SORRY ABOUT WHAT HAPPENED AT THE MALL
Artists: Gavin Barton, Bennett Bedoukian, Pam Birrell, Hayley Carroll, Jenn Cole, Garbageface, Evangeline Gentle, Ryan Kerr, Victoria Mohr-Blakeney, Suzanne Sorensen, and Kate Story
Sorry about what happened at the mall is a site-specific contemporary dance work set in Peterborough Square. Choreographed in three parts by Victoria Mohr-Blakeney, Kate Story, and Ryan Kerr, the piece investigates themes of late capitalist decay and the creative possibilities of unexpected spaces. Part one, Sorry, is a dynamic duet between Ryan and Kate performed on the escalators of Peterborough Square with musical accompaniment from Evangeline Gentle. Part two, About what happened, takes place on a bench in the mall’s lower level and features Bennett Bedoukian, Jenn Cole, and music from Pam Birrell. Performed by Gavin Barton, Suzanne Sorensen, and Hayley Carroll from the TASS Integrated Arts Program, part three, At the mall, takes audiences further into Peterborough Square with the musical stylings of Peterborough’s Garbageface. Imbued with an awareness of the mall’s past and present, the work gestures toward a new set of possibilities and associations for the Square, even while its future remains unknown.
Kate Story is a writer, theatre artist, and recipient of the Ontario Arts Foundation’s K.M. Hunter Artist Award in theatre. She developed two multi-arts festivals in Peterborough, with Fleshy Thud and Public Energy (PE), and in 2017-18 directed PE’s Alternating Currents Program. She is part of Neighbourhood Dance Works’ New Chapter project, which brings together Newfoundland dance artists for an innovative 3-year program. Last year Kate’s novel This Insubstantial Pageant (ChiZine Publications) was tipped by the Toronto Star as a top Sci-Fi pick and in March 2018, Kate published her first YA fantasy novel, Antilia.
Ryan Kerr is the owner/artistic director of The Theatre on King (TTOK) in Peterborough. Since opening the theatre five years ago, Ryan has overseen over 400 productions and events, and has trained four new technical personnel in the process. Ryan began an annual Playwright’s Festival, bringing over a half a dozen new scripts to production and presentation, and an annual dance festival, small dance for a small space, which has seen over twenty new pieces of choreography created and presented. Ryan is a co-founder of Peterborough Dance Works and has been technical director of Public Energy for over a decade. He is the alumni representative on the board of Theatre Trent. In 2008 he founded Fleshy Thud, a performance production company bringing a number of independent artists together over several projects, including multidisciplinary festivals A Certain Place: the Bernie Martin Festival and Precarious: Peterborough ArtsWORK Festival.
Ryan was introduced to theatre in high school where he went on to win awards in the Sears Drama Festival. Moving to Peterborough in 1992, he won the Union Theatre’s First Playwright Competition and was introduced to dance/movement at the age of 24. He has created or co-created many dance works, many of which have been performed at Public Energy’s Emergency Festival and Toronto’s Ffida. He has also been commissioned as a playwright by local theatre companies including 4th Line Theatre and Arbor.
Garbageface is a musician from Peterborough, Ontario who explores the outer realms and inner universe of beat-driven music and rap. He has released close to a dozen albums on various formats and toured all over North America, logging more than 300 performances. His work for Sorry about what happened at the mall marks his first time contributing to a dance and theatre performance.
Bennett Bedoukian is a musician and letterpress printer living in Havelock. He tours and performs regularly as Cold Eye, and with the Craig Pedersen Quartet and Horseman, Pass By. Currently Bennett is working to present new and experimental music in Peterborough regularly, including the upcoming Navigable Straits series. Bennett has played drums alongside dancers and actors in a few Public Energy events, including Damned Be This Transmigration and Emergency. This is his first foray in to dance as a dancer himself.
Jenn Cole (mixed-censtry Algonquin) is an assistant professor in Gender and Women’s Studies at Trent University, a mother, performer, and a sometimes movement dramaturge. She loves collaborating with artists new to dance.
Pam Birrell is the Director of Vocal Music at Lakefield College School, in charge of all choirs and Musical Director and Conductor of the yearly school musical. Pam has a deep understanding of both the technique and the emotion of singing, which has established her reputation as a gifted vocal teacher. She has also served as musical director in local theatre productions, including St. James Players’ Les Miserables, Chicago, Art for Awareness’ Rent and in 2013, played Mother Abbess in The Sound of Music with the Peterborough Theatre Guild. Pam is captain of the Survivors Abreast dragon boat team and was inducted into the Peterborough Walkway of Fame in 2006.
With a voice so stunning it finds the soul immediately, Evangeline Gentle dreams of encouraging listeners to find strength in vulnerability, joy in open-heartedness, and the power of compassion. Evangeline’s songs are assertions that in trying times of human disconnection, bravery is at the root of love and hope. A century old phrase first coined for their grandmother, Evangeline is “gentle by nature and gentle by name.”
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