the rest of me? an intriguing collaboration between Atomic Vaudeville and the SSGC (Super Secret Girls Club) March 12 and 14 at the Metro Studio. Ticketrocket.org
The studios, hallways and office of Dance Victoria will be buzzing with innovative and original site-specific dance and physical theatre performances during the second annual Bounce Around the Building March 21. Search “Bounce Performance Works” on Facebook.
Theatre SKAM returns with Fashion Machine, the company’s latest project which sees five professional artists preparing more than 20 local children to entirely remake select audience members’ outfits. Royal BC Museum March 28 & 29. skam.ca
Janis La Couvée is a community builder, writer and arts advocate.